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Rally Pack 2000

Discussing the Retropower Mk1 Escort Project

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Dale put my onto this series and there were a few things discussed about it in one of Cols threads but rather than totally hijack that, I thought I would start thread of its own.

Its an interesting series showing on YouTube. They do seem to like discussing their progress rather than showing it but I still find it fascinating.

Its a commissioned Mk1 Escort build for Formula 1 designer Gordon Murray built by Retropower with a 2lt Cosworth Duratech.

So far there have been 11 Episodes with more to come.

Please feel free to discuss aspects of it.

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I was initially concerned my the ad hoc independent rear suspension layout. But in another thread Dale explained that by using complex suspension geometry software its alot more a thorough design than modifying some Land Rover parts as came across in the video and also one they had tried previously quashing my concerns as to the untested end results.

One of my other questions was how much weight do you actually save using a carbon fibre bonnet and aluminium door skins?

One funny part was their body designer showing renditions exploring the possibility of using quarter rear bumpers at the rear and he says " I dont think that's been used on a Mk1 Escort before". Its funny because the front split bumpers that gives the faster Escorts their distinctive look are rear quarter bumpers of a Mk1 Escort van. So unfortunately Ford thought it up long before the guys at Retropower ever did LOL Ford were the geniuses by simply re-purposing them and adding them to the front.

Another question I had was did anyone know the name of the "New" Momo wheel they were referring too that they decided to put on the car? You don't see the wheel itself just a picture in the office when they were deciding various aspects of the interior

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I just noticed they had put the actual wheel on their mock-up that helped give me a better look at it. I just found the wheel through Ebay. It didnt show up on Ebay Australia but through the UK it pops up.

Its called the Momo Heritage California Classic

MomoHeritageCaliforniaClassic.thumb.jpg.2123b1188cf584cc15a115913adb684d.jpg

Im still toying with the idea of using the half leather/wood Momo wheel I have or to get something more period looking. On the video it seems highly polished but the image just appears their usual satin silver. Would prefer one less hole on the spokes though and without California embossed on it.

Did the steal wheels with caps on that car look bigger than 13in to anyone else?

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ive got to admit, my pal told me about that gordon murry build. and to be honest they may be doing a great job but there videos bored the life out of me. it wouldve been finished a year ago if they stopped talking rather actually doing the car up. i watched the first 3 vids skipping through them. not watched the rest.

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17 minutes ago, RWL81P said:

ive got to admit, my pal told me about that gordon murry build. and to be honest they may be doing a great job but there videos bored the life out of me. it wouldve been finished a year ago if they stopped talking rather actually doing the car up. i watched the first 3 vids skipping through them. not watched the rest.

The main guy does seem to like talking in front the camera more than showing the progress I must admit. I try not let that diminish the work and design of the actual car but I can see how some would find it difficult to get past. I was impressed how they set out computer rendered images of various styles and idea for the customer to choose what they prefer. Im gad the tartan main instrument gauges didn't go ahead! Gordon Murray said that was over the top!

Im not sure I like the Audi vents let alone an extra two of them.

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Some of it bores the hell out of me and I don’t like the dash and I think the rear suspension is going to far away from an escort imo but technically brilliant 

 

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20 minutes ago, notenoughtime said:

Some of it bores the hell out of me and I don’t like the dash and I think the rear suspension is going to far away from an escort imo but technically brilliant 

 

I think the rear end goes too far from what Gordon Murray wanted as well. I think he wanted the fun of a live axle but they talked him into this IRS set up instead. I'm curious about the end result.

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9 minutes ago, Rally Pack 2000 said:

I think the rear end goes too far from what Gordon Murray wanted as well. I think he wanted the fun of a live axle but they talked him into this IRS set up instead. I'm curious about the end result.

Not sure of what the advantage would be over live axle on the rear considering the amount of work required. Certainly different at the other end where there is a lot more going on !

