Ranked: Top 11 Fast Fords that'll tickle your nostalgia bone
Everyone's second favourite car brand
How can you not love a classic Ford? If they aren't your favourite brand, they are in your top three, guaranteed. You can put them solidly in the 'working class hero' category, which, for a lot of the world and the UK especially, is the best category. Performance on a budget, but with enough charisma and simplicity to satisfy all of your needs.
Prices of fast Fords have skyrocketed in recent years, with more and more of the people that dreamt about them in the '90s having disposable income to go out and fulfil those dreams of sliding over their bonnet and chasing down a ruddy perp. Fast Fords are a much cheaper option to tingle those nostalgic wet dreams than getting wealthy enough to make yourself sexually attractive to Pamela Anderson.
I'm well aware that Ford almost have a completely new portfolio in each continent, so this list is focussed at the UK market, but let me know in the comments of your favourite Ford from your home country and I'll do future fast Ford lists.
Top 11 fast Fords that'll make Jet from Gladiators fancy you
11) Ford Escort XR3
Kicking off strong. Ooh, those rims are already casting you back to a simpler time. Your phone was in the hall and you had to sit in a chair as the cord wasn't that long, didn't you? I don't see how anyone can't like this body shape now. I can already smell the interior from just this picture.
10) Ford Fiesta XR2
Cast your mind back to a time when hot hatches weren't all about power… or speed. The kings of that period were Peugeot and VW. However, Ford were making pocket rockets that had the yooves spilling their cartons of Um Bongo on the Kwik Save car park floor.
9) Ford Capri 2.8i
This bad boy may not have had the speed you'd expect from the body shape, but my god was it cool. The 1.6 Laser was slower than Chris Tarrant revealing a 'Who wants to be a millionaire?' answer, but the 2.8i had a decent enough amount of poke to satisfy.
8) Ford Escort RS Turbo
I'm pretty sure this was on the front of 'Max Power' magazine 12 months of the year. If you had one of these in the '90s, you were basically the king of the road… if the road in questions is the M1 from Kettering to Slough.
7) Ford Escort RS1600
In the '70s and '80s, Ford started to really put their name on the motorsport map. The first to really grab the public's attention was the Escort RS1600. At the hands of Ari Vatanen, it was pure poetry in motion.
6) Ford Focus RS Mk1
A more modern Ford than the previous entrants, but a more than worthy contender. The Focus RS Mk1 came out to mixed reviews but its main compromises were for every day life and not for a fun drive. The steering is twitchy for a commute to work, but a spirited drive in the countryside means that that translates to razor sharp handling. It also looks the absolute dog's.
5) Ford Lotus Cortina
A car that was ingrained into my young impressionable brain as god-like (mainly due to my dad waxing lyrical about it.) All you need to know about the Lotus Cortina is that Jim Clark and Graham Hill drove them and that makes them ruddy cool. Clark took the '64 BTCC title in this and mostly on three spiffing wheels.
4) Ford Escort Cosworth RS
Wing. That is all.
3) Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500
The ultimate Ford for driving through a Halfords and seeing how much stuff sticks. Stick a wing on it, a plastic splitter and basically make it the car modders envisioned when they started their build. Instead of their Frankenstein horror show, the Sierra Cosworth gave them a car that was modified with, dare I say it, taste.
2) Ford GT40
I mean, how could I have a list of fast Fords and not include the GT40. I drove one earlier this year and I still think about it on a daily basis. If you look closely, you can see my petrified/ecstatic face in the image above.
1) Ford RS200
The rally car for the road. There is only one Ford that can beat the GT40 in my list and it is the car that completely stole my affection as a kid. It is ugly as sin, but that didn't matter one iota. It was just utterly bonkers. The RS200 held an almost mythical status. If I wasn't a good boy, it would come into my room and night smash my teeth in.
Are there any I missed? For the Americans and Australians, what are the nostalgic Fords that get your juices flowing? Let me know in the comments.