Top 10

Richard Dredge’s top 10 fast Fords

Richard said coming up with a list of his favourite fast Fords was his “worst nightmare”. There’s no arguing with his choices.
11

Ford Cortina Lotus

I love cars that are strong performers but don't shout about it, so this Q car extraordinaire is right up my street, with its low-key looks and Lotus twin-cam engine for ample performance. More reliable, better equipped, more comfortable and more spacious than its predecessor, the Mk2 has always been a bargain compared with the Mk1.
22

Ford Escort Twin Cam

Developed on a shoestring before the introduction of the AVO division, the Twin Cam was the first RS in spirit – if not in reality. Despite being fitted with a 106bhp Lotus twin cam engine this understated Escort looked like the much cheaper bog-standard editions and for that alone I love it.
33

Ford Escort Mk1 V8

I passed my driving test in 1988 and the following year I headed off to Santa Pod in my 1962 Triumph Herald to watch a Run What Ya Brung event. It was the era of mega-horsepower tuned Cosworth Sierras but that day a Mk1 Escort ruled the roost. It was fitted with a Rover V8 and absolutely nothing could touch it – no Cossie, no Pantera, not even the white Countach whose owner was very upset. Image shows a standard Escort.
44

Ford 15M RS

This is where Ford's RS brand started, with a car generically known as the Taunus P6. The 15M never came to the UK so it's largely unknown here, and as a lover of the more obscure classics its low profile is a major plus for me.
55

Ford Capri 2.8i

John is my brother-in-law and his first two cars were four-cylinder Capris, in the seventies. When he hit 50 my sister bought him a completely original one-owner low-mileage Capri 2.8i as a surprise present and he's still got it 15 years later, albeit now with a few upgrades to make it more usable.
66

Ford Tickford Capri

I started at secondary school in September 1982 and that's when I got into cars; a new friend fed me copies of the latest magazines and I was hooked. In October 1982 I went to my first motor show, at Birmingham's NEC and there for me to see was the new Tickford Capri. I was transfixed by its sensational lines and since then, of the 88 made, they all seem to have disappeared.
77

Ford RS200

I'm not really into motorsport as road cars are much more my thing. But I've always been fascinated by the Group B era which was in full swing as I was expanding my automotive horizons in the mid-eighties. The RS200 is one of those cars that you hardly ever see nowadays – which only serves to make it more intriguing.
88

Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth 4x4

Think of this three-box saloon as the spiritual successor to the Cortina Lotus Mk2 mentioned earlier; fast and usable but a true Q car – unlike the three-door Cosworth Sierra. With its 220bhp engine and four-wheel drive security the Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth 4x4 is fast and usable but best of all, these four-door cars are much more accessible than the three-door editions.
99

Ford Racing Puma

This was one of the first fast Fords that I drove new, having joined What Car in 1999. My over-riding impression was just how bloody uncomfortable the Racing Puma was, with seemingly no suspension. But I've always loved the looks of this neat compact coupé and it's overlooked all too often – but CRM won't make that mistake.
1010

Ford SportKa

I was working at Top Gear when the SportKa arrived, and I remember thinking how much more fun to drive it was than most of the far more powerful and more costly sports and supercars that were doing the rounds at the time. But whereas many of those costly posemobiles will have survived with minimal miles on the clock, most SportKas have now dissolved.
Richard said coming up with a list of his favourite fast Fords was his “worst nightmare”. There’s no arguing with his choices.
11

Ford Cortina Lotus

I love cars that are strong performers but don't shout about it, so this Q car extraordinaire is right up my street, with its low-key looks and Lotus twin-cam engine for ample performance. More reliable, better equipped, more comfortable and more spacious than its predecessor, the Mk2 has always been a bargain compared with the Mk1.
22

Ford Escort Twin Cam

Developed on a shoestring before the introduction of the AVO division, the Twin Cam was the first RS in spirit – if not in reality. Despite being fitted with a 106bhp Lotus twin cam engine this understated Escort looked like the much cheaper bog-standard editions and for that alone I love it.
33

Ford Escort Mk1 V8

I passed my driving test in 1988 and the following year I headed off to Santa Pod in my 1962 Triumph Herald to watch a Run What Ya Brung event. It was the era of mega-horsepower tuned Cosworth Sierras but that day a Mk1 Escort ruled the roost. It was fitted with a Rover V8 and absolutely nothing could touch it – no Cossie, no Pantera, not even the white Countach whose owner was very upset. Image shows a standard Escort.
44

Ford 15M RS

This is where Ford's RS brand started, with a car generically known as the Taunus P6. The 15M never came to the UK so it's largely unknown here, and as a lover of the more obscure classics its low profile is a major plus for me.
55

Ford Capri 2.8i

John is my brother-in-law and his first two cars were four-cylinder Capris, in the seventies. When he hit 50 my sister bought him a completely original one-owner low-mileage Capri 2.8i as a surprise present and he's still got it 15 years later, albeit now with a few upgrades to make it more usable.
66

Ford Tickford Capri

I started at secondary school in September 1982 and that's when I got into cars; a new friend fed me copies of the latest magazines and I was hooked. In October 1982 I went to my first motor show, at Birmingham's NEC and there for me to see was the new Tickford Capri. I was transfixed by its sensational lines and since then, of the 88 made, they all seem to have disappeared.
77

Ford RS200

I'm not really into motorsport as road cars are much more my thing. But I've always been fascinated by the Group B era which was in full swing as I was expanding my automotive horizons in the mid-eighties. The RS200 is one of those cars that you hardly ever see nowadays – which only serves to make it more intriguing.
88

Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth 4x4

Think of this three-box saloon as the spiritual successor to the Cortina Lotus Mk2 mentioned earlier; fast and usable but a true Q car – unlike the three-door Cosworth Sierra. With its 220bhp engine and four-wheel drive security the Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth 4x4 is fast and usable but best of all, these four-door cars are much more accessible than the three-door editions.
99

Ford Racing Puma

This was one of the first fast Fords that I drove new, having joined What Car in 1999. My over-riding impression was just how bloody uncomfortable the Racing Puma was, with seemingly no suspension. But I've always loved the looks of this neat compact coupé and it's overlooked all too often – but CRM won't make that mistake.
1010

Ford SportKa

I was working at Top Gear when the SportKa arrived, and I remember thinking how much more fun to drive it was than most of the far more powerful and more costly sports and supercars that were doing the rounds at the time. But whereas many of those costly posemobiles will have survived with minimal miles on the clock, most SportKas have now dissolved.

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