The Z fac­tor: The last gen­uine Group 5 Zak­speed Es­cort

New Zealand Classic Car - - Feature -

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.

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