A.V.O advanced vehicles operations

Ford Escort RS 1.6

A.V.O It seems possible that Ford already had plans to develop a higher performance Escort to equip in the scope between the 1300GT and the Twin Cam and RS1600, but their victory in Mexico provided a perfect program to establish such an example. The engineers at the recently formed A.V.O (Advanced Vehicles Operations) rapidly developed the Mexico, its stipulation being the Type 49 bodyshell as used in the Twin Cam and RS1600 with the 1600cc Kent crossflow engine and 2000E gearbox. Hence the Mexico was essentially as re-engined Twin Cam/RS1600.Production of the Mexico lasted until the shutdown of the AVO shop at Avely, Essex in January 1975. Significant changes occurred to the example during those years, firstly in 1972 the battery was relocated from the boot to the engine bay position as seen in all o the mainstream Escorts. Later, in 1973 the whole Escort scope had a revised rear suspension layout to ready the example for the changeover to the Mk2 which was to be introduced in 1975. The Mexico quickly became the perfect race car for everybody in the race and rally fields. An one make series for Race and rally drivers became really favorite (and extremely aggressive) when introduced in 1971. The Escort Mexico Challenge provided many of the champions of today with the chance to produce their driving skills while having cars of related operation to their competitors. Notable ex-Mexico Challenge racers being Gerry Marshall and Andy Rouse and in the Rally cars Russell Brookes and Tony Pond. The Mexico was AVOs almost productive and numerous of the Rally Sport Escorts, it provided the motorist with many advantages in that it had better operation, was simple to preserve, comparatively simple to ensure and above all it was FUN TO DRIVE, something which is yet really genuine today.

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