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Old 18 May 2010, 13:24 (Ref:2693312)   #1
Greg Cozier
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Need help tracing the history of an Alan Mann Escort

Right, I seem to have embarked on a long voyage in deep waters and could do with some help.

I recently acquired an old Escort Mk1 without the engine and have been tracing its history. It has the AMR front suspension setup but 6-link rear suspension and Atlas axle. the engine is missing and there is no chassis plate.

I have subsequently found out the car was brought to the Caribbean by Alec Poole and Derek McMahon who raced here quite allot. It came here with 1800 BDA on injection, ZF gearbox and Atlas. It is described in Poole's original notes as an ex Alan Mann/Ford Boreham/Don Moore car with rear suspension converted to Broadspeed 6-link (no AMR torsion bars).

I subsequently contacted Gillian Fortesque-Thomas who raced the car for Ford before Poole/Mcmahon got it. She says she raced two cars after the Mexicos, one was an old car that Boreham dusted off to use as a test mule for the new 2ltr alloy block and ran in shell colours in '72 run by Don Moore. The other was a blue/white car with a 1300BDA she used in the '73 Grand Prix support race where Brodie had his big accident.

I've spoken to Dave Brodie, he's trying to find me some info from Ford friends. My Ford friends (Martin Sharp and Barry Reynolds) reckon the car is X00 347F, chassis number is BB48GP18167 that was shipped to Poole in August 1973 and is probably an ex-AMR car.

My purpose now is twofold: firstly I have to confirm that this reg/chassis number is right because I have to ship the car back to Uk for restoration on the correct number. Bearing in mind Boreham's history of swapping about chassis numbers depending on what cars were going out the door, I'm not sure how far I can get other than establishing that no other car currently bears these numbers. I also would like to gather as much '68 to '71 race history just to stick in my file.

Any help appreciated.
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Old 19 May 2010, 06:33 (Ref:2693780)   #2
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Greg, sounds like you have done quite a lot of research already so apologies if I am suggesting anything already tried!

Author Graham Robson is one of the most knowledgeable people on Ford Touring Car history.

Alan Mann Racing are still operating- running Fords in historic saloons for Henry Mann.

Sounds as if you have already contacted Alec Poole- if not he is busy organising 2010 Tour Brittania so contact details on that website.

I am ready to be corrected but thought that AMR Escorts had Len Bailey 'inboard of chassis rail' coil sprung rear axles? A period cutaway drawing of XOO349F shows thus. The torsion bar setup I assumed was Boreham experiment? Looking at XOO347F listing in GR's 'The Works Escorts' it suggests car 'loaned to several race teams'- not specific AMR car- then as you say sold to Alec in 1973. The 4 AMR race cars were 344, 346, 348 & 349. On quick search cannot find any race results or pictures featuring XOO347F, so maybe was used for development?

Good luck with your quest (not going to be easy without any proof of id!), and if you are able to post any pics of the car you have may stir someone's memory somewhere!
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Old 19 May 2010, 11:02 (Ref:2693935)   #3
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Thanks Mike

The only connection I have to this car and AMR is an entry list from Croft on 10/8/68 noting Jackie Oliver as racing an AMR car (second car was Gardner which I assume in 349F). http://homepage.mac.com/frank_de_jon...8%20Croft.html

I then have a reference (personal recollection) that the car driven by Oliver was 347F in the same year in 'supercharged' form.

Those cars may well have been different cars but the race entries make no reference to reg numbers so it's hard to make the connection. What I'm after now is old photos of 347F if I can find any.

If you could post or e-mail that old cutaway I'd greatly appreciate it. I've e-mailed Mr. Mann but still awaiting reply.

This car may well have been a development car its entire life, in which case I'd put it back in '72 spec (probably easiest to do that anyway). There is no doubt that it is a works car but if I can make the connection back to Oliver in 68 by way of a photograph with the reg number I'd consider that. The hand-made alloy arches on the back of this car are quite unusual and in very good shape, Gillian remembers them being uncharacteristically large at the time. Poole's '74 notes refer to using F1 tyres on the back of the car and the original Minilites are still on it.

I'll see if I can find Graham Robson.
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Old 19 May 2010, 11:48 (Ref:2693966)   #4
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Hi Greg

Certainly one of the other AMR cars did some races in '68 with the famous 'hair dryer' s/c, but always assumed it was 344, 346 or 348. As you say, a picture would solve the question easily if it showed the reg plate!

Unless sold again XOO 349F is with the Mann family. It was in period trim last time I saw it. The cutaway drawing was done in 1969 for Ford as promo- I have only small version in a Robson book.

The RS1300 Gillian F-T raced in 1973 was a Broadspeed car- round h/lamps, BBS style wheels and later arches now described as 'Zakspeed' arches, so more likely the Boreham 'test mule' would be the car sold on to Poole.

One question for you- is the wiper spindle set up LHD or RHD?

Regards, Mike
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Old 19 May 2010, 12:26 (Ref:2693999)   #5
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If it was originally Gold and red I was offered that car in the 70's when I was into HotRod short circuit racing and dealing in cars by a motor trader collegue of mine Doug Bell who's son (same name) used to race in Formula Vauxhall I believe. The reg looks very familiar and it was fitted with a Lotus twin cam engine and definitely an ex Alan Mann car that he had taken in a part exchange deal. He wanted a £1000 for it which I declined (and kicked myself ever since) as it was way too nice a car for short circuit racing and also was not within the regulations.
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Old 19 May 2010, 12:49 (Ref:2694027)   #6
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There were sixteen XOO prefix cars, Al- although only 4 are documented as used by AMR for UK and European races. 344F was sold to Barry Pearson in Feb '69, 346F to Stan Clark Cars Oct '71, 348F to Wylies Sept '72 and championship winning 349F to Vince Woodman in July '72. So possibly one of those?
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Old 19 May 2010, 12:51 (Ref:2694033)   #7
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Originally Posted by Mike Bell View Post
The RS1300 Gillian F-T raced in 1973 was a Broadspeed car- round h/lamps, BBS style wheels and later arches now described as 'Zakspeed' arches, so more likely the Boreham 'test mule' would be the car sold on to Poole.

