Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
stuntman

Number 220

Recommended Posts

So, I thought I would add a little to the site to share the story of my RS500…..which is number 220.

 

I have known of this car all of its life. I was skiving off school one day back in the 80’s and happened to see it being delivered hot off the car transporter to

our local Ford dealership. The number plate was forever etched in my memory, and our local midweek free paper had recently run a feature on the RS500

‘limited edition’ which was how I was aware of how special it was.

 

Fast forward a few months and I begin to see one of my schoolmates being dropped off some mornings by her mum in the very same car. It certainly raised a

few schoolboy eyebrows amongst all the MK2 Golfs and the like at the time.

 

As the story goes, Mrs P was bought the car for an Xmas present, and it was first registered to her on 24th Dec 87. Previous keeper on the log book was the local

Ford dealership. I have the original bill of sale, showing that they traded in a 3dr for the deal.

 

It was the very car that sparked my interest in the RS brand, and that I would aspire to own. As a younger child I had seen the MK2 escorts rallying on the telly

on a Saturday etc, but this was on another level. So, when I passed my test, as soon as I could insure a nice car, I progressed through RS2000 (x2), RS Turbo (x4)

Sierra Cosworth, RS1600i, Sapphire Cosworth, Escort Cosworth….(you can see where this is going..)…

 

Now all through those years I used to see Mrs P driving the RS500 around, always slowly, but it was like it was prowling just looking for some prey, rather than

being restrained. They only lived about a mile from me, so knew their house, and would often see it parked outside their house. Eventually, a newer car

replaced it, and it just vanished. As you can imagine it was a well known car in the area, and people always had a theory about it…..it had been sold, or it was stored

in a disused industrial unit on the business park, or it was in the corner of their yard at their bus service depot. None of these turned out to be true.

 

Luckily for me, a friend of mine knows the family well, and would quite often see them for a brief chat. Knowing of my interest in the RS brand, he inquired as

to what happened with it. This would have been about 6 years ago now. Mr P advised that the car was still around, but was not for sale. Having heard this, I

could understand, but asked my friend to just remind him every time that I would like to just have a look round even if it was never for sale. Having owned

the car for that period of time, and the sentimental value, you can understand the attachment. Eventually however, I got the call to say yes you can come and

have a look……

 

(to be continued)

Edited by stuntman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For some reason you have selected a black text colour instead of leaving it default. You can edit your post and chance the colour by pressing the edit button underneath your post and then selecting all text and press the A in the text editor next to Font and pick another colour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For some reason you have selected a black text colour instead of leaving it default. You can edit your post and chance the colour by pressing the edit button underneath your post and then selecting all text and press the A in the text editor next to Font and pick another colour.

Thanks Roy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, this is 4 years after I had heard it was even still in existence, let alone in the same town with the same owner. Excited, is an understatement. I had been in

contact with Daz Barber a while before this when I first heard it was still around, and then subsequently with Paul L before I got to actually go and view it. There

was a small snag however, I was getting married in about 2-3 weeks from this point. Don’t tell the wife which I was more excited about!

 

The day arrives and we go over to Mr and Mrs P’s house. The house is substantial, but not massive. There are a few garages. One at the back has the door open

and there I can see the back of the RS500. It was not possible to get it out for a look, as it had been sat in there for 13 years since it was last used, covered in all sorts

of dust, animal droppings, etc. So looking around it was tricky, and involved crawling through piles of leaves to view the underside, and climbing over junk to look

under the bonnet.

 

After speaking with Paul L, I wasn’t actually all that concerned with the condition, more so that the correct parts were still there. But, as I had known the car

for its whole life, I was very sure they would be. As it turned out, all was there, and the condition was much better than I expected after such a long lay up.

 

Bearing in mind this car was ‘not for sale’ and I was just viewing it for my pleasure. I had the conversation with Mr P about how I knew the car, how I had seen it

as an impressionable teenager, etc. Eventually, he said it would not be going anywhere for less then X pounds. I considered this for approximately 5 nano-seconds

before saying ok. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a substantial amount of money for me, but, the teenager in me didn’t care about that.

 

We shook hands on a deal, and I arranged to sort the money once I returned from honeymoon. During this time, Mr P would get the car mobile and running, so that

I could drive it the short distance to my place. A sad day for Mrs P when I went to collect the keys and take it away, and a promise was made to take it back round to see

them once I had it roadworthy again. Which I still need to honour…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love the back story, and it has now gone to the rightful home :)

Unusual set up on the rear decal, has she had paint at some point? 500 part is in the wrong place and the RS bit should not even be there! easy enough to rectify though.

I imagine quite a few of the missing 500s are still hidden away like this one was, owners loved them back then, and when they dropped to nothing in value due to insurance in the 90s most probably just laid them up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, buying the RS500 and getting it back to my storage place, I had to decide how to proceed…….full strip and rebuild, or sympathetic recommission. As much

as I admire the spotless cars, I wanted to actually be able to use it, and not be too scared about where I leave it. So it was a sympathetic effort.

It needed quite a few bits doing to get it both roadworthy and reliable, consisting of:

Cambelt, Clutch, Fuel tank and filter, Brake seal service and new fluid etc, Oil/filter of course, Air filter, Plugs, Leads, Dizzy Cap/rotor arm, 4 x toyo proxes, various

hoses, complete exhaust (it came with a brand new downpipe and I sourced a replacement system from Germany). I managed to get it running well enough for

it to pass the MOT no problem, but it was never quite right. So, I took it to Rich at Tremona in Southampton, where he worked his magic and found a few perished

vacuum hoses and fuel diaphragms, etc.

I was considering getting the wheels stripped and refinished, but, I thought then I would have spangly new wheels and the bodywork is still original. Plus, I kinda

like the patina they bring, it shows the car has been used.

So that’s it, pretty much. Here are some more (bad) pics taken yesterday. Yes, I had it out in the rain!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the kind comments.

Wheels will definitely get done if i keep it, not this side of the winter though as it will still get used weekly. However new baby and other things might mean it has to go (sad face)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This would be a fantastic artic for Rallye news

 

would you mind if i showed it to Nick the editor ??

no problem at all. If they need it tweaked at all i can do that. This was only written quickly while 'busy' at work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×