Your eyes do not deceive you: that really is a Mk2 Ford Escort on a 70-plate. Well, almost - this is a box-fresh replica from a company called MST.
The Welsh outfit has been making replacements Mk1 and Mk2 Escort bodyshells for some time now, primarily for use in rallying. Now, it’s gone one step further by offering a completed car, fully registered for road use via the UK’s Individual Type Approval system.
MST offers buyers the choice of Mk1 and Mk2 shells, which can be built in road or rally spec, and in narrow or wide-body forms. It’s a little less retro under the skin, with a 2.5-litre Duratec engine under the bonnet packing ATR individual throttle bodies.
An output of 200bhp will be plenty in a light car like this, but for anyone fancying more shove, BDG and Millington powerplant options bring 230bhp and 300bhp to the party respectively. Power goes to the rear wheels (of course) via a six-speed manual H-pattern gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential. There’s also an optional sequential transmission.
Behind those beautiful Minilite wheels you’ll find powerful modern brakes from AP Racing, while Bilstein coilovers replace the original Mk1/Mk2’s live rear axle and leaf spring setup. It even has power steering and a CANbus electrical system.
It’s certainly not one for the purists, then, but as with the restoration programmes offered by companies like Singer, there’s a huge appeal in the marriage of the old and new schools. Particularly since this isn’t anything like as expensive as a Singer, with prices starting at £65,000 plus VAT. Still not exactly cheap, but with the way original Mk1 and Mk2 Escort prices have gone, that doesn’t seem so bad at all.