A Tube-Framed & M3-Powered Mk2 Ford Escort

I’ve seen plenty of modified old school Ford Escorts in my time, but most of them have respected the model’s rally and circuit racing heritage. What Sebastian Sundfors has created with his Mk2 in its ultimate form is something else.

I say ultimate form, because in Sebastian’s 15 years with the Escort it’s been through a number of guises, each engine swap elevating the now show-quality race car build to another level.


In the engine bay, Sebastian started out with a 1.6L Ford Crossflow before moving onto a 2.0L OHC unit, and then something completely different with a Nissan SR20DET. You’d think the Japanese turbo four-banger would be a perfect engine for the Escort, and it was until Sebastian came across something special for sale.


By this stage, the Escort itself was a far cry from the car that left the Ford factory in 1979. In fact, all that remained of the original unibody were the A, B and C-pillars, plus part of the floorpan. The rest was built around a custom tube-frame with suspension geometry borrowed from a Nissan S-chassis. The single-piece front end, moulded rear shell and doors are all fiberglass, while the roof panel is made out of carbon fiber.


Carbon was also used for the front quarter bumpers, boot spoiler, mirrors and more. The lighting is all LED.


As for the engine, Sebastian waved goodbye to the SR20DET when a naturally aspirated BMW S14B25 EVO3 unit from an E30 M3 came up for sale. In factory form, this high-revving 2.5L four-cylinder produces 235bhp, but thanks to Wössner forged pistons, Schrick cams, modified M5 throttle bodies, a DTM-spec carbon inlet manifold and MoTeC engine management, Sebastian’s engine now makes 300bhp and 236lb-ft.

There’s a dry sump system in use, and we can’t forget the exhaust either – a custom stainless steel system finished off with twin Yoshimura motorcycle silencers.


The driveline has seen a significant upgrade too, starting with a 5-speed BMW ZF S5D dogbox from GearMotive and finishing with a Volvo 740 rear end with an Eaton Detroit Truetrac limited-slip differential. In the wheel department, Sebastian usually runs Compomotive CX split rims on slick tires, but when I caught up with the car it was sitting on its storage setup.


For suspension, Sebastian went with custom-built KW Competition coilovers with external reservoirs and adjustable front and rear sway bars.


The interior is pure race car, fully stripped with an extensive roll cage, Sparco Pro 2000 seats, an adjustable pedal box, Momo steering wheel, AiM MXP Strada digital dash and more. The firewall and transmission tunnel are both removable for ease of maintenance.


It’s hard to believe it looking at the car, but the Escort came together very quickly with the BMW engine setup, as Sebastian had a short deadline for its debut at the 2018 Bilsport Performance & Custom Motor Show (AKA Elmia). He had a lot of support though; Sebastian’s brothers Benjamin and Emanuel assisting where they could, his wife Cecilia adding some fabric touches to the interior, and good friend Mikael Öster looking after all the carbon and fiberglass work.


As far as home garage project’s go, Sebastian’s Mk2 Ford Escort is right up there with the best I’ve seen. Having accomplished what he wanted to with the Escort it’s being moving on, but that doesn’t mean Sebastian is hanging up his tools. There’s already a new project on the go in his garage, and this one is based around a Ferrari 308 GTB. Custom wide-bodied, of course

Vladimir Ljadov
Instagram: wheelsbywovka



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I love this on lots of levels, somehow though the knitted roll cage covers are particularly inspired. I’d never have thought when looking at a build like this I’d be thinking “I particularly like the knitting” but its true.


love the build too. but man those knitted additions take it to the next level. i never thought i'd say that about a car build. lol now if my grandma would only pick up her phone when i call...


hy america


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Given the size if the car I would’ve stuck with a four banger but DAMN this build is FYYYah!


It still is a four-banger - the E30 M3, even the Evo versions, were all 2.5L four-cylinder powered. It's only with the E36 they bumped it up to six cylinders.


THIS is awesome! In awe, what every homebrew builder should aim to aspire to. Sure it would be better off with beefy multilink suspension, but this recipe is just the best kind of "Finished" otherwise.

A 308 on this mentality and carbon diet will be even further perfect... Cannot wait. Please post progress articles!


Juz Naray@n here from drive dot com dot au

This is literally my dream car!


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Now that is a weapon. What size are the wheels? Refreshing to see it's not on 13's

Vladimir Ljadov

Show wheels are 11x15 and 13x15, these ones are 10x17


We never got to have this Escort in the states, and when I hear Escort I think of a completely different car, not one built for performance, but to be destroyed by teenage drivers on a Friday or Saturday night, seeing how fast you can hit a speed bump, hit trash cans sitting out for trash day. Awesome build.


This. Is. How. It's. Done.

STUNNING. Tubes, carbon, color matching, everything. Not all show cars are race cars, but GOD DAMN, all race cars are show cars. Well done.


Exquisite build! I'm speechless...


Whyyyyy whyyyyyyyy, on high end build like this. So beautifull details and yet they use chinese wheels instead to build real OZ turbos. Whyyyyyy!


This has got to be in my top 10 of perfect car builds. This thing would be a blast and everything about it just screams fun. Man never see an Escort like this in the states. Escorts were the butt of jokes back in highschool but this build is just phenomenal. Love the interior and who would've thought that a little knitting would make a car look so bad ass.