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2 minutes ago, colr6 said:

Not sure of what the advantage would be over live axle on the rear considering the amount of work required. Certainly different at the other end where there is a lot more going on !

It seemed like an expensive upselll to me.

I got the feeling you possibly didn't like the build in general Col or was it just the way they presented it?

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Didn’t watch it all, must admit got bored. Not enough hands on or how to for me to keep interested.

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1 minute ago, colr6 said:

Didn’t watch it all, must admit got bored. Not enough hands on or how to for me to keep interested.

Yes that does seem to be the main issue with their presentation. I may try watch another of their builds and see if its the same

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With something like that, to me would deserve an in depth whys and wherefores and advantages. How to build on the lines that a handy joe bloggs could do. Without using computer aids and fancy equipment. Somethings like driveshafts unless a stock one from a current vehicle would have to be done by a specialist.

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They built a mate of mines car, leo from off here, their work is superb, two very clever lads, and very helpful too. Actually saw the mk1 this weekend but they have so much other going on its hard to pay attention to anything before your eyes wonder off to something else they are doing!

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1 minute ago, khanlad said:

They built a mate of mines car, leo from off here, their work is superb, two very clever lads, and very helpful too. Actually saw the mk1 this weekend but they have so much other going on its hard to pay attention to anything before your eyes wonder off to something else they are doing!

Is their work really expensive? I had heard a figure of 75 grand being put out there for the Escort. Everyone agrees the quality is always high though. How far along was the Escort?

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If they produced videos as good as Leo’s car I’d be ordering a box set!!

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Ive no idea, would imagine they are competitive, their place is full of jobs in different states of being done and finishing off, so they are doing something right? We were only there for about half an hr on saturday. Last time we went up was june time and it was a good 3 or 4 hrs the mk1 was still in the fabrication bit of the unit then, its in paint now semi back together. They do loads of fabriction stuff, anything you could think of, if you died and ended up in their unit youd think it was heaven! Its like a child let loose in willy wonkas chocolate factory without umpa lumpa's

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I've not re-watched the episode where they specced the engine, but I think they opted for the 2.3 litre. 

If you watch the episode where they paint it, the man hours and different stages of prep and paint must come to thousands of pounds. In fairness to Retro power, the protection and paint process was incredible. 

If money was no object for myself, I'd be happy for these guys to do a full resto on my car, but keeping a live Ford back axle. I wouldn't say no to a 2.3 Duratec either, but I'd push for a BDA cam cover and Jenvey Heritage throttle bodies to look period. 

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2 hours ago, notenoughtime said:

Some of it bores the hell out of me and I don’t like the dash and I think the rear suspension is going to far away from an escort imo but technically brilliant 

 

agreed, an old car should drive like an old car if its an old car your after.  albeit faster, stop better and more reliable.

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They really didn't like the GT style instruments and said as much and instead based their reinterpretation on the tiny two dial dash which I would have thought given its a Twincam inspired car they would have found a way to improve the GT 6 dial dash.

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Out of curiosity, how many Mk1 Escort owners on the forum have kept with he smaller twin Instrument Cluster rather than going to a 6 dial?

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You've got to remember who this car is for - Gordon Murray - who probably knows exactly what he wants and would no doubt ask for it! They more than likely did lots of concepts on paper pre fabrication - designing on paper is shed loads cheaper than metal fabrication! I guess in modern dashes you don't expect to see the 'minor' gauges all the time hence moving them out of the drivers eye line. This car isn't a rebuild its an evolution of the species and you must admit the standard of fabrication is outstanding.

