Now don’t get me wrong, 2 wheels is where my heart lies, but there is just something about a clean purposeful classic, and Peter Wells Mk2 Escort is just that.
Almost a poster child for local car meet specialist Cruise Herts, it has already gotten its fair share of attention. Sat among Jap tuners and slammed Euro cars, the distinctive Nordic Blue Ford sporting quad rally lights had only recently been on another photoshoot, Peter told me while a small army cleaned up the remains of burnouts from the 13 inch Superlights.
‘My dad had a Trials Mk2 when I was younger, and learnt to drive in it when I was 11, but I didn’t think much of it then.’ It wasn’t till he saw a track specced version at 13 that really caught Peter’s eye.
‘Bought it at 16 for when I passed my test’ but it was a 1300L back then, on its first of 3 engines under Peters ownership. ‘I went to Wales with all the lads and promptly blew up the engine on an 800 mile trip’
This set about his hunt for a new engine, which again was a 1.3l until Peter managed to source the 1.6 you see today. Now bored out to 1700cc with a 5 speed Sierra gearbox from the old 4 speed. It has a Piper fast road cam, Lightened flywheel, forged Acrelite pistons, twin choke down Webber carbs and it has a ported and flowed head by Mass Race engines. Samco hoses help keep it all cool.
‘Its 130bhp at the crank right now, but twin 40 webber carbs will be going on, so I should see 165-170’…..not bad for a 36 year old car. A 3j LSD puts that power to the tarmac and 2.5 inches lower at all four corners keeps it planted, well enough to spin up the rear. It’s not all go though with ported stainless piston callipers able to slow down an already light car pretty quickly.
Inside is pretty basic with a head unit only recently been fitted, though the full Piper stainless system comes pretty close to music. The centre console is all custom made with enough switches to make you feel like you’re in an actual rally car. The simple steering wheel and original clocks help with the vibe.
‘My aims have been to just get it as low and light as possible, and make a decent amount of power out of an engine designed in the late 60’s’ I think you have managed that pretty well Mr Wells.
Photo’s: Wil Collins
Car Owner: Peter Wells
Words By: Wil Collins