Ford Escort RS1800 Gr.4

Collection Rally

1979 Ford Escort RS1800 Gr.4

Ford Escort RS1800 Gr.4
Unavailable for sale


This Ford Escort Mk II, in the LHD Forest spec configuration with a body from Safety Devices, was originally built by Peter Clarke Auto for Henri Toivonen to take part in the 1979 RAC Rally, where the crew resigned due to the problems with rear axle. In February 1980, the car was re-registered and sold to Jeff Churchill Motorsport. Jeff Churchill and his co-driver Roger Evans then used the car regularly in races in the UK, but, during the year 1980, the car was converted to tarmac specifications and leased to a promising young driver from Belgium - Patrick Snijers. He then used the car in the Limburgia Rally in Belgium (he resigned after engine problems) and the Castrol Rally in the UK. In 1981, thanks to his co-driver Erik Siemens, Patrick rented the car again for the first event of the Belgian championship, the Rally Boucles de Spa, and won. Thanks to the support he received for this win, he rented the car again for the second race of the championship, the Rally Circuit des Ardennes, and repeated his win. The crew repeated the victory at the third event of the championship, Rally Haspengouw, to finish sixth at the next event, Rally Ypres. These results meant a clear lead in the championship standings, however, after four starts, the team budget was depleted. The crew still managed to raise funds to start in the Hunsruck Rally in Germany, where he did not finish. The unfortunate end of this season for Patrick Snijers was the start at the Limburgia Rally, where he was eliminated from first place for missing a record in the report.

In 1982, the well-known Belgian driver Robert Droogmans, sponsored by Belga, after an unsatisfactory season with Tony Maslen's Escort (YCD 988T) decided to contact Jeff Churchill Motorsport to rent our car (NUG 573V). To Droogmans' adversity, however, his titular sponsor also supported Marc Duez with a Porsche 911, which led to a reduction in Droogmans' program. The start at Rally Boucles de Spa turned out well (2nd place), but he resigned at Haspengouw Rally and Rally Ypres. With the support of the Belgian representation of Ford, he still appeared at the Bianchi Rally (in the Ford/Belga livery), where, however, he was expelled from the first place due to the opened front hood at the place of prohibition of vehicle repairs. The last race with this car for Droogmans this year was the Limburgia Rally (only with the support of Ford in the typical white-blue colors), where he has finally won. In 1983, Robert Droogmans renewed his collaboration with both the Belgian sponsor and Jeff Churchill's team. For the first two races in the Belgian Championship, he used the services of another car (HED 593V - Rally Boucles de Spa and Circuit des Ardennes Rally), then he raced with our car again (Tielt - 2nd place, Haspengouw - 3rd place). For the rest of the season, he started with another car modified for group B (825 LJ).

Our car was then sold to Tony Maslen, who prepared it for Joe Rook for UK competitions and for starts in Europe in a blue and white design. The car reappeared in 1985 at the Rally Circuit des Ardennes in Belgium. After this season, the car was sold to Dutch driver Dennis Klein, who completed several races with him, the last being the gravel Rally van Looi in Belgium in 1987. After this race, the car traveled again to its new owner, former Dutch Ford driver Rob Van Der Poel. He did not start with it and the car was stored until the spring of 2003. This year, the car was traced and, after much persuasion, was sold, even with spare parts, to a new owner - Raphaël de Borman from Belgium. He bought the car in March and already in June began work on its complete restoration to its original form, including the period Droogmans Ford/Belga livery from Rally Bianchi 1982. Robert Droogmans himself was interested in this work, who even discovered in his documents otherwise unattainable and untraceable sticker Jeff Churchill Motorsport. The car is equipped with a period BDG engine (revised by Wilcox Engines) and a ZF gearbox (revised by Martin Jones).

The car was later sold to two other owners in Belgium until it entered the collection of invelt in March 2015.

Year of production1979