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Jesus, I haven't even watched the videos and I think they're boring! Way to sell it to us guys! :blah::blah:

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Out of curiosity, how many Mk1 Escort owners on the forum have kept with he smaller twin Instrument Cluster rather than going to a 6 dial?
Yup, two dials here. 1100 wing badges too. Pretty much everything else has been upgraded or modified though.
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9 hours ago, katana said:

You've got to remember who this car is for - Gordon Murray - who probably knows exactly what he wants and would no doubt ask for it! They more than likely did lots of concepts on paper pre fabrication - designing on paper is shed loads cheaper than metal fabrication! I guess in modern dashes you don't expect to see the 'minor' gauges all the time hence moving them out of the drivers eye line. This car isn't a rebuild its an evolution of the species and you must admit the standard of fabrication is outstanding.

Gordan does know what he wants but my only real small niggly issue I have with the project is that when they don't want to go the direction that Gordon clearly set out then they cut the conversation short and deliberately try to force it a certain direction. The instruments were a case in point. They from the start wanted to create a centre gauge arrangement. That however would conflict with the original 6 dial dash design and maligned it in order to do so. Gordon's original concept is for effectively a remade Twincam and the 6 dial dash is foundation for that design for all the sporting Mk1s to come. Using the smaller dials to facilitate a secondary gauge cluster in the centre doesn't gel with Twincam homage to me but rather smacks as a teen chav sticking on gauges to make his 1100 popular seem more sporty. I do like the smaller instrument cars in their own right however and the question above was not to imply they look bad but rather  to see how many people have still kept their smaller instrument clusters. (I bought one just yesterday to try some bulbs in) They also move the project down the IRS route which I think could ultimately backfire on them. If you watch the episodes where they are discussing the paper concepts the guy does a whole lot of giggling and hastens decisions about certain things that they don't want to dwell on in case it changes their preconceived ideas. To be fair though I think he is nervous and doesn't want to aggressively challenge Gordon on certain aspects so he pushes in a more subtle way. While it grates on me I do understand it.

8 hours ago, Vista said:

Jesus, I haven't even watched the videos and I think they're boring! Way to sell it to us guys! :blah::blah:

While its true I challenge some of their ideas and direction but that's the fun of having a discussion about it is how we would do it differently and is in no way meant as denigration of the series. In fact the opposite is true.  It wouldn't be much of a discussion if we all said wow isn't that great and that was it. I really quite enjoyed it and given its free to watch would thoroughly recommend watching it.  To their defence and a point alot of people may be missing is that they aren't making a restoration video and you have to keep that prominent in your mind as your not going to see much of the actual work taking place, only interim progress reports when the workshop is quiet enough to do so with an overlay of their future plans and ideas. I respect it for that reason and am not bothered by it not being a conventional restoration program. Its that difference that makes it unique. As Katana states the workmanship is incredible and I enjoy that aspect of a professional build as opposed to the usual home builds constrained by budgets and family pressures. Its a reflection of where these cars now have a higher respected status to warrant spending budgets that we have only previously seen on upmarket sports cars before. We all may have ideas how we would do things a bit differently but we can also draw ideas from it. The steering wheel discussion in the Australian Twincam thread is a case in point. The series highlighted Gordons preference for thinner classic steering wheels in period cars and made such a valid case that I am now looking to do the same and I see how my modern fingergrip wheel really doesn't do the classic interior any justice. I even like the very wheel they chose for his car so I have definitely derived positive inspiration from it. I don't think any of the criticism of certain aspects of the build I have seen here is in any way suggest this project is a waste or pointless far from it. (Only the format may make it hard for some to watch.) Im getting ideas from the show and from others pointing out how they would do it differently. So please dont interpret any discussion on aspects of the build as a total rejection of it. Its a great project.

You have to admit though the idea of tartan gauges was worthy of castigation LOL

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35 minutes ago, HotRodMatt said:
14 hours ago, Rally Pack 2000 said:
Out of curiosity, how many Mk1 Escort owners on the forum have kept with he smaller twin Instrument Cluster rather than going to a 6 dial?

Yup, two dials here. 1100 wing badges too. Pretty much everything else has been upgraded or modified though.

Im glad that some have still kept with the original 2 dial gauges. I like them both in their own right on the respective cars that they came with.

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