Recreating my Favourite childhood Rally Car
Modernising the iconic Valvoline Escort.
Taking a few steps back, late last year I was scanning the internet for my next “build” (in the digital realm). I found a 3D model of a Ford Escort RS Cosworth which looked okay..ish, but when I started working on it I found the quality of this model was actually pretty poor. So no matter how polished my additions to this car could be, the project was destined to look rushed and unrefined. The ol’ polishing a turd mentality springs to mind here.
The not so great base model for a project.
Early attempts at a modified Cossie.
Having the rough 3D model of the Cossie as foundation, I figured it would be a good opportunity to completely redesign it. And so, I spent a couple months designing a modernised Cosworth concept. This project imagined what a modern day Escort Rs Cosworth would look like, in my personal view. Wider body, large front grille, large diffuser and smaller wail tail. Owen Johnson (fellow Drivetriber) wrote an article about my design a while back:
This also featured on a few auto journalist sites like Motor1 and Carbuzz:
Here's some photos of my concept:
Once the project was done I figured it would be a good time to convert it into a full blown Rallycross car and see my design at its most extreme. At the time I was really into a few of the Dirt rally games and a particular Mitsubishi Evo X in Rallycross guise and Rockstar livery struck a chord with me. The big wing, the red mud flaps, the fender flares and all the other details had a great overall look. The plan was to give similar treatment to my Cosworth concept, but in a way that suited my design.
Screengrab from Gran Turismo 2.
When combining the words “Escort” + “Rally”, I instantly reverted back to my childhood. Very early 2000s, engrossed in Gran Turismo 2 on Playstation 1. One of the cars I’ve never forgotten is the Escort Rally car with the iconic white and blue Valvoline livery. This made my mind up as to which livery I would put on my car, without a doubt!
On the bonnet I designed a set of rally lights, but I didn’t want to just slap on four standard circular lights and call it a day. With my concept having heavily slimmed down headlights, I used the same theme in the rally lights.
On the sides of the front bumper I added “C” shape add-ons over the side air inlets, finished in metallic blue. Simple wheel arch extensions were added in order to not over complicate the body style, and behind these are some bright red mud flaps.
I designed the wheels to look like modern OZ Racing wheels, but with some unique touches of my own, as well as white narrows in the front and blue wides at the back. Also, some “Cosworth RX” tyre lettering, in case you forgot what car I was attempting to build.
On the roof I added a scoop that rises just behind the windscreen and blends in with the rest of the black roof. Other additions include the window vents, racing side mirrors colour coded to driver and passenger, larger side air channels and a black strip at the bottom of the A-Pillars for a more modern look.
At the back I added a large Rallycross wing, with high brake lights mounted on the outer vertical slats. In the number plate recess area I added more mesh and ventilation details and in the lower bumper area, a large squared off diffuser with a single exhaust.
Once all the aforementioned details were done, I designed the livery to be quite close to the classic Valvoline livery. Some of the most notable changes being the blue bonnet instead of blue accents running into the front wheels, as well as the giant Ford logo on the side running over the windows. In order for the Ford logos to look as if they aren’t covering too much of the car, the areas that cover the windows are finished in matte black.
This was a challenging project but rewarding to see a favourite childhood icon morph into a modern creation of my own. I hope this bit of retro rally-ness has brought a some joyus nostalgia in the times of a grim global pandemic!