Quaife Case Studies – Mk1 Ford Escort RS1600

The Mk1 Ford Escort RS1600 has always been a favourite within motorsport circles, particularly in rallying and historic touring car racing. Many are still competed in to this day; with models finding homes all over the world, far from the model's Dagenham birthplace. Here we check out one example, fully kitted out with Quaife driveline components and raced regularly in the sweltering Texan heat...

Escort Mk1 - Don Gwynne

The Mk1 Ford Escort RS1600 has always been a favourite within motorsport circles, particularly in rallying and historic touring car racing. Many are still competed in to this day; with models finding homes all over the world, far from the model’s Dagenham birthplace. Here we check out one example, fully kitted out with Quaife driveline components and raced regularly in the sweltering Texan heat…

The Ford works racing team were pretty much untouchable in the late 60’s and early 70’s, particularly when it came to rallying. One notable victory was in the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally where Finnish legend Hannu Mikkola and Swedish co-driver Gunnar Palm took the win in an Escort. This notoriety led to many examples of the Blue Oval’s small saloon finding homes on racetracks all around the world.

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Although the Mk1 Escort was never officially sold in the United States, many enthusiasts over the pond shipped them Stateside, where they can be found winning races and championships in historic motorsport events. Many are within the sphere of the SCCA, (Sports Car Club of America). One such example is the subject of this case study; an RS1600 proudly owned by Texas based Don Gwynne.

Escort Mk1 - Don Gwynne 2

Gwynne, who resides in Arlington, began racing in 1966 in a Ford Anglia 105E which he prepared himself. Now 72 years of age, he’s still actively involved in motorsport. The Escort is his third English Ford racing car following a works-prepared Mk1 Lotus Cortina and the aforementioned Anglia. A good finish at Talladega, Alabama in the Cortina in the first closed wheel race ever sanctioned by IMSA got Gwynne a drive in a 5-litre Chevrolet Camaro in the 1970 Daytona 24 Hour, the 1970 Sebring 12 Hour and the 1971 Sebring 12 Hour.

The RS1600 was brought to the USA when new and, although a RHD car, was continuously licensed and driven on the streets into the mid-1990’s.  Its Cosworth BDA engine was removed and used in a formula single seater, while the Escort spent most of its street life with a Kent engine followed by a Lotus Twin Cam.  Before Don’s ownership, the car lived predominantly in Oklahoma and was never wrecked. This leads Don to believe that it is that rarest of 1970 RS1600 cars; rust-free and never re-shelled!

Escort Mk1 - Don Gwynne 3

After purchasing the vehicle in 2006, Don fully race prepared the Dagenham built classic. He chose the wise option and approached Quaife for an ATB Differential, a close ratio straight cut gearkit and rear axles & hubs. Especially potent in the rain, Don enthuses, ‘The ATB gives me an ability to squirt out of slow corners in the wet that even 5-litre Mustangs can’t rival’.

Don’s RS1600 has been raced in Oklahoma and Texas with Corinthian Vintage Auto Racing, while his favourite racetracks have included Laguna Seca in California and Circuit of the Americas; venue of the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Don has no plans to give up racing; indeed he’s spurred on by the popularity of the Escort and the performance and reliability benefits brought on by Quaife’s precision engineered driveline components. We wish him all the best…

Check out the key facts and figures of these related Quaife products:

Quaife QKE3Z Ford Bullet (2000E) Synchromesh Gearkit

QKE3Z

  • Straight cut, close ratio gears
  • Needle roller bearings support free running gears
  • Includes Quaife mainshaft
  • Larger Rocker sized spigot bearing
  • Optional steel baulk rings available
  • Standard length or short mainshaft
  • Only fits 3 rail gearbox
  • Requires later type hubs & rings
  • £1,010.00 + VAT & Shipping

Gear ratios:

1st             2nd         3rd          4th

2.250        1.495       1.168     1.000

2.500        1.660      1.220     1.000

Quaife QKE18Z Ford Bullet (2000E) Dog Engagement Gearkit

QKE18Z

  • Dog engagement for faster gear change
  • Straight cut, close ratio gears
  • Needle roller bearings support free running gears
  • Includes Quaife mainshaft
  • Larger, Rocket sized spigot bearing
  • Choice of two ratio sets
  • £POA – Tony Thompson Racing

Gear ratios:

1st              2nd         3rd          4th

2.250        1.495       1.168      1.000

2.500        1.660      1.220      1.000

Quaife QDF5Z Ford English ATB Differential (22t or 16t spline)

QDF5Z '18

  • Safe, progressive and seamless in action, the Quaife ATB Differential never locks
  • Controlled power is transmitted to all driven wheels, to maximise traction and minimise wheelspin, particularly in slippery conditions
  • Fitment eliminates unwanted torque steer, understeer or oversteer
  • Gear operated with no components to replace – ever
  • Direct replacement for factory standard ‘open’ differential unit. A true ‘fit and forget’ product
  • Retains normal axle lubrication systems and maintenance schedule
  • Comes with a LIFETIME WARRANTY, whether used on the road or track
  • £500.00 + VAT & Shipping