MK1 ESCORT TWINS
Your eyes do not deceive you: this isn’t trick photography, it really is two identical Mk1 Escorts, with identical specs, and identical ability to go all smoky and sideways at a moment’s notice…
What’s better than a big-power track-ready Escort from Sweden? An identical pair of them, of course!
“Why am I into cars? Well, it’s my dad’s fault.” That’s something we hear time and time again in our line of work; whether it was a case of the old man picking the person in question up from school in a droopsnoot Escort, or the childhood home being perennially scattered with bits of Cortina engine, it’s those fledgling, formative years that so often inform a lifetime of automotive obsession. And in the case of the two brothers behind this spookily-identical pair of Mk1 Escorts - Martin and Michael Lexman - it’s all thanks to the fact that their dad used to race in rallycross. “The enthusiasm all came from growing up around motorsport,” Martin confirms. “My brother and I ended up racing in rallycross too, and then we decided to build these cars.”
That’s right, you can stop rubbing your eyes. We haven’t been monkeying around with Photoshop — there genuinely are two nearidentical Escorts here. You may also have noticed, however, that there’s only one spec box… that’s because, when we say ‘near-identical’, they’re pretty much as close as it’s possible to get to being zygotically-split womb-buddies: the engine internals are of identical spec, the suspension’s the same, the brakes are the same… hell, even the size and spacing of the vents in the bootlids is the same. It’s genuinely surreal. Indeed, it’s only the fact that the brothers decide to occasionally swap a pair of quarter bumpers on and off one of the cars that stops you blinking in disbelief and trying to figure out if someone’s dropped a colossal mirror into the Gatebil paddock. The differences between the two can be counted on your fingers, and you’ll still have plenty of digits to spare: the handles of their hydraulic handbrakes are different, one of them has smoked rear indicator lenses and, er, that’s basically it.
Contrary to what you might expect, however, the Lexman brothers didn’t plan to build such a head-scrambling pair from the outset — it was more a product of circumstance and evolution. “A lot of it happened by chance, really,” Martin admits. “We’d started to build the first car,