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Question of the Week

Question of the Week: what's the greatest Fast Ford ever built?

The Escort Cosworth or the Sierra RS500? Perhaps even the Focus RS or the little Racing Puma? The list of candidates is… lengthy

Published: 05 Feb 2024

Oh boy, we can already feel the arguments brewing. Ford is so often cited as one of the world’s largest and greatest manufacturers, providing safe, well-made carriages for families since the days of Tutankhamun. 

But every once in a while, the spotty interns are allowed to let their hair down to build a product which truly exemplifies the meaning of ‘win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday’. And sell they have; Ford’s unofficially nicknamed ‘Fast’ range has been blessed with some properly rowdy metal, and it all started with the modest Cortina MK1

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Built to be the only car you’d ever need to carry you, your family, and your four-legged gift from above around the country, it was characterised by prudent fuel consumption and completely unassuming looks. But in 1963 - still three years before Ford would ultimately put Ferrari and its raucous 330 P4 to the sword - the Blue Oval gave the Cortina a pair of Lotus-branded dancing shoes which nobody believed it would fit into. It did. Snugly. 

Not only did the Lotus Cortina go on to win various racing championships around the world - driven by icons like Jim Clark - but this motorsport success had a seismic effect on sales figures. Ford then ran with this idea, and that oh-so-famous motto was born and duly transmitted to cars like the Escort, Focus, and Sierra

There is, of course, a bit of an elephant in the room to address here: some parts of the Fast Ford audience and their behaviour had a bit of an influence on associating this catalogue of cars with a hint of… well, rowdiness.

But still, even the most suede-suited, black-booted, master of economics would struggle to avoid the appeal factor. If anything, said person would probably ditch the lapels and pocket squares for rags and bling. But rightfully so; it’s the Fast Ford way, and we completely approve.

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So we ask you, dear Top Gear community: which of the long list of Fast Fords takes the number one spot? Let us know in the comment section below, and as we’ve done since the start of this series, the most thought-out and clinical argument will get featured in Friday’s result post. Happy quarrelling, readers!

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