The Escort is back in the news; time to remind ourselves what all the fuss is about, courtesy of Frank Kelly...
Where to begin in finding a video that celebrates the very best of the Mk2 Ford Escort? There's a glut of videos from back in the day, naturally, rallying superstars at maximum attack forging a reputation that has sustained decades. Then there are the modern builds, somehow even faster and more sideways than those originals. And seemingly, pretty much everything in between.
Given the Escort was largely famed for its lairy yet forgiving dynamic balance, it seemed right for a video to feature the most dedicated follower of the faith: Frank Kelly. You might remember then name from 'Fast, sideways and mental' of a few years back; for those unfamiliar with Mr Kelly, the title of that video should give some idea as to his driving style...
Frank Kelly is sideways when he needs to be, sideways when the spectators wants him to be, and sideways when he probably should be going straight - there's just no stopping him. Unsurprisingly, a 300hp, Millington-engined Escort is the perfect partner for his outrageous (and often very fast) oversteer, and the combination makes for incredible footage.
This video is from last year's Rally Legend at San Remo, crowds eagerly lining the stages; this is a car and driver alliance where a reputation most certainly precedes them. They don't disappoint, either, but it wouldn't be right for us to spoil the surprise - set aside five minutes with a brew to find out for yourself...
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I do hope he had a tyre sponsor. Takes me back to my 1978 RS2000 Custom on twin 45,s, Bilsteins and quickshifts were the order of the day.
Jon_S_Rally13 Jun 2019
Kelly is a great driver.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Escort to be honest. I think our obsession with them in this country is stifling rallying in some respects but, if someone offered me a nice, modern-spec MK2 with a Millington lump and a clicky box, I would struggle to say no.