The Almost Forgotten Escort

I’m an absolute idiot.

This will likely not come as a surprise to some of you, but it’s something that I feel that I need to confess.

Earlier this year, after a monstrous trek across Ireland, Wales and England, I attended the annual – and typically brilliant – Players Classic show held at the Goodwood Circuit. It’s one of my favourite shows of the year, as it brings so many factions of car culture together in one place. There’s only one issue, and it’s a good complaint: the show only takes place for one day, and as such it gets a bit hectic.

2016 Players Classic Ford Escort MKI Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-15

Over the course of the day, I had to prepare my own car for track (which didn’t happen, I missed the noise testing bit), cover the event as a whole and shoot five or six spotlights. Generally, this isn’t an issue and it’s a typical enough day in the office. In fact, everything went pretty much better than planned, right up until I was waiting for the boat back to Ireland, some 12 hours after the show had ended. It only took one misguided finger tap on my iPhone to accidentally delete my notes and the last two digits of the owner’s phone number.

Ricky, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry.

2016 Players Classic Ford Escort MKI Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-4

Still, I don’t think this Ford Escort should be confined to the ‘what could have been’ folder, because of my incompetence (why there wasn’t an ‘undo’ option, I’ll never know). This is a car that I would love to shoot in detail at some point in the future, so maybe we can consider this as an appetiser of sorts.

2016 Players Classic Ford Escort MKI Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-2

Typically, I’m used to seeing MkI Escorts in rally trim (when involved in motorsport), but the in the UK there appears to be a lot more track-focused builds. This is likely due to how much more accessible rallying is in Ireland versus the huge availability of race circuits in the UK. Either way, the Escort is suited to the task.

2016 Players Classic Ford Escort MKI Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-8

Walking around the car, it’s clear that the build didn’t happen by accident; it looks every part of a ground-up project. A stripped, clean and smooth body, inside and out, features the bare essentials for track duties. A naturally aspirated Cosworth YB on ITBs is at the centre of the setup, and although it’s impossible to gauge power figures from just looking at it, one would expect somewhere between 250 and 300hp.

In a car that’s going to comfortably be sub-tonne in weight (even sub 900kgs isn’t exactly eyebrow raising in the MkI world), it’s definitely not going to be lacking.

The interior reflects the minimal and focused approach required for optimum performance. The Escort wasn’t 100 per cent track ready, thus the lack of harnesses, but I vaguely recall the owner telling me that he had brought the car both for the show and to have it noise tested. Vehicle noise is a huge part of preparing a car for track use in the UK.

2016 Players Classic Ford Escort MKI Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-18

This is definitely one of those cars that I’d like to revisit as I’m certain I’m not appreciating the full story behind it. As far as track Escorts go, this is arguably as good as they get, while staying loyal to its bloodline. It’s simple, but that’s all it needs to be.

In the meantime, I’m off to buy a pen and notebook to avoid this happening again.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos



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What a beauty, and I'm not talking about the girl in leggins.


Gorgeous car, nothing like an NA YB for the heart of a MK1! Awesome stuff


Paddy, if you used the iPhone notes app, you can access deleted notes in a folder on the app.


I usually like my YBs boosted, but the NA variants do sound properly menacing!


Turbology I would think that's a BDA and not a YB, although they share a familiar bloodline. Some of the Bergrennen cars are absolutely insane, need to get back out for a round next year.


arslangolic I actually backspaced accidentally through the copy, rather than deleting the entire note.


You can still shake your iphone to undo your typing (or deleting)... little known trick.


Paddy McGrath I will default to your expertise, I do not know nearly enough about that family of motors as I should. Cool car and great read either way. Cheers!


One sexy as hell escort. Fast Ford's are one of the very few reasons I wouldn't want to move from the UK


I dig the half flocked dash most, although every piece of this build has been masterfully crafted.


EvolveWRC HA! You've noticed Paddy's propensity for sneaking in shots of girls in tights and leggings, too, eh?


That fuel tank tho... damn


not ITBs, looks like a slide throttle injection system. proper 1970's


I cannot believe that some one can earn $7119

in 3 weeks ...................


My Uncle Henry recently got an almost new gold Audi RS 5 Convertible just by some part time 
working online at home... 
see more,........................


steve778 See the first sentence of the article. I'll see myself out.


Hamrocks Where you six months ago?


cynicalyricist EvolveWRC Propensity? It's the first time! I think. I do like framing shots with people in the foreground though.


Was picture #5 supposed to be focused on the woman wearing leggings or the front of the Ford?



Paddy McGrath Turbology I seriously want you guys to go to more Hillclimb events. I'm utterly gobstopped at the machinery they use and abuse.


Paddy McGrath Hamrocks HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH lol


370 Hemi The Ford. I'll get a guy in the next time for balance.


Nice booty shot Paddy


I am in shock that a person able to earn $9711

in 1 month ......................


The dimensions for the rear are really wigging me out.


my dads buddy recently bought a fantastic yellow Toyota Camry just by part-time work from a 
home pc... go right here.



just as Gerald implied I am in shock that a person able to earn $7711 in 
1 month on the computer..
see more......................


Not to be pedantic, but since you're being pedantic, those are ITBs.


Paddy McGrath LOL.


D1RGE yes!!! The first time I experienced it in person in the Czech Republic, my first two reactions were, one, this is awesome, and two, how come this does not happen more in the States?!
Now a buddy of mine in CZ has a workshop where he specializes in preparing gnarly Subaru hill climb cars, and they are some of the more brutal machines I have encountered. Mechanical provisions of rally with grip of tarmac?! Sign me up!


Turbology D1RGE There was a great hillclimb in Nevada a few years ago, that was about as good as we got. The rest in the USA are very grassroots and the cars are NOTHING compared to what Europe uses. 
If you remember the Pagani Zonda Revolucion R, I believe a major hurdle was that there was no series for it to race, the noise greatly exceeded any track db level, and was pretty much a useless (though ridiculously desirable) car. WHY NOT THROW THEM AT HILLCLIMBS!?!?!?!?!?!?!


Wow great


IRONWOLF RD Right?! Those rear tires just look...funky inside those arches.


I am shocked that you can get paid $6264

                 in a few weeks ..................


D1RGE it's the flat-out mentality of time attack without the comfort of a purposeful race track! And as you said, the cars are plain bonkers. The Hans Schori twin-charged EVO is one of my favorites, just listen to it rip!


I'm taken by surprise that some one able to profit $9397 

in four weeks..................

more details    


like Kyle said I am shocked that you can get paid $4264

                                  in a few weeks ..................


I didn't know that anyone able to make $6399

in 3 weeks ..................


Hi Paddy glad you didn't lose the pics some nice shots there. would be pleased to help with some more information on the car .ricky hutch


oh look to this little escort.....Love the car, love the paint (that green!!!!!) and the engine!!! They made a really wonderful car! Thanks for sharing this article! :)


How did i miss this??
And why isnt it on passion ford??
It looks and sits just how a mk1 should,great car..


The fact that I had to scroll back up to look for the girl in legging after reading the comments is probably the reason why i'm still single lol. Makes me proud and sad at the same time.


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