The Ford Escort, in the hands of the Works Rally team, was practically unbeatable in the late sixties and seventies. Perhaps their most notable early success was winning the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally driven by Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm. Third, in a similar 1850cc Escort, was Rauno Aaltonen and Henry Liddon backed up by Timo Makinen in fifth and the unlikely combination of Tony Fall and Jimmy Greaves just behind in sixth. This result seemed to capture the public’s imagination and, with the old adage of ‘Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday’ in mind, Ford developed the Escort Mexico, a road going version of their winning rally car.
It seems likely that Ford already had plans to produce a high-performance Escort to fit in the range between the 1300GT and the Twin Cam/RS1600, and their victory in Mexico provided an ideal platform to launch such a model. The engineers at the newly formed A.V.O (Advanced Vehicle Operations) quickly developed the ‘Mexico’, marrying the Type 49 bodyshell as used in the Twin Cam and RS1600 with the 1600cc Kent ‘crossflow’ engine and 2000E gearbox. So, effectively, the Mexico was basically a re-engined Twin Cam / RS1600. All Escort Mexicos were built at Ford’s AVO plant at Aveley in South Essex and a total of 10,352 had been built when production ceased. For many drivers of standard Escorts, the rally cars were an aspirational dream echoed by Ford’s promotional chant of ‘’Share in our Success” after each rally win.
The highly original example you see here has been a member of the same family since 1978 when a nephew of our vendor bought it from the first registered keeper. In 1985 the Mexico passed into the ownership of the current owner, who has cherished the Mexico ever since.
For sale for the first time in almost three decades and benefitting from previous restoration works and a new UK MoT certificate, this is a fabulous opportunity to own a car which was very firmly established in British motorsport in the 1970s.