Although it shared its Kent Crossflow engine with the AVO-built Escort Mk1 Mexico, the 1600 Sport was part of the main Escort Mk2 range and not a member of the more expensive and specialised RS family. It used a lightly uprated and lowered version of the standard Escort Mk2’s suspension rather than the more competition focussed systems offered on the RS models but did feature a GT specification engine with a twin-choke Weber carburettor and high-lift camshaft plus a slick-changing close-ratio gearbox.
Each of Britain’s 570 Ford dealerships was issued with an orange 1600 Sport to be displayed prominently on the launch day of the Mk2 Escort range, March 4th, 1975. The Escort Sport modelled was ordered in this unusual colour scheme by Ford dealership Tricentrol Cars, Chelmsford, to serve as the company’s demonstrator. First registered on August 1st, 1979, it clocked up 8,000 miles before being offered for sale in April 1980 priced at £2999.
Essex-based Keith Wilkinson noticed it when driving past, part-exchanged his Austin 1300GT for the Escort, and subsequently drove it all over Europe to compete in athletics meetings. It was impacted from behind by a London taxi in 1996 and written off because repair was considered economically unviable. Keith, however, purchased the salvage, had it repaired to factory specification and has since used it as a classic car. This one-owner vehicle has covered 130,000 miles but remains in excellent condition.