Ken Block’s new toy is a glorious 1978 Ford Escort [video]

The Ford Escort is a powerful name in motorsport folklore after it set the hearts and minds of working class petrolheads ablaze in the late seventies, while capturing the imagination of World Rally Championship fans in the same era.

Today, the car received yet another hat tip, this time from Ken Block.

Hoonigan Industries today announced that his new Gymkhana ride will be a 1978 Mk2 Ford Escort, which could be his most entertaining ride to date.

It’s his first with rear-wheel only drive (others sporting easier-to-handle all-wheel drive) and boasts around 333bhp on tap from a 2.5-litre four cylinder engine that revs up to 9000rpm. To manage this mayhem, there’s a six-speed sequential gearbox, and Block’s right foot.

“This Escort Mk2 is special to me, it’s actually my first Ford rally car,” recalls Block.

I purchased it in 2008. It was designed to compete in tarmac events, but unfortunately those are quite lacking now stateside, so instead of converting it into a gravel machine, I had my team at Hoonigan Racing Division extend on its tarmac capabilities and develop it into the ultimate rear wheel-drive Gymkhana car.

Hoonigan and Block suggest that a proper Gymkhana video featuring the Escourt will arrive in 2016, but for now, have a look at the garage shakedown below.

Feature image: Hoonigan

Andy Walker, former editor


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