The world’s most famous Mk2 Escort

IB780 has been driven by a multitude of World Rally champions on New Zealand's Otago Classic Rally

DKP 191T? Or maybe POO 505R? Actually, neither.

Try IB780.

What am I talking about? The world’s favorite Ford Escort RS1800. The world’s most famous Mk2. Ari Vatanen’s Rothmans-liveried Acropolis-winner from 1981 was famous enough, but when DKP 191T morphed into ‘black beauty’ for the following year’s British championship it was surely the Escort for everybody?

Yes and no. It was always an Ari car back in the day.

For many, if you wanted a real RS1800 with Boreham provenance, it needed to come with a POO plate. And Roger Clark’s 1976 RAC-winning POO 505R is a great example.

Once Clark had secured his second home win, it was refettled and liveried for Russell Brookes and Björn Waldegård before heading for the pre-eminent private hands of Jeff Churchill, Drew Gallacher and Francis Tuthill.

That’s a great list. But still, it’s not as good as IB780.

Team Rossendale’s RS1800 has had a galaxy of stars aboard – and usually always on the brilliant South Island roads of New Zealand’s Otago Classic Rally. Hannu Mikkola, Bjorn Waldegård, Michèle Mouton, Jimmy McRae, Juha Kankkunen, Vatanen, Markko Märtin and Mads Østberg have all pedalled this particular example.

How did they get on? Watch here for some spectacular sideways, archive action aboard the world’s most famous Mk2.