The Ford Escort RS1800 was one Ford’s most prosperous motorsport vehicles and made its first appearance at the Granite City Rally in 1975, where Roger Clark took first place in the car in the inaugural rally.
Many other established rally drivers gained glory using the Escort RS1800, including Timo Makinen, Bjorn Waldegard and Ari Vatanen. As the Ford Escort RS1800 successfully clinched races for rally drivers it became a dominant feature within motorsport and has been hailed as “one of the most successful rally cars ever built”.
It’s believed that there are no more than 109 built in total, so by nature they are elusive vehicles that pique interest.
This vehicle, the Lord Ford Escort, has been built by Russell Lord and entwines his 45 years of experience as a rally driver, enthusiast and diamond mounter into one unified project. The result of which was inspired by Russell’s son, Rob, who unearthed the remains of his father’s project (which originally amassed 25 years of work prior), three years ago. The model Ford Escort RS1800 was built as a replica of Ari Vatanen’s campaign vehicle in the 70’s.
The model measures just over 6 inches and weighs less than a kilogram. But despite its small stature, the model is embedded with gold, silver and platinum as well as decorated with diamonds, sapphires and rubies. It also features a full-roll cage, spotlights and rallying bucket seats. Russell commented that, “this ain’t no ordinary little car. This is a proper car.”
Around 70-80% of the model is made in silver, including the bodyshell and floorpans. Yet the rear spoiler and bonnet hinges are gold, with white gold used on the radiator grille which sporting ‘LORD’ in place of ‘FORD’. Such small, intricate details really embody what makes this model so distinctive and individual. The headlights of the model feature 65-point diamonds, whilst the lower spotlights entail 75-point diamonds and the upper spotlights are over a carat each, individually.
Both sets of indicators are embellished with orange sapphires, whilst rubies were used for the rear brake lights, blue sapphire for the rear Ford badge and a diamond for the reversing light. The model truly is a testament to Lord’s skill and conscientiousness - each element of the model has been carefully recreated to match the original vehicle. The careful recreation even extends to the car being left-hand-drive, the driver’s seat has a fixed back and the navigator’s seat even reclines just as the original Vatanen’s vehicle did.
Russell Lord will be splitting the proceeds from this auction across an array of charities he is passionate about, including children’s charities SNAP (Special Needs and Parents,) BOSP (Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play), Meningitis Now and the Maddi Foundation whose mission is to find a cure for a form of Motor Neurone Disease. Our partner, the Market, who are hosting the auction on behalf of Russell Lord are even waiving their usual 5% fee and are donating it as part of the charity distribution.
You can view Russell Lord making the model and speaking about his background here.
To find out more details about this truly incredible model, visit the listing on the Market and prepare to be astounded.