Ford Escort RS 2000 considered at the time as the leader of the sporty saloon pack.
Memory Lane

Ford Escort MK1 and MK2 RS 2000

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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)
Engine4cyl 1998cc 148 bhp 16v
Performance Max131 mph 0-60 in 8.3 secs
Fuel Consumption20.2 mpg
ESCORT RS 2000Licensed509

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)

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