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Australian Escort RS 1800 Rally Cars


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#1 GeoffR

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 10:22

There has been some discussion on an Australian historic rally Facebook page as to the origin of the Australian RS 1800 rally cars constructed and run by Colin Bond's organisation. The suggestion is that there was an ex Boreham RS 1800 rally Escort delivered to Australia that was used as the blueprint for the local cars. After perusing AAGR's excellent book 'The Works  Escorts in Detail' I can find no mention of an ex works RS 1800 being sold/shipped to Australia. If AAGR is still around on these pages maybe he can answer this question. Any help appreciated. Regards.



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#2 Fatgadget

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 17:49

Considering there are now more ex works RS Escorts than ever made..this thread should be intriguing!



#3 Ardmore

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 19:48

I copied your post to a New Zealand rally site and got this reply from Jim Donald who was a leading light in the preparation of the Masport Team's Escorts.

 

James Donald6zTRlzzrMzf.png To my knowledge and memory the first RS1800 they had for Gregg Carr was built at Boreham. They had run RS 2000 before that and Colin Bond still drove one as well when Carr had the 1800. Colin Bond then came to the Masport workshop as a quest of Ray Stone , to see our operation. He then started his own operation in Aus. There cars were then changed quite a bit in specs I only know of a few, 1 being they didn't run the Atlas diff as it was LSD , they used a Ford Feerea (spelling ) ute diff which was a Locker diff. Also ran tapered front springs ( I think that's what they were called ) on there cars. Probably other things eventally to. They were dam good cars though. Yes definitely the first car came from Boreham as when I went there in 78 or 79 it had just been sent out to Australia and some staff members were not happy as they struggled to keep up demand for cars for thier own drivers. We got 3 Boreham cars over the time , all were second hand. Only new parts were the 2 Safety Devices body shells in 79 we were given. Don't want to knock any books , please don't get me wrong, But I have read a couple and reports of our Rally withboth Ari and Russell and Hanu in our cars , not quite correct ?
  • 80129908_10156861135678297_3436924965897
    James Donald6zTRlzzrMzf.png I think the diff spelling was Fierra. It didn't need the Alli strengthening plate as the Atlas did. I think it would have been a bit heavier ? The front springs were Variable rate that's the word.

 



#4 Ardmore

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 20:45

Had this reply from Kevin Lancaster, another stalwart of the Masport Escort Team.

 

Kevin Lancaster When I was with Nissan Motorsport in Europe in 1988 and 1989. Howard Marsden confirmed the first car to Aussie was a Boreham car as he set up the deal with Peter Ashcroft. Howard was head of Ford Australia’s motorsport campaigns at that time.

 



#5 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 01:57

How many Escorts did they use? I know there was a few.

I always understood that Colin built the cars with local bodies?? I was around the edges of a Mk11 Escort built for the 1980 Repco Trial and the blokes involved got some ideas from Colin Bonds operation. That car was built from a wreck and was still leaf spring with better shocks etc

And the best bits that suited from all over through Ford. Those Fiero diffs  were common on Escorts.

The Fiero  was a very basic and rugged baby truck used in SE Asia. And evidently had a variety of suitable diff ratios.

I very much doubt though were made with Lockers



#6 Ardmore

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 02:55

How many Escorts did they use? I know there was a few.

I always understood that Colin built the cars with local bodies?? I was around the edges of a Mk11 Escort built for the 1980 Repco Trial and the blokes involved got some ideas from Colin Bonds operation. That car was built from a wreck and was still leaf spring with better shocks etc

And the best bits that suited from all over through Ford. Those Fiero diffs  were common on Escorts.

The Fiero  was a very basic and rugged baby truck used in SE Asia. And evidently had a variety of suitable diff ratios.

I very much doubt though were made with Lockers

This is from a preview of the 1979 Southern Cross Rally. It wasn't till round 4 of the 1978 ARC that both Bond and Carr ran BDA-engined Escorts. Prior to that Bond was using a RS2000.

 

img447-2.jpg


Edited by Ardmore, 03 January 2020 - 02:58.


