Sometimes my day job and my passion for all things automotive cross paths, and there’s nothing better when it does. This is one example I thought I’d share. It all started when I got a call from Ken Henderson – the man behind HASS, a Mk2 Escort specialist right here in Donegal. He was looking for a web designer for a new online shop and, after a quick chat, I jumped at the chance. Apart from the comparatively boring part of actually building the website, it also involved visiting his store and workshop to take product photos. Hass has been in business for years and is heavily involved in all things GRP4 Rally so I knew the place would be a goldmine of Mk1 and Mk2 Escort goodies. I wasn’t really prepared for what I found though…
The parts department is literally crammed with every conceivable Mk1 and Mk2 Escort part you’d ever need, be it road or rally. Enough panels you could pretty easily put a complete shell together. There are shelves upon shelves stocked with suspension parts, carbs, lights, bumpers, exhausts, roll cage tubing- you name it, it’s there.
When I finished drooling over all the shiny new bits and pieces I found a little stairs that take you up to what I presumed was simply more shelves and storage. It was, kind of…
The image above is the first sight I came across. A huge stack of, what were mostly, Fishnet Recaro’s. The Fishnet Recaro came in the RS2000 variant of Mk2 Escort and are a pretty sought after today in the right condition. I could only assume these were the result of countless RS2000′s being stripped for rally.
Turning around the next sight that hit me was a mass of alloy wheels. All Revolution Alloys, a mainstay of RWD rallying. All the flavours were there from 13×8′s to 15×9′s.
I’ve actually owned about 5 Mk2 Escorts myself over the years and always ran Revolutions when possible. My last set being the 15×8 5 spokes above.
The best was yet to come however. As I went deeper into Alladin’s cave I discovered numerous Mk1 and Mk2 shells – all in various stages of road and rally prep. The MK1 above ( and from the main pic ) had a full weld in cage along with the famous “Bubble” arches. No need to worry about wide wheels rubbing there!
This Mk2 shell again had a full Safety Devices roll cage and looked like the perfect starting point for building that fun track day toy.
This Mk2 however, the last shell I came across upstairs, is the one that’s been keeping me up at night ever since. Painted black the shell was fully GRP4 spec’d. Large tunnels, turreted rear, forestry arches, seam welded and a full gusseted and welded cage. It was simply perfect.
Before I made my way downstairs again, passing a standard red MK2 shell I came across earlier, something caught my eye. Peeking out from behind it was something very special indeed – a Ford BDA.
If you don’t know about BDA engines and the history behind them all I can say is Google it. They’re legendary in rally history and the engine behind Ford’s success with the MK1 and 2 rally Escorts. As rare as hen’s teeth today and you’d be lucky to see change of 15k if you were somehow in the market to buy one. This was one of a pair lying around !
Back downstairs again I wandered out into the garage, where work was taking place on various customer cars. The yellow Mk2 Rs2000 custom above was being built for a client in America believe it or not. Every single part on the car is brand new, even down to the nuts and bolts. An amazing example that when finished will look and drive like it was just rolled out by Ford themselves.
This example is destined for the rally stages. Still a bare painted shell at the minute but being treated to modern carbon bonnet and boot pieces, also made from scratch by a Donegal based company.
And yet more shells stacked 3 high – to me this is bordering on pure greed at this stage!
There was other various cars dotted about that I didn’t get a chance to shoot regrettably but I was supposed to be working after all! I’ll finish with Hass’s own demo car – a beautiful full GRP4 spec Mk1.
If you really are craving more I’ve put a few extra shots on out Facebook page > here < so like , share and enjoy.
And if you do get the chance check out the Hass website - www.Hass.ie , there’s plenty there for all types of road and drift spec cars too.
Words & Photos by Paul.