The opportunities we get in life are often given to us as we deserve them, such is true of Johnathan and his rather epic story regarding his mk2 Escort. When something breaks, weaker willed people throw it away, Johnathan however decides to replace for something even stronger, take gearboxes for instance, I've seen John drive, as he ploughs round Castle Combe circuit, he holds nothing to back, he drives as if his life depends on it and sod the mechanical sympathies you and I have for something they fund towards. So inevitably the gearbox fell apart as the 200+ horsepower the I4 RS2300 engine pumped out was sent through it, but with his ear to the ground, John heard the growing popularity of using Mazda sourced Rx8 6 speed gearboxes as an alternative, due to their cheap costs and easy to find availability, John saw this as a very real option to handle his engines power and his driving style, however they dont simply bolt up to any of fords power units as you'd expect them to, however working for an engineering firm has it perks afterall, John began to mock up h is very own design of an adapter plate to take a RX8 gearbox and mount it to a ford engine. Now they key producer of ford derived RX8 adapter plates and selling them to the UK and overseas John now has more than enough to prove why his mk2 has the credentials to tear up the track of his choosing, and live to drive John back home to the welsh valleys, who needs a trailor! The engine is a RS2000 based 2.3 I4, using the head off the Escort RS2000, and the block of a Galaxy, coupled with its uprated internals, Jenvey throttle bodies producing 208bhp, so with it sounding incredible, going like a molested cat, and the ability to hold down its power, much in thanks to its mk3 capri LSD rear axle, John decided, rallying is something he'd like to dabble in.
After dabbling in some autotest rally events, tarmac and the loose stuff, John took a shine to it, deciding to built the car for competitive events, and tackling his MSA licence along with his partner Rebecca and some mates. The change to MSA logbook prep was straight forward and thanks to his prior events the escort was more than half way there, thing such as a full roll cage, electric cut off, full fire extinguisher systems, we actually had this shoot when Johnathan was waiting on the results of his scrutineering.
On the day, before I left my door step I looked at the 2 vehicles on my drive, one being my daily, a 1999 Ford Cougar 2.5 V6, the other a 1985 Ford Capri 2.0 laser, and en lieu of the shoot ahead of me, I figured the Capri would be a suiting car to take to work today
Getting the experience under his belt, the car is proving to be a real promising effort, and will only improve as more things break and get upgraded! Looking stunning here you see is not how John found it after all, after owning her for a few years, it become quite battered and become in poor visual repair, enough is enough said John, and decided on a home built effort, repairing each panel one by one , adding in the characterful bonnet scoop, working his way back, and respraying the interior along the way, John ended up with a home grown paint job that really sets his hard worked efforts off and resulting in a stunning rally car that looks just as good on the mud as it does a show stand.
Johnathan Hughes the owner.