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• Why Ford decided to produce high performance cars.
• Why Ford created the AVO facility to build Rallye Sport cars.
• How Ford RS cars were conceived and approved for production.
• Insight into the management processes of a multi-national corporation.
• Who was behind the creation of successful Rallye Sport Cars.
• What had to be done to be sure of making rally/race winners.
• Inside story of creation and manufacture of RS200 Rally Car.
• Inside story of creation and production of World Champion Sierra RS500.
• Why did thousands of enthusiastic customers buy Rallye Sport cars.
• What was it like having a career in the Motor Industry.
The inside story of how Rallye Sport Fords were created by Ford in the 70s and 80s, enabling works’ and private teams to be fully competitive in national and international rallies and races, to win many championships, and for RS cars to be bought by over 100,000 enthusiast customers! With around 200 photos and illustrations, many previously unpublished, this formerly untold story is brought vividly to life.
The inside story of the creation of Rallye Sport Fords in the 70s and 80s. Popular with enthusiasts, essential for works teams and private owners to compete in motorsport, these affordable performance cars achieved phenomenal success in rallying and racing.
In the 60s, Ford built the sensational Le Mans-winning GT40, started making high-performance production cars the Lotus Cortina and Twin Cam Escort, began recognising how motorsport success had improved the company’s image, and sponsored Cosworth in Formula 1. Two Motorsport works teams were developed: Boreham, Essex for rallying and Cologne, Germany for Touring Car racing.
In 1970 Ford established Advanced Vehicle Operations (AVO) in the UK, with 350 people, to produce limited volume sporting Ford cars. The first was to have been the GT70, a two-seater sports car for rallying, but it was never made. All subsequent AVO Rallye Sport cars were based on production Fords. They sold to thousands of customers, and in the UK spawned the Ford RS and AVO Owners Clubs.
Most significant was the Escort RS1600/1800, with its Cosworth engine, the mainstay of many rally teams, while Escort Mexico and RS2000 were used by enthusiastic Clubmen. The Ford Escort won more competition events than any other single marque in motorsport history. There was also the Capri RS2600 in Germany, winner of many Touring Car race championships.
In 1975 the energy crisis and company politics caused AVO to close, but its design principles evolved later into Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE), since responsible for many sporting derivatives, starting with the Capri 2.8i and Escort XR3i.
This story moves to Ford Motorsport in the 80s, behind the scenes of a second breed of motorsport-inspired Rallye Sport cars. The Clubmens Escort RS Turbo, the sensational Sierra RS Cosworth, the technically advanced RS200 four-wheel drive International Rally Car, the World Touring Car Champion Sierra RS500 Cosworth, the Escort RS Cosworth four-wheel drive International Rally Car, and other projects that never made it.
Mike Moreton, car enthusiast and engineer, spent 23 years at Ford in the frontline, working for Stuart Turner as Product Planner and Project Manager, making it all happen – first at AVO, and subsequently at Ford Motorsport, working with talented and dedicated people, negotiating with industry giants, and meeting celebrities. This is his story of the Rallye Sport cars, from dream to reality, how and why they happened, the political arguments, the failures and the successes.
"Some unpublished photos and a well-written account of the Ford Motorsport over the years. With its successes in the '70s and '80s this is a real story of progression, innovation and leading the way in motorsport." – Track & Race Cars
"It's an interesting tale, a mixture between an autobiography and a marque history ... Chuck in some fascinating archive and this is a must for fans of the Blue Oval's hottest offerings." – Classic & Sports Car
"... Moreton provides a unique insider's view of not only the engineering aspects but also the personalities and politics behind the ultra-successful Rallye Sport cars." – Speedscene
"Moreton relates the real story behind the Rallye Sport cars, from dream to reality, how and why they happened, the behind-the-scenes arguments, the failures and the resounding successes. An interesting read." – totalkitcar.com
"The inside story of how Rallye Sport Fords were created by Ford in the '70s and '80s ... With around 200 photos and illustrations, many previously unpublished; this formerly untold story is brought vividly to life." – Startline
"Excellent detail on our favourite-badged cars." – Classic Ford
"If you are interested in PS Fords then this is a must-have book for you. It is a very well illustrated book with many pictures I'd never seen before. This book nicely depicts his life and details the Ford RS section of it in a very interesting way ... worth buying for the pictures alone." – Havoc