Every time we hear about a new creation from the gymkhana man himself, Ken Block, we jump with joy, as we know for a fact it’s going to have a drool-worthy engine package, and fabrication that will no doubt blast your mind. When we found out his latest wild build was a 1978 Ford Escort Mk2 RS, it got us even more excited.

However, this Escort is no recent purchase, as it was originally bought back in 2008. Initially, Ken's Escort was built as a tarmac rally car, but they’re no longer as popular as they used to be, as Ken mentions in his blog;

“It was designed to compete in Tarmac events, but unfortunately those are quite lacking stateside, so instead of converting it into a gravel machine, I had my team at Hoonigan Racing Division extend on its tarmac capabilities and develop it into the ultimate rear-drive gymkhana car.”

So, what engine is under the lightweight bonnet of this Ford Escort you ask? Well, it doesn’t have turbos, nor does it have a large V8. It also doesn’t have all-wheel drive in the typical gymkhana fashion. Instead, it’s packing a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Millington engine that produces 248kW (333hp) to the rear wheels, through a six-speed sequential gearbox. Look at those headers! 

One of the most interesting parts of the build is the fact that Ken worked together with Kei Miura, from Rocket Bunny, to turn the Escort body into something that would fit in with the rest of his Ford stable. We’re told this is the widest bodykit available for a Mk2 Escort. To fill the guards, Ken chose a set of two-piece fifteen52 wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber.

As soon as Ken’s full-on gymkhana video is live with the Escort, we’ll let you know. But, for now, here’s a video of him ripping a fairly decent skid in the newly built Ford.

René Vermeer

Dutch, French, or just a Kiwi, René isn’t quite sure, but he does know he has a passion for Japanese vehicles like no other. A well-seasoned Gran Turismo player dating back to his single-digit days, René has a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of performance vehicles and has owned more than 30 performance cars here in New Zealand, ranging from Nissans to Hondas. A lover of photography, you’ll find him either peeping under someone’s bonnet to snap a detailed shot, or on the side of the racetrack, perfecting his panning.