Fa­mous Ford tin-top is back on track af­ter re­build

Motor Sport News - - His­torics - By Paul Lawrence

A fa­mous ex-alan Mann Rac­ing Ford Es­cort Mk1 has re­turned to rac­ing in the UK af­ter a gap of over 40 years.

The Group 5 car, reg­is­tered ‘XOO 347F’, was raced when new in 1968 by Jackie Oliver in the red and gold colours of Alan Mann but later went to Bar­ba­dos and only came back to the UK in 2010. It was back on a cir­cuit for the first time last week at Silverstone.

Owner John Mitchell en­trusted the car to Henry Mann, son of the late Alan, for the His­toric Tour­ing Car Chal­lenge race at Don­ing­ton Park. They fin­ished 16th and plan to do more races.

“Alec Poole bought it and took it to Bar­ba­dos in about 1972 or 1973 and raced it there,” said Mann.

With the sup­port of the Alan Mann team, Mitchell has re­stored the car over three years and was able to run it at the Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed in 2014.

“This is its first time on a UK cir­cuit since 1969,” said Mitchell dur­ing the Silverstone Clas­sic me­dia day last Wed­nes­day. “I re­built it just as it was in pe­riod, apart from the mod­ern safety equip­ment.”

The Es­cort is pow­ered by a 1600cc Ford FVA en­gine.

The Alan Mann team owns the sis­ter car ‘XOO 349F’, one of a set of six such cars built for the 1968 sea­son. Frank Gard­ner took the Bri­tish Sa­loon Car ti­tle that year in ‘349’.

Pho­tos: Paul Lawrence

Mann tested at Silverstone

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