A blast from my motorsport past

I’ve mentioned a few times that I used to do rallying in South Africa when I was (much) younger (and a lot less wise).  I drove a Ford Escort Mk. 2 most of the time, with a two-door body and a 1,600cc engine with a manual transmission (stick shift, for Americans).  It had a few components replaced with upgraded versions for sporting use, but basically it was pretty much the same vehicle you could buy off any Ford dealer’s lot.  It’s probably long since been scrapped, but I remember it with fondness.

I was therefore very happy to come across this video of Ford Escort Mk. 2’s rallying in Sweden.  Different country, different terrain, but the same vehicles.  It brought back a lot of happy memories, so I’d like to share it with you.  Enjoy!

Warm fuzzies there . . . The Swedish cars appear to be using the more powerful 2-liter engine, and free-flow exhausts too, so they’ll be a lot more powerful than the one I drove;  but they still look the same.  Mine also looked similar to the bashed one at the end of the clip, on more than one occasion!



  1. @drjim: Oh, yes! I really liked those old Capris. Sleek, sexy and projected a great image, for its day. Of course, as you say, they were greatly underpowered, and unreliable, and cramped, and… but they looked good!

  2. I never had a lick of trouble with mine, but then I only had it three years.

    Just absolute dog as far as performance. The 2 liter Pintos would just blow me away, and most of the time they didn't even know they were "racing"!

    Got great fuel mileage, though!

  3. Hey Peter;

    When I was in Germany in the 80's, I dealt with Ford escorts and Ford Taunus. Several of my friends had those cars and they were pretty good. I was lucky enough to have my Mustang over there.

  4. Thanks. We know what "manual transmission" means. "Stick shift" and "straight shift" are vernacular terms. "Three on the tree" and "four on the floor" are idioms. We use them because they're part of our lexicon, not because we're ignorant of the proper term.

    Try not to be so arrogant. It detracts from your work.

  5. @Shell: Not arrogant in the least – just practical. In my experience, not all Americans understand "manual transmission". Clearly, in yours, they do. I've run into many examples where English-English causes confusion, so in some cases I translate into American-English to avoid confusion. In the same way, since I have a number of overseas readers, I often provide links to Wikipedia or dictionary definitions of terms I use, so that furriners who may not be familiar with them can look them up. Again, practical, not arrogant.

  6. I'm from Atlanta that was founded as a transportation hub and there met people from all over the country and many places throughout the world. I have yet to meet an American from anywhere but New York City who didn't know what a manual transmission. Some New Yorkers never leave the city and get around by train, bus, and taxi. And that was only a couple out of many New Yorkers. Your experience of ignorant-to-begin-with brain-dead criminals is more thorough than mine, though, so maybe that accounts for it.

  7. @Shell: Well, our experiences differ, then. That being the case, if you don't like the way I express myself on my blog, there are many others out there that will doubtless be more to your taste. I suggest you enjoy them.

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