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WE'VE JUST seen one sell for well over $100k at a Shannons auction and there's no denying the feisty little Escort Mk1 rally car is hot property across the world.

In a special feature, we put John Bowe behind the wheel of four of the greatest fours ever to come out of Europe, including this car.

Owner Clive Massell, summed up the Escort as well as anybody: So, "I think it’s great, very quick, light and responsive. It’s got good brakes, the car’s a natural. If you took all four of those cars and put them on a track and drove them equally hard, the one that would induce the boy racer would be the Escort."

Many agree. Our own Cliff Chambers wrote about this car, not so long ago: "When Cosworth-modified twin-cam engines began appearing in Lotus-tweaked Cortinas, Ford vaulted to the front row of British saloon car racing, but wider-ranging glory had to await the arrival of the Escort ‘Twink’. Lighter, tighter and faster, the Escort was a winner on bitumen, gravel and even in the mud of a ‘rallycross’ competition."


WHERE WERE you in 1977? That was the year Niki Lauda won his second Formula One world championship in a Ferrari 312T and Allan Moffat won the Australian Touring Car Championship in a Falcon XB GT Hardtop and the Hardie-Ferodo 1000 (with Jacky Ickx), in a Falcon XC GS500 Hardtop.

It was also the year that the Austin Seven Club of Victoria held the first Historic Winton four-plustwo meeting. Forty years later, Historic Winton is a landmark event on the historic and classic car (and motorcycle) calendar and is still promoted by the Austin Seven Club in conjunction with Historic Motorcycle Racing Association of Victoria.

This year Winton recognised the 110th anniversary of Austin and Lagonda, 90 years of Pontiac, Daimler-Benz, Morris Oxford, Chrysler Imperial, and the Bugatti Type 35’s world championship win.

As well 80 years of the SS Jaguar 100, the MG TA, BMW 328,


AFTER-HOURS projects don’t get much better than BMW’s Z3 M Coupe. You can thank Burkhard Goschel for that one. Heading up a group of five engineers on an afterhours project, his brief was to fix the chassis flex of the Z3 roadster.

Off came the wings and a shooting brake-style coupe body was grafted on.

It's tempting to imagine that they neglected to adequately ventilate the studio and lost all power of reason due to the aerosol effects of the sculpting foam, but that's not the case. The design they came up with was shocking, challenging and quite unlike anything BMW had ever produced. Yet the M Coupe redressed a lot of the failings of the roadster. Although mechanically identical, the fixed roof served to stiffen the chassis ensuring the semi-trailing arm suspension wasn’t overburdened.

Introduced in September 1998, the hard top car found immediate favour with buyers. See the JB video.

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