Ford Escort Mk1 Race car Lotus Twin Cam
1969 Ford Escort Mk1 racecar with 1.6L Lotus Twin Cam. Painted in period correct red and silver racing design. The car has not been raced since undergoing an open chequebook restoration by Sports Cars here in Sweden back in 2017.
Built for racing, this meticulously constructed MK1 Escort was commissioned by the owner of Swedish Escort specialist Sports Cars. His wise old mechanics, Lennart and Buris, both with many years experience of building and racing Mk1’s were tasked with piecing together the best race Escort they could produce and the result is what you see here.
The motor is reported to push out an impressive 184bhp and was built by Lennart Sunelin, a man the owner refers to as ‘the king of Twin Cam’s’ and who had hundreds of race motors to his name. Sunelin himself proclaimed it to be the best and highest horsepower twin cam he’d ever made and sadly it would be the last as he passed away some time after the build. Being a project for the boss this motor received an inordinate amount of attention. Every morning for an entire week Lennart and Buris would arrive, make coffee, then fire up the dyno. They would then bicker and debate where they could best make tweaks and gains, apparently making for quite a scene in the workshop.
Everything that went into that engine and the rest of the car was the best components that could be bought – it really was a no-expense spare project. Unfortunately as it was an internal project for Sports Cars there was not extensive documentation of the build and most of this list has been pieced together from the memory of the aging owner.
• QEB cams in the motor
• A later Mexico shell was sourced, deemed to be in better condition that the original which had suffered some damage from its earlier racing years. This was seam welded, a new fuel cell fitted, lightweight battery added
• A complete re-wire was undertaken, this alone was almost 2000 EUR and utilised motorsport specific components
• A GETRAG straight cut gearbox has been fitted and LSD
• The engine bay has been built to replicate the famous Zakspeed cars
• Larger radiator and an enlargened exhaust system, custom built
• Ventilated discs, Top Speed suspension, tubular wishbones
• Cage built by one of Sweden’s best roll cage fabricators
The original car itself has been in Sweden since first taken into traffic in January 1969 and has had only 2 owners since. In 1979 it was upgraded with a new intake manifold and exhaust manifolds, a new camshaft and sump was converted to a dry sump. There is a signed certificate of the changes creating a new estimated effect of 174 HP in the engine. A set of photos of the Car in racing is available from this time.
In 2005 the car then came into the hands of the current owner. The original Data plate and the AVO plate are available. As mentioned it is important to note the car has been re-shelled at some stage in its life, common for race cars and not an issue for racing but obviously a consideration for collectors.