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Capri, Escort, Mustang... 'Simply Ford' rally attracts more than 1700 cars

2018-05-09 08:30

Image: Newspress

As many as 1 787 Fords took over the grounds of the UK's National Motor Museum for Beaulieu’s biggest Simply Ford yet as 3 080 participants enjoyed baking sunshine at the rally.

The impressive display covered the Beaulieu parkland on 6 May and smashed last year’s rally total of 1 500 cars.

At the heart of the display was an anniversary line-up of Ford Escorts in honour of the legendary model’s 50th year.

The biggest family

Each of the Escort’s six generations was represented by Mk1s used daily, pristine family saloons, vans, cabriolets and rally cars.

Factory models including the Escort GT, RS, XR3i and Cosworth also turned heads.

READ: Fancy owning a rare Ford? Why not buy the very first Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500

Throughout the day, show-goers voted for their favourite Ford of the show in the People’s Choice Award. Fittingly, the prize went to a special 1979 Ford Escort RS2000, owned by Martin and Rita Lewis, from Witney in Oxfordshire.

                                                                                  Image: Newspress

Replicating the rally cars from the Escort’s motorsport heyday, the RS2000 had been painstakingly built to competition specification by Martin over 13 years.

From classic to modern

This Escort’s period-perfect paintwork and graphics were reminiscent of the cars that took part in the RAC Rally of the 1970s and 1980s, while a high-spec turbocharged engine was fitted under the bonnet.

Martin said: “I always wanted to build this car, it’s a lifelong ambition fulfilled. I can’t believe that I won this award, I’m really made up!” Martin and Rita were presented with a trophy and Autoglym prize by Beaulieu Managing Director Russell Bowman.

The runner-up was Mark Hudd, from Wiltshire, for his Escort Mk1 van. Mark, who has extensively modified his impressive van, said: “Underneath, it has full four-wheel-drive Cosworth running gear and it develops about 500bhp.”

Quality Fords on show

Fellow runner-up Paul Ainsworth has owned his desirable high-performance Mustang Shelby GT500 since 2006, when he bought it in his native Canada.

Paul said: “I took the car with me when I moved to Arizona, followed by a move to the UK. So now the car can be rained on!” Both Paul and Mark were presented with Autoglym prizes.

                                                                                    Image: Newspress

Personalised examples of the popular Ford Focus, Mondeo and Fiesta were well represented, many featuring bespoke paintwork, uprated engines and lowered suspension.

Much-loved modern-day Fords featured heavily in the packed club stands, including strong showings from ST220 Enthusiasts, the Dorset RS Owners Club and Midlands ST Owners Club.

                                                                                       Image: Newspress

Granada Nutz showcased a range of classic Granadas, while the Ford Society club stand featured a mixture of old and new Fords.

An unusual sight was a Cortina Lotus Mk2 which was originally used as a police car on the Isle of Wight. Equally eye-catching were two Model T-based hot rods with powerful V8 engines.

Rare sights were a top of the range 1980s Ford Sierra Ghia and third-generation American Ford Thunderbird, while Ford dealer Hendy Ford showed a selection of brand new performance Focuses and Mustangs.

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Read more on:    ford  |  united kingdom  |  rally

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