The Z factor: The last genuine Group 5 Zakspeed Escort
T his ’70s race car is believed to be the only genuine Group 5 Zakspeed car competing anywhere in the world today, and, of course, it lives in New Zealand’s South Island. Gary Wilkinson has motor racing genes swirling around in his blood. His father, Robin Wilkinson, raced everything from powerboats to go-karts and speedway, and he’s a life-member of the Christchurch Car Club. Unsurprisingly, from an early age, Gary remembers spending time with his father in the garage while he worked away on different projects, so when in Singapore in 2001, he took a gamble after being introduced to a chap who promised to show him a ‘Z-speed’ Escort. Being a Ford man from way back, Gary was somewhat sceptical about the car he was about to see, but within 10 minutes of sighting it he knew in his heart that this was the real deal. It was covered in junk and rubbish, and housed in a dirty old shed in Johor, at the bottom end of Malaysia, but all the tell-tale signs were definitely apparent — this was a genuine Group 5 Zakspeed Escort. Search ‘Zakspeed Escort’ at themotorhood.com to read the full feature.