An ambitious car dealer has put this original Mk1 Ford Escort up for sale – for a staggering £65,000.
The ultra-rare 1968 Ford Escort Twin Cam was one of the original boy racer’s cars, with the Lotus engine boasting 110bhp and a top speed of 113mph.
Norman Hughes bought the car – one of just five remaining on UK roads – after it had been completely disassembled by its previous owner and dry stored for 25 years.
It has undergone a complete rebuild to become one of the world’s most impressive examples.
The £65,000 price tag is 57 times the original cost of #1,123 and more than a brand new Range Rover Sport (£48,000) or BMW M3 (£54,000).
It is £35,000 more expensive than its modern-day incarnation – the 163mph Ford Focus RS.
Mr Hughes, who runs Cleevewood Garages in Downend, Bristol, said: “I know it sounds like a lot of money but I know how much time and money has been put into the car.
“I would say it is now better than new because of the lengths we have gone to in order to get it right.”
The two-door model looks like a standard Mk1 Escort but has a bespoke Lotus engine which gave it a 0-60mph time of 8.7 seconds.
Just 883 were ever built and Motor magazine, which road-tested it in 1968, described the Escort’s performance as “electrifying” and “very much on sports car level”.
But it is not a car for a novice with the combination of rear-wheel drive and zero driver aids making it particularly wild in the wet.
Mr Hughes re-sprayed the body and then rebuilt the original engine, gearbox and back axle before fitting the Escort with new front disc brakes and an uprated suspension.
He revealed the toughest job was finding a number of trim pieces for the car’s interior, with the switches on the dashboard slightly larger than those on the standard Mk1
“They made thousands of Ford Mexicos and I saw one of those go for £38,000 a few weeks’ ago,” he said.
“I think I’m asking a fair price for something very rare and very special and which is better than new.
“It’s a lot of fun and very reliable.”