#7 Librules

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 03:01

A little further confirmation of the first BDA being a UK car.   This is an excerpt from a profile article on George Smith,  who was one of the Bond team's mechanics during that period.  It comes from the magazine 'Rally', a one-off mainly covering the works Oz rally Escorts.  It was similar in style to the 'Giant Killer' mags which focused on Toranas.  "....George agrees that he could have learnt a great deal from a period with the Ford competitions department in the UK where the Team's present RS1800 was built..."



#8 cooper997

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 04:57

Apologies for the quality, but lurking in the background is the subject car. Stuart Turner was on tour in March 2010 and stopped by at the Healey clubroom here in Melbourne to entertain us with his wit.

 

The Cooper S being an Abingdon-built example sent to BMC Australia for their works rally programme and the Carr Escort there to represent the Boreham chapter of Stuart's career.

 

2010-Healey-Club-TNF.jpg

 

The August 1977 RCN depicts the car on it's illustrated cover with a couple page feature by a chap named Ray Bell.

 

A Carr Escort was again on the cover of the June 1978 RCN. If of interest I can try to add them here...

 

I haven't looked yet, but I dare say the relevant year Australian Compeition yearbook probably cover this car too.

 

Stephen



#9 GeoffR

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 08:51

Thanks for the informative replies to my question, particularly from the Masport NZ rally guys. Appears to prove that the initial RS1800 that Ford Aus Rally Team received was indeed a brand new Boreham built car. Graham Robson's excellent book lists a number of ex works cars being sold to NZ after competing there, which would fit with Jim Donald's statement that they only received 2nd hand cars. Thanks again, this forum is amazing!!



#10 cooper997

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 23:23

Cover of August 77 RCN

 

1977-RCN-Aug-A-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen



#11 GeoffR

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 04:08

How many Escorts did they use? I know there was a few.

 

As far as I can find there were at least four registration numbers used by the team on their RS1800s - YJA 444 & YJT 444 (both ACT) and also IBN 115 & IYK 000 (both Vic). Does anyone know if there were any others, and were all four numbers in use at the same time?



#12 Ardmore

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 09:30

In the 1978 Australian Competition Yearbook's report on the 1977 Southern Cross Rally it is stated that [Carr's RS1800] "was built in Boreham for the Southern Cross". That car had the plate IYK 000.

 

From the 1978/79 Yearbook. At Round 2 of the ARC Bond was driving INB 115 as a RS2000 but at Round 4 the same car (INB 115) was listed as a RS1800 and the report states, "Colin Bond finally got to run the BDA-powered Escort..."

 

Bond ran the car in rounds 5 and 6 and in the round six report there is this; "This photo [of Bond in INB115]. He's driving the first of two RS1800s he built for himself during the season."

 

In the 1979 Southern Cross Carr had IYK 000 and Bond was in YJA 444.


Edited by Ardmore, 04 January 2020 - 10:05.


#13 Ardmore

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 10:23

At the 1979 Southern Cross Ford entered three RS1800s. Waldegard was in YJT 444, Bond in YJA 444 and Carr was probably in IYK 000 as that was the car he used in the ARC.



#14 GeoffR

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 11:23

OK, I had often wondered where they would have had the opportunities to have had all four rego plates in action at the same time. Three used at the the same time for a 'Cross' entry seems appropriate.



#15 cooper997

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 00:21

The October 1977 RCN ran a preview feature for the October 8 -11, 1977 12th Total Oil Southern Cross and within quotes "Although Ford of England are not sending out any crews this year, Ford Australia have entered two cars; an RS2000 for Colin Bond/John Dawson-Damer and a full Boreham built RS1800 twin ohc for Greg Carr/Wayne Gregson." It also details Bondy had intent to run a third car for Bob Riley/Brian Hope, but BDA engined cars were ineligible. This issue has the entry list and small stage maps. Big players in the World rally scene of the era are there - Aaltonen, Blomquist, Makinen, Liddon, Kallstrom, Mehta and a whole host of Aussies & Kiwis to support or attempt to beat them. 

 

Minor additional info relating to Ardmore's post 12 is the 1978 ACY photos and another car...

The other Bond/Carr Escort not yet listed is IMH 895 - a nosecone RS2000 shown in the 1978 Australian Competition Yearbook (that covers the 1977 season). This car is shown in use by Greg & Fred Gocentas at the ARC Round 1 North Eastern Rally getting a tow by the team's F100 (page 130) and again in a great colour action photo in the Round 4 Bega Valley Rally on page 134.

