Modified Ford Escort RS Cosworth
Duncan Clare’s modified Ford Escort RS Cosworth
The Escort Cosworth is an icon, a thoroughbred Ford legend. Duncan Clare had always been a fan and some 11 years ago he decided to part-ex his nutty Gartrac 4×4 Mk.4 Escort for one. “On the way back from collecting it I couldn’t believe it. I’d traded in the Gartrac to get the Escort and it was such a let-down!” The harsh reality is that by modern standards the bog-standard EsCos isn’t amazing.
Rather than mope about and sell the car on, Duncan quickly got on the phone and had it booked in for a GGR 305 conversion. It stirred the Escort from its slumber. But then came the 400/400 conversions and it was recently overhauled again and saw 508bhp on SCS’s dyno. Duncan’s habit of continuously improving the car is clear to see, it verges on OCD at times – as you’ll notice as you read on…
“It was always a clean car, “Duncan explains. “It’s been treated as a six-months-a-year car. Even the previous owner looked after it like that. It’s never seen a winter road with me. The underside was in good shape. I’m sure most would have been very happy with it, but one day I just started to strip it all down, and within a couple of hours I had the beam off and was sending bits off to powdercoat,” Duncan laughs.
This had started Duncan’s obsession and before he knew it he was stripping everything back: “I’d paint and powdercoat something and it would show up something else… so I started to work through it all.”
The concours scene is a tough one and requires serious patience to compete in. So what’s it like owning a proper winner? “Well, it’s a nightmare to be honest,” he laughs. “For example, I recently went to a show. After five hours cleaning to prepare it for the show, I drove it home. And then had to spend another five or so hours on it when I returned.
The accolades are there as reward for this hard graft. “It won the Gold Cup in 2006 in the Novice Cosworth Class. On the back of that it became sponsored by Meguiar’s and was used in an advert.” A supply of polish was definitely handy. “Then I did Central Day and came first. I then attended another three and won three,” states Duncan proudly.
“I think I have had just about every wheel that fits the Escort Cosworth on at some point,” he jokes. There is a smattering of carbon fibre to break up that thick deep blue paintwork. Just look at how spotless this thing is – we’d say you could eat your dinner off it but we get the feeling if we tried we’d end up wearing concrete boots!