Like it or not, the Ford Escort Mk2 is by far the most popular rally car in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Now, thanks to Motorsport Tools and MST Cars you can buy a brand new factory fresh version.
Ford’s iconic Mk2 Escort is still driven in anger by countless drivers inspired by early rally legends like Hannu Mikkola, Bjorn Waldegard, and Ari Vatanen. It is no wonder there has been great interest in MST’s version of the celebrated rally car.
The North Wales firm rolled out its very first MST Mk2, which is based on a Group 4 Escort, in the new year. The company gained Individual Vehicle Approval allowing MST to showcase the maiden build with ‘70 registration plates.
Rally Insight spoke to company director, Carwyn Ellis, to find out where the original idea came from.
“Over the last 10 years, we have built up a massive range of Escort rally car parts. A couple of years ago we thought, ‘hang on, now we’ve got all the parts, let’s start building cars.’
“Everyone loves the Escorts from older generations right down to younger kids because of how they are rallied now.
“There are several motorsport preparation companies across the country that reshell Escorts so we wanted to do something a little different.
“We wanted to offer a brand new car and become a car manufacturer rather than just become someone that reconditions an old car.”
Ellis is aiming for MST to continue the project in a professional manner, even hinting at installing a production line in the future.
MST is currently building its first Mk1 which is due to be completed within the next few months. Both the Mk2 and Mk1 will be available in four levels of specification, ranging from “fast road and touring” to “ultimate rally car.”
MST’s unique built-from-scratch offerings allow made-to-order specifications that follow a modernised theme.
“It is all brand new,” explained Ellis. “Of course, you can buy an original Escort but it is very hard to find a nice one and you’ll find it is very expensive.
“The wiring and electrical systems are probably what make it stand out from the original car.
“It has got a power distribution module and between that and the ECU, it controls the whole car. There are no fuses or relays, it is all controlled by the software.
“The electrics are modern which improves the reliability with loads of options like limp modes and other safety features. It also has traction control and launch control, all that sort of stuff.
“The cars are built to order so you can set your own specification, within reason. We are working with an ex-Bentley trimmer on bespoke interior trims. For a road car you can have all the nice trims like leather, alcantara, and suedes.”
The market for Mk2 Escorts has been ever-present for four decades and it doesn’t look like it’s anywhere near coming to an end. What MST has provided is something different, something rally people haven’t seen before.
MST’s first Mk2 build is a significant achievement and the phenomenal response justifies the company’s decision to take a jump into the unknown.
With the Mk1 nearing its completion, the MST Cars project is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Click here to view full specifications of MST’s four Mk1 and Mk2 variants.
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Photos courtesy of MST Cars