 

INB 115 is shown in the Round 5 Endrust Forest Rally with Bondy having an (under)steer and John Dawson-Damer on maps page 137.

 

The extensive photographic Southern Cross summary begins on page 138 and within shows 2 shots each of both IYK 000 - car 8 for Carr/Wayne Gregson and IMH 895 - car 10 for Bond/Dawson-Damer. There's also a colour shot of the Kiwi Masport Team Escort for Blair Robson/Chris Porter - listed as an RS1800 with NZ rego HP 786?? (not easy to completely define with driving light impairment- no doubt the Escort faithful will know it chapter and verse).

 

The 1978 ACY also has a couple of Carr/Gocentas RS2000 (no numberplate visible, but I guess, IMH 895 as it's a nosecone car) photos in the Castrol International summary and Greg Carr is profilled up the back. One of 2 largish profiles - the other is Alan Jones. The rest, although high profile in the International or Australian scene are short and sweet.

 

Stephen

 

Clearly not concentrating properly when tapping out the RS2000 numberplate detail earlier. Now fixed! And yes photos aren't that hard to post. Less effort that putting these posts together.


Edited by cooper997, 05 January 2020 - 10:19.


#16 GeoffR

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 08:44

 

The other Bond/Carr Escort not yet listed is IMB 895 - a nosecone RS2000 

The RS2000 CB ran in the 1977 Sthn Cross was rego no IMH 895. I have a photo I took of the car in that event but too hard these days to post it here. They were car no. 10.



#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 09:16

The method for posting photos has not changed...

 

No harder, no easier than it's always been.



#18 GeoffR

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 11:04

Sthn-Cross-1977-Colin-Bond.jpg



#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 12:24

Originally posted by GeoffR

Sthn-Cross-1977-Colin-Bond.jpg


See, I told you it was still the same...

But if you click on 'hotlink for forums' instead of 'thumbnail for forums' we see it full size.

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#20 Myhinpaa

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 14:56

Strange hardly any ex-works/works built Escorts stayed in OZ. Those two that Clark and Makinen used in the '76 Southern Cross went to NZ too.

I think both are still there and strangely none of them have been cloned in the UK over the last 15 years either..... (But a few others have, more or less sucessfully...)

 

Gregg Carr was well promoted by Ford OZ for a while and even did a few events in Boreham cars during the '78 BRC at least. He was quite spectacular too.

 

From all the photos I have seen in this thread none of the cars seems to have been proper Boreham built cars. The arches + spoiler for example is of the

off the shelf RS fibreglass type that Boreham stopped using early on as they very soon started to fall off and flap about on the Scottish/RAC etc.

 

They were soon replaced by Gartrac or Gomm made/gas welded items in aluminium which held together and never split. 

Especially Boreham, in addition always poprivetted a piece of mudflap rubber on the bottom front on the rear arches to make them last longer. (Similar to the RS2000 above)

 

There are so many unique differences between a works prepared shell and a "clubbie shell" and many differences between a Gartrac, Gomm and SD shell which Boreham

could use for new builds and reshells depending on circumstances. Gomm seemed to be the favoured on early on (especially for Clark's cars) later when demand increased

Gartrac seemed to be the ones who supplied the most. SD more for semi-works/customer cars and when a replacement shell was needed on short notice, it seems.

 

Other external signs on a works shell is the bolted and/or welded/brazed on mudflap brackets on a Gartrac/Gomm shell. 

 

Would make sense for the Ford OZ/Bond operation to prepare their own OZ made shells I guess, but with kits supplied by Boreham/Gartrac. (Apart from arches, spoilers!?)



#21 cooper997

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 01:17

RCN advert for the business Bondy ran the Escorts under.

 

1977-RCN-Bond-Escort-advert-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen



#22 Fatgadget

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 16:25

So what happened to the registration numbers of  temporarily imported works cars? I seem to remember Ari Vatanen's  David Sutton  car  running on OZ plates?



#23 Myhinpaa

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 18:45

Sometimes the car went back and it took on its original identity, or it was sold and either registered on the original ch.no or took on a ch.no from an existing car in the country...

Quite a few disputes have been over cars that were imported the proper way but the UK reg.no remained in the records and in later years logbooks was applied for by "traders"

and sold on to someone looking for a famous works reg. to build a car round, or it was done by the one and same individual.

