ETW 885G Works Twin Cam

1969 Ford Escort Twin Cam Works Rally Car, Driven by Roger Clark to 6th overall on the 1969 RAC Rally

All too aware of the success that Stuart Turner had achieved as BMC’s competition manager (whilst the Mini was at the height of its powers), Ford’s Walter Hayes made a determined effort to headhunt him. Joining the Blue Oval’s rallying operation in 1969, Turner’s ruthless competitive streak and flair for publicity soon made their presence felt. An early adopter of the ‘new car (or at least new bodyshell) per event’ philosophy, he had two Twin-Cams specially prepared for the 1969 RAC Rally. Road registered as ‘ETW 885G’ and ‘FTW 24H’, the pair were allocated to Roger Clark / Jim Porter and Ove Andersson / Gunnar Palm respectively. Although Clark-helmed Escorts later became synonymous with the RAC Rally, 1969 was not to be his year. As well as rendering several stages impassable, the exceptionally heavy November snow handed a decisive advantage to front-wheel drive rivals such as the victorious Lancia Fulvia HF 1.6. Having finished a highly creditable sixth overall on its sole Works outing (two places behind ‘FTW 24H’). ‘ETW 885G’ was promptly despatched to Cadell Park, Lincolnshire for an ITV World of Sport Rallycross Meeting before being gifted to the Daily Mirror newspaper by the ever PR-savvy Turner.

Offered as a competition prize, the Ford was won by Sargeant Walter Eaton. Serving with the REME in Germany at the time and no stranger to rallying, he had helped fettle the British Army’s entrants for the 1968 London-Sydney Marathon, Monte Carlo and Tulip Rallies. Preoccupied with preparations for the 1970 World Cup Rally – which he contested as co-driver to Major John Hemsley in a Peugeot 504 – Eaton sold the Twin-Cam onto William Crawford who used it to contest the 1970 RAC Rally. Thereafter, ‘ETW 885G’ passed to Jeff Churchill – a.k.a. ‘The Welsh Roger Clark’ – distinguishing itself on the 1971 Welsh International (8th overall), Dukeries (5th overall) and Jim Clark Memorial (6th overall) Rallies. Subsequently campaigned at club level by Michael Francis O’Connell, the Escort was in need of restoration by the time it entered the current family ownership during 1981. Although some progress was made, the project has long since stalled. Presumed lost for decades, this ex-Roger Clark ‘Works’ Escort generated huge interest when displayed at this year’s Practical Classics Restoration Show. Coming to market for the first time in forty-three years, ‘ETW 885G’ surely deserves to be returned to its former glory? The accompanying history file includes correspondence with Ford and details of the Daily Mirror competition. A unique opportunity.

Fancy taking this on?

The auction is on the 19th June, 2024 run by H&H auctions. More details and photos Here

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