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Video: this is Ken Block’s 333bhp MkII Ford Escort, and we want it
The Hoonigan is back, with a very tuned late Seventies rally car
When TG visited Ken Block’s lair of much driftage earlier this year, the Hoonigan himself gave us a tantalising glimpse of something a bit special - a 70s MKII Ford Escort with several metres of extra wheelarch and a trick diff.
“First time I ever drove one [a MKII Escort] was in the Colin McRae Memorial Rally. That was my first time ever trying to drive a rear-wheel car in a rally. And I just sucked at it. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was,” Block told us.
“Ever since then, I wanted to get better at it and wanted to own one myself. So I bought a light tarmac build a couple years ago, and I broke it in the two [gravel] rallies I tried to race it in. So we decided to make it into an all-tarmac car, and for me, that meant making it a Gymkhana car.”
Well, this is that car, finally unveiled with a suitably smoky, typically Blocky burnout video. Beneath the MkII Escort’s bonnet, which has been unsubtly decked out with a huge American flag motif, is a 2.5-litre, naturally aspirated four-cylinder ‘Millington’ engine.
The 333bhp on offer is sent to the rear-wheels via a sequential six-speed ‘box. Adequate in a machine born in the late Seventies. More than adequate is the 9,000rpm red-line…
The body comes courtesy of Japanese firm Rocket Bunny, who borrowed heavily from Block’s other creations to come up with something that looks every inch the mini-Hoonicorn (the 845bhp, AWD Mustang that starred in Gymkhana 7). The custom fifteen52 wheels are shod with Pirelli rubber for optimum smokiness.
“I’m stoked with how the whole thing turned out,” says Block. “My team and Graham Quick at Quick Motorsport in the U.K. did a great job on the build of the car, Rocket Bunny did an awesome job with the exterior styling.”
The car will make its first public appearance at the Gymkhana GRID Finale here in the U.K, with a “bigger video project” featuring the Escort slated for 2016. Need any drivers, Ken?