There’s a good chance that this particular build has made more people aware of Retropower and the work we’re capable of than any other, the Gordon Murray Mk1. The multi-part video log detailing the conception, design and fabrication of this very special Escort has attracted tens of thousands of views from across the globe, a response that’s been as heartening as it was unexpected.
Gordon Murray, the design and engineering genius behind a string of world beating Brabham and McLaren F1 cars in the 1980s (not to mention a little known supercar called the McLaren F1), came to us with a fairly open-ended brief; he wanted us to build him a Mk1 with classic, Twin Cam-esqu looks, and a modern engine connected to a six-speed gearbox. The car also had to be useable enough to drive on the public road on a semi-regular basis, as evidenced by his request for excellent interior ergonomics, ventilation and a comfy yet sporting driving position.
The best way of fully understanding both the scope and the scale of this build is to watch the 8 part (and counting) video series on either the relevant page of our website or YouTube, but just in case you can’t or haven’t, here’s a rundown of what’s happened to the car so far and what will take place in the coming months.
The rolling shell of a Mk1 Escort was dropped off at Retropower in Autumn of last year, whereupon it was stripped back, blasted and any rust treated in an extended metalwork stage. It has been treated to a long list of custom fabrication work, much of it centred upon strengthening and bracing the shell in readiness for a life spent being driven in a spirited fashion, plus a TIG brazing session.
The Escort has since been media blasted, zinc metal sprayed, epoxied and seam sealed, meaning it’ll soon be time to prep it for paint.
It will eventually gain a Cosworth Duractec mated to a Mazda six-speed gearbox, custom front and rear suspension, and a bespoke interior with more than a few nods to its owner’s design and engineering background.
Designing and building a car for one of the 20th century’s foremost automotive minds? No problem.