The Ford Escort RS 1800 MkII only won the Drivers’ Championship title once in 1981 for Ari Vatanen, but its success quickly cemented it into rallying legend. Vatanen took his three wins that year in the Acropolis Rally, Brazil He Rally and 1000 Lakes Rally, but had new competition from the 4WD Audi He Quattro (via National Automobile Museum). Although the Escort could only transfer power to the rear wheels, it still proved to be very competitive and in fact he was one of the last RWD rally cars to win before 4WD became the new norm. I was.
The car’s racing success, coupled with the immense popularity of production versions in markets such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand, means that restored examples consistently command high prices today ( via Silodrome). They are still popular among classic rally enthusiasts and still appear at rally events around the world. This car may not have been able to keep up with the giant Group B cars that defined the next generation, but the superior handling and superior reliability of these iconic classics have made it possible since it first debuted. After 40 years it is still very competitive.
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