Ford Escort RS1800
Escort RS1800 (Escort Mk II) : This is a Rally Giant because it was consistently the fastest, the most successful and the most versatile car in the second half of the 1970s. Developed from the Mk I, it was a conventional front engine/rear drive machine, which rallied with 2-litre engines of up to 270bhp. Rally successes were legendary – British (RAC), Safari, Acropolis, Finland (1000 Lakes), Sweden, Portugal, Canada – and more and more. They won 17 World Rallies between 1975 and 1981. RS1800s won the World Makes Championship in 1979, and were always close to victory, and always competitive. Escort drivers like Bjorn Waldegard (1979) and Ari Vatanen (1981) won the World Drivers’ Championships. Over the years hundreds – and this is no exaggeration – of RS1800s were built for motor sport, and were the ideal car for almost any condition in the world because they were very powerful, but simple and rugged. The RS1800 was also the layout template which was copied by other manufacturers – for cars like the Talbot Sunbeam-Lotus, the Vauxhall Chevette HSR and the Nissan GTs of the late 1970s/early 1980s, which were really all Escort ‘clones’. Ford claim, and they may be right, that RS1800s have won more rallies, at World, International and National level than any other car in the world.