Not a Ford Escort: The MST Mk1 | The Driver’s Seat with Henry Catchpole - Hagerty Media
In his first film on the Hagerty channel, tall, slightly scruffy but award-winning motoring journalist, Henry Catchpole introduces us to his passion for cars.
And what does he choose to drive for his first review? A supercar? A hypercar? Nope, a Ford Escort. Not his own Mk2 rally car (because that doesn’t have an engine in it at the moment) but instead an Mk1 with the same red paint and gold wheels. And the curious thing about the MST Mk1 is that it isn’t actually an old car from the 1960s – it is a brand new car. Not a restomod created from some poor donor car, but a car built using a brand new body shell with a freshly minted number plate. Which is why, to keep Ford’s lawyers happy, it doesn’t have a single Blue Oval badge anywhere on it and you won’t find MST (which stands for Motorsport Tools) calling it a Ford or an Escort.
Semantics aside, all that really matters is that it has the wonderful induction noise of a naturally-aspirated BDG engine, the tactility of a manual gearbox, and the sort of glorious rear-wheel drive handling balance that makes you think of rally cars in a forest with Clark behind the wheel or Mikkola in the driver’s seat.
We hope you enjoy the film as much as Henry clearly enjoyed the car. And even if you’re perplexingly indifferent to red cars with gold wheels we suggest you check it out anyway just for Glenn Winhall’s stunning editing and jaw-dropping drone shots of Wales.
Back in the day I owned a Escort RS1600 with the BDA engine, obviously designed to go rallying and slightly detained it was still a really rapid road car. Mine was Yellow – if memory serves called Daytona – but the MST here with the bulbous wheel arches was a homage to my favourite version in Alan Mann Racing colours of red and gold with the wide side stripes.