One question for you- is the wiper spindle set up LHD or RHD?

Regards, Mike
Yes, Gillian told me about the later blue/white 1300BDA car she raced in the '73 grand prix support race where Brodie had his big accident. Dave raced here allot in the 70s, I've asked him to dig around as well.

Ha! The famous LHD wipers. Yes, this car has them (one) as well as the AMR front suspension. Poole notes the rear end converted to Broadspeed 6-link and I have the original Atlas with those links which are on long arms like Mk2 rally cars, not short arms like Mk1 rally cars. Gillian and local drivers note the car pushed the front a bit and had large front tyres to compensate, probably a function of it being essentially un-matching front and rear suspensions.
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Old 19 May 2010, 12:58 (Ref:2694039)   #8
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Originally Posted by Mike Bell View Post
There were sixteen XOO prefix cars, Al- although only 4 are documented as used by AMR for UK and European races. 344F was sold to Barry Pearson in Feb '69, 346F to Stan Clark Cars Oct '71, 348F to Wylies Sept '72 and championship winning 349F to Vince Woodman in July '72. So possibly one of those?
Not Likely; Barry Reynolds (Ford PR retired) notes 347F was the car shipped to Poole in Dublin in August '73. I think the reg number and chassis number are largely unquestionable; what is in doubt is whether or not it was an AMR car and, if not, what team/drivers raced it. I think the key is figuring out whether other teams used the AMR front suspension; so far it seems not. Alternatively, if the car was a test mule all its life then Boreham may have developed the AMR front suspension on this car. Gillian is positive the car was 'dusted off out of a shed' and fitted with the 2060cc alloy BDA just to test/develop in club races in '72.

Last edited by Greg Cozier; 19 May 2010 at 13:09.
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Old 19 May 2010, 14:38 (Ref:2694084)   #9
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Mystery solved I think.

I just received a copy of Retro Ford Sept. '08 from the editor (my request). In it is an article on AMR. Some quotes:

"AMR collected six Escort 1100Ls from Dagenham in November 1967"

"the cars were registered XOO 344F, XOO 345F (written off by Jackie Oliver), XOO 346F, XOO 347F, XOO 348F and XOO 349F"

Three cars ran in UK and two in Europe it would seem from the article.

Now all I need is some race history and photographs for my car specifically, especially if it was an ETCC car with different livery. The arches on the car now are aluminium, the article states the AMR cars were originally steel. Obviously someone was developing the car from '69 to '71 so it looks like I have some work to do.
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Old 19 May 2010, 19:07 (Ref:2694262)   #10
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Originally Posted by Greg Cozier View Post
Obviously someone was developing the car from '69 to '71 so it looks like I have some work to do.
Sounds promising- and fun! Good luck with that. Do you think 347 was used in Europe or as development car?- I reckon 344, 348 and obviously 349 were UK cars. Poor 345 didn't get a very good start to life- totalled in early testing! Lucky they had a few more........

Any help I can give from here let me know.

Regards, Mike
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Old 20 May 2010, 11:29 (Ref:2694653)   #11
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Sounds promising- and fun! Good luck with that. Do you think 347 was used in Europe or as development car?- I reckon 344, 348 and obviously 349 were UK cars. Poor 345 didn't get a very good start to life- totalled in early testing! Lucky they had a few more........

Any help I can give from here let me know.

Regards, Mike

Dunno, hoping to find out.

Here's number five, a plain white 'spare' car. Mine would've been one of the four racers then:

http://www.classiccar.co.nz/articles...ann-escort-180
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Old 21 May 2010, 06:24 (Ref:2695189)   #12
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Interesting article!

I am using for reference here 'The Works Escorts' or bible for short, and it doesn't show any XOO prefixed or indeed AMR cars being sold to NZ, so possibly Fahey's an extra car not documented as a 'works' Escort? That would still leave 5......

BTW, my post #6 was response to Al's previous one so apologies for confusion!
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Old 21 May 2010, 11:23 (Ref:2695321)   #13
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Got some more info from Alec yesterday. He says the car was in plain white and complete minus the engine when he saw it at Boreham in '73. His deal with Peter Ashcroft was that it be fitted with a brand new injected 1800BDA, 'on the key' as he put it. That's how he received the car in '73 and basically did nothing with it except maybe fit vented front brakes.

So by Gillian's time in '72 with Don Moore, Shell Oil and a 2060 alloy BDA (BDG) it still had AMR front suspension but had 6-link rear suspension on an Atlas, inboard coil-overs, ZF, BDA, large aluminium rear arches.

I have a pic of the Shell car in '72, if you send me your e-mail address I'll send it to you. Maybe posting the pic will jog some memories. greg-at-huzier.com
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Old 30 May 2010, 18:25 (Ref:2701179)   #14
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Did,nt know if this was of interest .
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Old 2 Jun 2010, 06:47 (Ref:2702975)   #15
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Thats great! It is the Ford promo referred to earlier. Cheers for posting it.
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