Ford Escort Mk2 1.6 Harrier, Strato Silver
The Escort won the RAC Rally eight times consecutively from 1972 to 1979 and Ford clinched their first Manufacturers' World Rally Championship in 1979. The limited edition Escort Harrier was built to celebrate this and was advertised heavily on TV with Escort rally footage morphing into the road car jumping a crest while a voice-over asked, "wouldn't you like to take off in a Harrier?" conflating the bird living on the rally's route with the RAF's jump-jet. Only 1500 were produced, 1000 white and 500 of the optional silver (£35.83 extra). It was based on the 'Kent' engined 1600 Sport but featured unique graphics, black Beta-cloth 'fishnet' Recaro seats and RS 4-spoke alloy-wheels.
The Harrier modelled was first registered in Chester on March 1st 1980 and cost £4492. It was modified later in its life and had 13 owners before being purchased by County Durham-based stonemason and Ford enthusiast, Stuart Fooks, in June 2016. He has commenced an extensive restoration, working with local Ford specialist Kevin Smith, and the pair have found many problems, mainly the result of poor quality repairs to serious corrosion, which included the fitment of replacement front wings over the original factory units! He is restoring the car back to factory specification, visually, and has already refurbished a set of the correct alloy wheels but intends to leave the limited slip differential and tuned engine running twin Weber 40 DCOE carburettors in place.