Sometimes there are rivalries in the automotive business. People usually take sides and start debating which is best: BMW or Mercedes, Gemballa or Techart, USA or Japan etc. There are two companies based in UK, Ford in the suburb of Dagenham in London and Vauxhall in the town of Luton, nearly 50 miles away. There are also people that cross the barriers and, in this case, built a Vauxhall powered Ford Escorts. This is Paul Reene.
Paul has owned the car for over ten years and it has seen several modification stages, like a Pinto and a more modern Zetec swap until getting this engine. This represents the experience a man got by building his dream car while retaining the things that made it special.
The car was in great condition so it didn’t need a lot of metalwork for rust removal, so Paul stripped the whole body down and added a FIA compliant rollcage and seam welding the shell. With the added weight Paul started removing all non-essential parts or lightening others. For further weight saving there is only one aluminium Kirkey race seat, fiberglass front panel, hood, front wings, doors and boot lid. Thanks to all of these the Escort weighs 770 kg (1,697lb).
Power is provided by a 250 hp JRE-built C20XE engine, not bad for such a supple car. This means the car has over 320hp/ton which is impressive. The engine benefits from forged pistons and rods, custom JRE camshafts with Turbosport 6-bolt camshaft pulleys, oversized valves, ARP bolts, Jenvey 48mm throttle bodies, a C. Bradley Motorsport fuel rail along with fuel filter fittings, a set of Siemens blue injectors, a Rad Fix custom radiator, a special Tony Law exhaust manifold and a custom side-exit exhaust system, a Pace dry sump system and last but not least, a DTA Pro 40 standalone engine management unit. The fuel cell was buried deep down in the rear floor and uses a Sytec fuel pump.
In order to get the best out of engine, the driveline consists of a Quaife 60G 6-speed sequential gearbox with flat shift hardware, a Fostek custom English axle along with a Tean X LSD, a Skeleton flywheel with 7.5’ AP Racing twin-plate clutch. This enables the car do to a 0-60nph sprint in 4.3 sec.
Grip is provided by the Dunlop slick mounted on the Compomotive CXR wheels measuring 9×13’ upfront and 10×13’ in the rear. The GAZ coilovers with remote damper reservoirs also get the job done, this is a track car after all. The brakes have been swapped with AP Racing 4-pot calipers in the front and AP Racing 2-pot calipers in the back with drilled discs. The pedalbox was fabricated by OBP and it features Wilwood master cylinders. Also the handbrake was replaced with a Group 4 hydraulic unit.