In this section, we bring you help and advice on what to look for if
you are thinking of buying a Mk1 RS2000. For current owners, the articles may help
you learn a little more about the car you already own. With the value of these cars
increasing every year, it's also crucial that you have the correct type of insurance cover
and our classic car insurance guide
explains this in more detail.
The most important thing is to make sure that the car you're being
offered, really is an RS2000. A common practice is to drop a 2-litre Pinto engine into a
bog standard Escort, bolt on a few trim items and pass it off as a genuine RS.
Firstly, look at the car's documents and check that the chassis
number on the Registration Document, matches that on the car. The chassis plate is located
under the bonnet on the front slam panel and, on a genuine RS, the first four digits
should be BFAT. Again, on a genuine RS there should be a second plate on the slam panel,
the body plate (often referred to as the AVO plate). This helps identify the car's
original build specification. The links below will help you decode the underbonnet chassis and body
plates. However, a correct chassis number does not automatically prove a car is
genuine..... the plate could have been removed from a written-off RS and affixed to a
MK1 RS2000's were built using a Type 49 bodyshell. This was a
strengthened version of the standard Escort shell and there are various things you can
look for to identify this type of shell. Check for reinforced suspension legs under
the front wings and additional strengthening plates on the inner wing, around the front
On the underside of the car make sure that the car has rear radius
arms fitted. These mount to the back axle and run forward and affix to the floor. Whilst
underneath, check that the chassis rails are double skinned and have a look at the boot
floor which should have 9 bolts protruding. These were used to fit a stone deflector,
although very few cars actually have the deflector fitted.
Another point worth noting, is that all RS2000's had a black
interior headlining and the rear wheel arches were rolled over to make room for the wider
Few RS2000s have remained completely standard, but because the Pinto
engine has so much tuning potential, minor modifications which boost power shouldn't cause
any reliability problems. Check for a noisy camshaft, which wears if oil changes are
neglected. The gearbox is strong and long-lasting, and the straightforward suspension is
not noted for any unnatural wear problems.
Rust is usually quite obvious, with sills, body seams, door bottoms
and underbonnet strut tops often affected. Other problem areas are the boot floor,
normally caused by water leaking in past worn bootlid seals, and the rear wheel arches.
The following links cover various articles in more detail. We hope
to add more on a regular basis and if you have an article we can use, please email it to