 

In some cases the owner of the original proper car have found out and taken objection to the claim.

At least one case was from an owner in NZ who had the proper article, it was luckily resolved in his favour. ("can of worms" springs to mind...)

 

The car that Ari drove in the 1980 Southern Cross (YJA444) was a Bond built car converted to LHD for the occasion and later converted back to RHD.

I believe this car is in Japan on a local reg. no with "4 44" in it. For some reason it's painted in "Eaton Yale Blue" now.

 

The year before Bjorn Waldegaard drove a RHD Bond car, YJT444.

 

There is no sign of any Boreham or Acton tweaks on any of the cars I have seen being run by the Bond team. No alloy arches/spoilers, works jacking points etc. etc.

 



#24 GeoffR

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 20:47

I understand that YJA 444 has recently been purchased by someone in New Zealand who plans to restore it to its original Australian livery.



#25 Myhinpaa

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 22:58

Appreciate your info Geoff, I found this article : https://rallysportma...to-return-home/

 

A photo of the floor replacement mentioned    : https://www.facebook...236328023729525



#26 malscar

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 12:31

IYK000 is the rego the Boreham built car ran under whilst owned by the Ford Team (Aust). The other cars the team ran were all built in house.

 

When the team closed down the cars were sold off. Here is a shot of the Boreham car after it was sold. Still carrying the team colours but new sponsors.

 

037.jpg?width=180&height=180&fit=bounds


Edited by malscar, 15 July 2021 - 12:33.


#27 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 00:44

 

I copied your post to a New Zealand rally site and got this reply from Jim Donald who was a leading light in the preparation of the Masport Team's Escorts.

 

James Donald6zTRlzzrMzf.png To my knowledge and memory the first RS1800 they had for Gregg Carr was built at Boreham. They had run RS 2000 before that and Colin Bond still drove one as well when Carr had the 1800. Colin Bond then came to the Masport workshop as a quest of Ray Stone , to see our operation. He then started his own operation in Aus. There cars were then changed quite a bit in specs I only know of a few, 1 being they didn't run the Atlas diff as it was LSD , they used a Ford Feerea (spelling ) ute diff which was a Locker diff. Also ran tapered front springs ( I think that's what they were called ) on there cars. Probably other things eventally to. They were dam good cars though. Yes definitely the first car came from Boreham as when I went there in 78 or 79 it had just been sent out to Australia and some staff members were not happy as they struggled to keep up demand for cars for thier own drivers. We got 3 Boreham cars over the time , all were second hand. Only new parts were the 2 Safety Devices body shells in 79 we were given. Don't want to knock any books , please don't get me wrong, But I have read a couple and reports of our Rally withboth Ari and Russell and Hanu in our cars , not quite correct ?
  • 80129908_10156861135678297_3436924965897
    James Donald6zTRlzzrMzf.png I think the diff spelling was Fierra. It didn't need the Alli strengthening plate as the Atlas did. I think it would have been a bit heavier ? The front springs were Variable rate that's the word.

 

Those diifs were quite low ratio. And not many ratios. I read an article once on those cars. I feel the Fiero diffs were lighter and cheaper.

Fieros were a open sided ute/ truck using I believe 1300 Escort engines. Fieros- means little bull! Reputedly generally way over loaded very often.

Watching a You Tube clip from a Welsh? rally and Colin Mcraes main adversary was using a 9" Ford diff. Which he was sending up Colin as being cheap,, when he retired it was a diff. Handing the win to the adversary.

I have had the misfortune of using the huge lumps, about 35lbs heavier than the GM10 bolt I had used. But had the ratios required. This on a 500whp Chev powered car. Using GM diff tubes and axles as the Ford ones when shortened lasted 15 laps!!

So in a Escort rally car with maybe 300hp and very little torque would be a disaster



#28 Librules

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 04:30

Slightly OT, but the car that diffs were sourced from is actually the Ford Fiera (correct spelling).    I remember a fun article in Wheels or Modern Motor back in the 70's comparing one  with Allan Moffat's promotional Model T in a paddock.  From memory some (or all) of the development work was done at Ford Australia.



