"Lead image Influx/James Lipman Ford introduced its first-ever RS-badged car, the Escort RS1600, in 1970. Over the forty years since then the Rallye Sport identity has been an important part of Ford's sporting image. Over the years the Rallye Sport "
Working Class Hero: RS 2600
photography: James Lipman
If you’re died in the wool Capri perv you won’t need to be told the following. For you the burly MK1 homologation special will occupy that special place in your psyche representative of all things Ford that float your proletarian boat.
If on the other hand, you’re not particularly of the persuasion, here are the basics, by way of introduction to James Lipman’s lovely images of what must be the most famous Capri to roll off the lines.
The RS2600 was MK1 with a V6 2.6 litre engine. It was a homologation special and so only a round fifty were made – launched at the Swiss motor show in 1970.
It was light. The exterior shell consisted of fibreglass and thin gauge steel. Some of the windows were perspex and apparently even the paint was of a thinner mix to help shave off the ounces. Those distinctive extra flared front arches were an afterthought, included to deal with a wider front track and rubber.
The stripped down nature of the thing meant that it tipped the scales at a little under a metric tonne. It was fuel injected (a first for a production Ford) and they were relatively quick, topping out at a little over 120MPH.
They weren’t around for long because the group they were homologated for soon became a three litre class. You guessed it – enter the RS3100!
There’s loads of other fine, reductive detail that can be gleaned elsewhere, particularly the RS owners club sites etc.
Every little bit of mimicry and simulacra have been attempted, the sum of which has made originals of these cars very desirable, if not infused with a particular kind of Dagenham mysticism.
Whatever your relationship with the Ford brand and all it has represented over the years, we think you’ll agree that this is a pretty attractive-looking car.
When it comes down to it, this is about as close Britain ever came to a full-blown muscle car. It might have only produced the sort of horsepower that you entry level 2011 Golf pumps out, but hey. For a forty two year old, it’s looking sleek and sexy. Middle age can be a beautiful time.
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