Dave Luff’s widebody MkII Escort

We caught up with Dave Luff and his widebody Mk2 Esky at the recent Geelong All Ford Day

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

Geelong All Ford Day always delivers an awesome mixed bag of Blue Oval goodies. But few cars at this year’s go-round were as obviously race-bred as Dave Luff’s widebody Mk2 Esky, which rocked up with a cool crew of other small Fords.

This thing looks awesome, Luffy! What’s its background?

It’s an Australian RS2000. It’s a 1979 car with an X-Pack kit, which was never fitted from factory – they were all fitted by dealers. In Australia, they’re very rare; there’s only three or four here.

How’d you come to own it?

I bought it off a mate of mine who does Victorian Rally Championship stuff. He didn’t want to use it, but he had it for about 10 years. So I said, “Sell it to me,” and he did! It was just a shell, so I did everything to it, including a full rotisserie rebuild.

When did you get it done?

I built it six years ago now, around 2017-18, and haven’t really touched it since. It’s been bloody reliable, which is unusual for an Escort. It was stored for two years, and it still started straight away; I was well impressed with that!

What’s the driveline now?

The engine is a Duratec Cosworth. It’s high-comp, running 13.5:1 compression, and it runs roller-barrel throttlebodies. We were going to run it on avgas, but we decided to go with E85.

We had it tuned and got 205 brake horsepower at the wheels – naturally aspirated, obviously. Every component in the engine is Cosworth. I actually flew across to the UK to pick some of the bits up because they were taking too long.

But then I got a tour of the Cosworth factory, so even better! It’s running Omex 600 engine management and 750cc injectors because of the E85, and I just run a Mondeo coil pack and plugs.

We also put a bigger transmission tunnel in it; it was running a Mazda six-speed ’box, but we’ve now got a Quaife sequential straight-through ’box.

It must hammer along pretty nicely with that combo.

Yeah, we hung it on scales, and it’s 860 kilos. Everything we put in is as light as possible, so the power-to-weight ratio is pretty good!

Does it see much action on the track?

We’ve done some hillclimbs down at Mount Gambier, we’ve done the Winton Endurance, and it’s headed back to Sandown in a few weeks to do a thing with Ferraris and that! That’ll be interesting.