#29 BRG

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 11:46

So in a Escort rally car with maybe 300hp and very little torque would be a disaster

The standard 'English' axle and diff were not man enough.  You could use the 'German' axle off Ford Cologne Capris, but the Atlas axle (Transit and others) was the best option.  Properly set up, they were pretty bulletproof.  There are many Escorts rallying today with 2.5 litre Millington lumps giving over 300bhp without any issues in that area.



#30 Ardmore

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 21:36

In a magazine titled Rally! this list gave the costs of preparing an Escort for rallying. The Fiera diff and the available ratios is listed.

 

img564-2.jpg



#31 Ardmore

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 21:45

This advert for Colin Bond's company was in the Rally! magazine.

 

img565-2.jpg



#32 Myhinpaa

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 22:10

The Atlas axle came in many variations in Taunus, Capri Mk1 - 3, Mk3 - 5 Cortina and Transit etc. etc. 

The axles Boreham and others used once the spec. was settled were usually made from a bare diff housing ("pigs head") with thick molybdenum steel tubes etc.

 

Boreham used their duraluminium brace on them for extra strength until '79, the later cars had a strengthening brace tube welded on the underside from the

skid plate up to the axle tubes, which also saved a lot of weight and was equally strong. From '77 onwards they had twin taper bearing, fully-floating hubs too.

 

Up until recent years Gartrac in Godalming (and later Chiddingfold) was the place that most including Boreham and Acton went to for axles, and most other things too.

 

In '85 David Gillanders rallied an ex-works Gp.A Volvo 240 Turbo in Britain, the Volvo axle gave wasn't strong enough for the Scottish events in particular.

Having rallied a Gartrac G3 the previous season he talked to Dave Bignold at Gartrac to have him to build a "Volvo width" Atlas axle. Problems then went away.

 

As the supply of "pigs heads" started to dry up Dave Bignold had more made by a foundry in the US, where he also sourced the highest quality and strongest tubes.

Sadly Dave Bignold passed away in November '15, and with him an immense amount of knowledge and skills, followed by ace parts manager David Darvill, "DD" in '17.

 

Both are much missed, (RIP).  Gartrac was unrivalled in all aspects of works-spec parts for Escorts + many others cars and works teams as long as Dave Bignold,

Bill Payne and David Darvill + the ace gaswelder Mick who could almost make aluminium talk. Compare his arches etc. to the TIG-welded ones you get these days.



#33 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 08:43

The standard 'English' axle and diff were not man enough.  You could use the 'German' axle off Ford Cologne Capris, but the Atlas axle (Transit and others) was the best option.  Properly set up, they were pretty bulletproof.  There are many Escorts rallying today with 2.5 litre Millington lumps giving over 300bhp without any issues in that area.

Knowing little about Euro Fords I do know here in Oz at least Mk1 V6 Capris had crappy gearboxes and diffs. mk2s were reputedly a LOT better. I have no idea where from. BW most probably.

We got in very early Pommy TC Cortinas the English gearbox and diff.  I believe to be the same as V6 Capris?

The Aussie built ones were BW items which were better but not great. The TE  2 litre Cortina got the same size diff as the Falcons. The 75 seriesBW. 3.7 ratio. Very handy diff ratios for racecars. Sixes ofcourse got far taller diff ratios. 2.92 and 2.73.


Edited by Lee Nicolle, 18 July 2021 - 08:46.


#34 GeoffR

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Posted 07 September 2021 - 10:39

So not 'gravedigging' an older thread but there has been some discussion on a FB page regarding a RS1600 Escort that Bob Watson ran in the 1975 Southern Cross Rally, and some subsequent events, that was originally built in UK as a 2.0 litre BDA RS 1600, but said to be a RS2000 (non BDA) when it ran in Aus. Its later history is not clear (sold to NZ?), but remains another mystery of ex UK works Escorts in Aus.


Edited by GeoffR, 07 September 2021 - 10:39.


#35 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 06:17

3 or 4 years ago Colin was the 'name' grand marshall at the Mallala historics. He had a drive of one of his old Escorts, fist time in decades/ IYK rings a bell re rego number?

I did a bit of a write up about the event with pics but cannot find it.



#36 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 06:56

I did a bit of a write up about the event with pics but cannot find it.


This thread, possibly?

Mallala Historics 23/24 April 2016