Gordon Murray is a legend, he’s been behind design in Formula 1 for years, and is also credited with designing the McLaren F1 streetcar, arguably the world’s first hypercar. While he’s a British citizen, we South Africans like to lay claim to him too thanks to being born in Durban and growing up and starting his racing career on local soil. It would make sense then that one of the coolest cars in his newly revealed man cave was also born in South Africa. That’s right, this superb example of a Mk1 Ford Escort was originally a right-hand drive model that was sourced from SA, a common occurrence for European fans of these classic Fords because we have loads of them and our climate is a little better when it comes to rust. So just like Gordon, this car will forever be South African in our eyes, even though one of the best Ford specialists in the world actually built the car in the UK. The restomod on this Escort by Retro Power is just perfect. The car looks every bit classic Ford but it has all the right updates in all the right places to make it a fun modern toy, including that Cosworth badge.
While it looks like a normal, sedate Mk1 Escort, there’s a list of small but impactful changes that needs pointing out. The bonnet release was redesigned to make it look integrated to the grille, slots were added in the rear panel for airflow, but also to match the OEM slots up front, the exhaust cutout was moved to accommodate Duratec engine, there are early-style skinny door handles and opening quarterlights and a bigger version of the OEM Twin Cam steelies with dome caps. Under the hood is a road-race-spec 2.0 Duratec that should be good for around 250 hp, and it has individual throttles so it has a similar gargle to the old side-draught-fed classics. The engine bay itself is a work of art, too.
Take a look at the YouTube video where Jonny from The Late Brake Show takes a close look at Gordon Murray's amazing Mk1 Ford Escort built by Retro Power, while actually interviewing Gordon too - a must-watch for Ford fans: Gordon Murray's Restomod MK1 Escort Cosworth | The Late Brake Show