Friday, 3 January 2014

RS1800 - LAR 801P

Words & photos: Daniel Bevis

The mkII Ford Escort, it hardly needs reiterating, is one of the most successful rally cars of all time.
This one, LAR 801P, is a 1975 RS1800 - legendary drivers such as Ari Vatenen, Hannu Mikkola and Björn Waldegård drove very similar cars in the mid-seventies, and this actual car won the '75 RAC Rally at the hands of one of the original Flying Finns, Timo Mäkinen. It was one of the first works RS1800s, and was later used by Roger Clark as a recce car for the East African Safari Rally.
As with all truly great rally machines, it didn't collect its trophies and then retire itself to rest on its laurels on the show circuit for all eternity; no, LAR 801P was built to bounce through gravelly forests, and that's what it's still doing to this day. Here you see it in the paddock at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed's celebrated rally stage, shortly before going out to do what it does best: hang the tail out, kick up dust, and send menacing barking noises echoing through the trees. A wonderful slice of rallying history.

Click here for more photos from the 2013 Festival of Speed.

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