1971 Ford Escort RS1600 MkI


 • Genuine AVO RS1600 "custom" 
 • Rare custom model with beta fabric seats 
 • Former Ford press demonstrator carrying the show unit plaque
 • Comprehensive glass-out rebuild
 • Full ownership history


As far as important cars in motoring history go, the Mk1 Escort RS1600 has to be up there with the most significant of all-time. 
Its combination of Escort Twin Cam chassis and running gear allied with Ford's newly developed Cosworth sixteen-valve twin cam BDA (Belt Drive Type A) engine unit was a tuner’s dream and the model heralded the birth of what was to become arguably the most successful rally car of the 1970s.

If that’s not special enough, then this one is one of the original Ford demonstrators from its 1971 press fleet, originally registered to Ford’s Engineering Centre at Warley, Essex, and registered with an ‘LVX’ suffix numberplate, the same as the Ford works rally cars. As if that wasn’t enough, this is one of the very few "custom" models that remain with the ultra rare Beta fabric seats. Cars with this kind of provenance don’t come along very often, especially not in fully restored condition.


 • Original green logbook showing Ford as the original owner
 • Comprehensively rebuilt to show standard
 • Known ownership history for over 50 years
 • UK V5C 
 • Tax and MOT exempt
 • "Show Unit" stamp on the build plate verifying that this was a press car 

It’s the provenance that really makes this car – an original Ford press vehicle carrying the important "show unit" plate and a genuine AVO RS1600, with the correct AVO ‘Type 49’ competition shell. 

The car was one of a handful of ‘LVX’ registered RS1600 models that remained road cars, with the majority being upgraded to works rally cars. It has lived in Northern Ireland for 50 years, since May 1972 having been purchased directly from Ford by the second owner. The ownership history is fully documented to the present day. It has recently had a full and comprehensive restoration to a very high standard.


 • Black cloth sports seats
 • Six-dial dash
 • Never had a radio
 • Unspoilt and original

With the exception of its re-trimmed cloth contour Beta sports seats, which look great, the rest of the interior is wholly original and unspoilt. It has never had a radio fitted and has the correct RS1600 six-dial dash, with additional gauges for oil temperature and ammeter.


 • Original Maize Yellow
 • Sports steel wheels
 • Fully restored
 • Glass-out respray

This is an amazing-looking car and has recently been the subject of a full rebuild, with a bare metal glass-out respray in its original Maize Yellow. The finish is stunning and the paint is near-flawless. 

It sits on sports steel wheels with the correct chrome hubcaps for the model, while the attention to details continues to the car’s underside, which is also beautifully presented. 


 • 1600 BDA
 • Standard tune
 • Flawlessly presented

The RS1600's BDA engine unit was often described as a detuned Formula 2 racing engine. The design was based on Cosworth's very successful Formula 2 race unit, the FVA (Four Valve Type A). The two units shared a narrow-angle four valve per cylinder layout, with a Twin Cam head. In standard tune as fitted to this example, the BDA produced 115bhp, sufficient to propel the car from 0-60mph in about 8.5 seconds and provide a top speed of almost 115mph. 

Astonishing performance for its day and the very reason why it became such a success in motorsport.
The engine in this car is the original and has been fully refurbished. It is described by the vendor as in great running order, while the suspension, brakes and steering have also been fully rebuilt. 


Where to start? This is a truly magnificent example of a genuine motorsport icon – the famed RS1600, which is a desirable and collectable car to start with. But this one is even more than that. It’s not only a former Ford press demonstrator, but also a genuine ‘LVX’, spoken of in hushed tones by Ford fanatics. And it’s in fabulous order. There’ll never be another opportunity like this…

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1971
  • Make Ford
  • Model Escort RS1600 MkI
  • Colour Maize Yellow
  • Odometer 74,901 Miles
  • Engine size 1601CC
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Northern Ireland
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
23 bids
  • Se•••• £66,000 18/05/22
  • DC•••• £65,500 15/05/22
  • Re•••• £65,000 15/05/22
  • Re•••• £64,500 15/05/22
  • DC•••• £64,000 15/05/22
  • Re•••• £63,500 15/05/22
  • DC•••• £63,000 15/05/22
  • Re•••• £62,500 14/05/22
  • me•••• £61,000 14/05/22
  • Cr•••• £60,000 13/05/22

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