BUYER’S GUIDE: Es­cort RS2000

It’s no longer a per­for­mance bar­gain, but the Mk2 RS makes for a crack­ing clas­sic Ford right out of the box.

Classic Ford - - CONTENTS - Words Chris­tian Til­bury Pho­tos Rick Davy

It may no longer be a per­for­mance bar­gain, but the Mk2 RS makes a great clas­sic Ford out of the box.

A s Vaux­hall had done with its Firenza HS droop­snoot, Ford gave its Mk2 Es­cort RS2000 a nose job to dif­fer­en­ti­ate it from its cook­ing sta­ble­mates.

By chop­ping the wings back 100 mm and af­fix­ing a slop­ing polyurethane nosecone that fea­tured a quar­tet of Ci­bie head­lamps and added 8.6 inches to the Es­cort’s length, Ford en­sured its RS2000 had a dis­tinc­tive iden­tity all of its own on its Jan­uary 1976 launch.

The nose cone didn’t just give the RS2000 a pretty face ei­ther, it re­duced drag by 16 per cent, could shrug off the odd park­ing mis­de­meanour and helped the sporty Es­cort cut through the air to a top speed that nudged 110 mph.

Be­neath the box­ier shell and fancy front end though, the sec­ond- gen­er­a­tion RS2000 had much in com­mon with the Mk1 ver­sion. It utilised the same 1993cc Pinto en­gine, Type E four-speed gear­box and, other than 9 inch rear brake drums and a two-piece prop­shaft, much of the run­ning gear.

Although built for speed, the RS also of­fered a de­cent lev­els of com­fort, re­fine­ment and equip­ment. Sup­port­ive sports seats, a lam­i­nated wind­screen, heated rear wind­screen, in­ter­mit­tent wipers, cen­tre con­sole, glove­box and in­stru­men­ta­tion from the Mex­ico and RS1800 were all stan­dard, while the ex­te­rior was set off with a rub­ber rear boot spoiler and 6x13 inch four-spoke al­loys.

Even bet­ter, the RS’s su­perb pack­age was com­pet­i­tively priced, but for those on a tight bud­get there was good news in Septem­ber 1978 when Ford re­aligned its RS2000 of­fer­ing to plug the RS en­try-level gap left by the axed Mex­ico. By sub­sti­tut­ing the RS’s al­loys and in­te­rior with the steels and cheaper trim of the Mex­ico, Ford cre­ated the Stan­dard ver­sion and slashed the price to £3901. At the same time, the man­u­fac­turer in­tro­duced the plusher Cus­tom ver­sion at £4415.

It all added up to a very tempt­ing propo­si­tion and it was no sur­prise that even af­ter the RS2000 was put out to grass in Septem­ber 1980 that re­main­ing dealer stock was sell­ing for more than list price. Need­less to say, the RS2000 is even more in de­mand to­day and prices show lit­tle sign of slow­ing. Buy­ing an RS2000 is never go­ing to be cheap, but when it comes to a great RS ex­pe­ri­ence, you’ll cer­tainly get what you paid for.

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