Many of you will likely be too young to remember The Professionals with Bodie and Doyle. That’s sad for you because as a young lad at High School watching the chase scenes filled me with excitement. Watching a Ford Capri and RS 2000 chasing around the streets after bad guys was pretty cool in the seventies. Anyway, long story short I figured I wanted one of those fast Fords for myself. After leaving school a few years passed before I managed to find an RS2000 within my means.
Okay, it had a faulty engine but apart from that it was in good order everywhere else. It was all black and looked fantastic. Fortunately, I had a friend who was a Ford mechanic and a good one, who was able to sort out the engine for me for just £150. That may sound cheap today but believe me, in the seventies, it was probably a few weeks’ wages. No matter I was now driving what I considered something special. Feeling like the dog’s doughnuts I posed up and down a few roads just to let everyone know I’d arrived.
The car drove well and wasn’t bad getting around corners either. Back then it was quite a car to own. Yet, being a Toyota owner previously I found the Ford lacking the style I’d grown to appreciate with Toyotas. For a start, the dash and cockpit were extremely plain by comparison while Ford’s were famously easy to steal.
So much so that when on a night out you felt obligated to stay in the car or fit a steering lock the size of a tennis racket together with a chain that reached from the base of the seat to the gear knob. It could also have done with a little more grunt, it wasn’t slow but a few extra horses would have ensured it outpaced all rivals. Even so, being plain and a little underpowered aside I still liked the look together with the way it handled.
Ford however missed a trick when it came to its replacement. The Mark 3 Escort should have come with more power and style. Instead, they committed the unpardonable sin by turning it into a Front Wheel Drive motor. Enter the XR3 and RS1600i. Although good cars and lively enough to put a smile on your face they lacked the fun factor provided by Rear Wheel Drive counterparts that let you flick the handbrake followed by a rear end that roller skated doughnuts.
Any audience worth their salt could not fail to be impressed especially in a nightclub’s carpark. Ford, you were almost there and then you blew it! RIP RS 2000.
Trevor Ferguson 30 September 2022
Ford Escort RS2000 Specification
|Cost (new)||£15,965 (1991)|
|Engine||4cyl 1998cc 148 bhp 16v|
|Performance Max||131 mph 0-60 in 8.3 secs|
|Fuel Consumption||20.2 mpg|
HOW MANY STILL MOTORING IN THE UK?
|ESCORT RS 2000||Licensed||509|
|ESCORT RS 2000||SORN||810|
HOW MUCH CAN I EXPECT TO PAY?
1993 RS 2000 MK 2: £13,999 (as at 8.10.2022)
1995 RS 2000 MK2 4×4: £17,500 (as at 8.10.2022)