ONE LOVE
Fast Ford|January 2020
RS Turbos have been a lifelong passion for Adam Bowler. So, when he discovered that this one was riddled with rot and bodges, he couldn’t bring himself to scrap it; instead, he built it into something rather incredible…
Dan Bevis
On the ‘next month’ page of the previous issue of Fast Ford, we stuck in a little picture of this Series 1 RS Turbo along with a caption claiming that it was ‘one of the best RS Turbos we’ve ever seen’. And while we’re no strangers to hysterical hyperbole (it’s 2019, that’s basically what social media is made of), we’re a very long way from exaggerating here. There are just so many reasons why this RST is a true-blue winner – the spec, the finish, the sheer damned desirability of it – but the most significant factor is that this is a millimeter-perfect embodiment of all the Mk3 Escort dreams we’ve collectively enjoyed over the last several decades. Naturally, given that it’s 35-odd years since the RS Turbo launched, we’ve seen countless modified examples, and it’s possible to turn these cars into absolute monsters – Cosworth YB transplants, 4WD conversions, we’ve seen it all. But Adam Bowler’s project is different. It keeps all the fundamental touchpoints of the formula (the CVH motor, the FWD layout, the stock bodylines with the factory RS kit) and essentially turns it into the ultimate version of itself. For all of us in the FF office – and, we imagine, pretty much everybody reading this magazine – this is exactly what we’d do with a Series 1 RS Turbo if only we had the time, money and skill to do it.

Now, the eagle-eyed may have spotted the legend ‘Series One Recovery Services’ emblazoned across the Escort’s rear end, the fonts on the bootlid perfectly matched and the window’s backflash being oh-so-eighties, and this enigmatic phrase doesn’t imply some manner of rehab for die-hard RS addicts (although there may be a certain element of that involved); this is in fact the name of Adam’s vehicle transport business.

“I’ve had all kinds of RSs, XRs and fast Fords over the years,” he explains, “and S1s in particular hold a special place in my heart – so much so that I named my company after them! After seeing one brand new at 14-years-old I knew I had to have one, it looked like nothing else at the time. I got my first one at 19 and I’ve had nine of them since… I’ve never been without one or more from then on, and have two at the moment. I’ve always modified my cars too, RSs were effectively de-tuned race and rally cars, so I reckon modifying them is just putting them back to standard really!”

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ONE LOVE

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