FeaturesMe and My Car - Mark Stewart's Ford Escort RS Turbo

Me and My Car – Mark Stewart’s Ford Escort RS Turbo

Mark has owned many classics over the years often restoring them to concours condition

Plenty of classic car owners value originality, but as we discover aiming for perfection has resulted in a very special Ford Escort RS Turbo for detailing enthusiast Mark Stewart.  

Mark Stewart has owned many classics over the years, from Mk 1 Ford Escorts to Austin 7s, often restoring them to concours condition. But what he really wanted was an Escort RS Turbo. Here’s his story…

“My biggest challenge was a 1935 Austin 7 AVH van that had been in a barn for nearly 50 years. It was made more difficult due to battling a rare health condition, which was at its worst half way through the restoration. But I battled on to get it finished to the best condition I could. After owning and restoring several vehicles, my health wasn’t improving so I decided I needed something nice to enjoy and keep clean rather than a total restoration.

Mike Brewer Motoring - Mark Stewart's Ford Escort RS Turbo

I went on the hunt for a Ford Escort RS Turbo, firstly because I love these cars and also because I have fond memories, having owned my first one at 18-years-old. I wanted one as original as possible and not one that was built from 20 different cars, but after looking at many cars, I found most were rotten or bodged. There were a few that were concours restorations, but again, although immaculate and in most cases better than new, they’d been restored using new or second hand parts, and I wanted something that was how it left the factory.

In the meantime, I stumbled across a 1989 XR3i cabriolet with just 9k miles on the clock, and although it wasn’t the car I really wanted I was blown away by its originality, so I bought it.

Mike Brewer Motoring - Mark Stewart's Ford Escort RS Turbo

I didn’t want to replace anything, just detail the underside and get it as clean as I could. I entered it into a few competitions but the highlight, and my proudest moment, was winning Waxstock 2018. The upkeep soon got too much for me and I decided I wanted something more usable, so I bought a 1953, rat look Chevy pickup. How different can you get?

Mike Brewer Motoring - Mark Stewart's Ford Escort RS Turbo

I owned the truck for a few months when a friend told me of a genuine, low mileage and original 1990 series 2 RS Turbo for sale. It sounded like the car I’d always been looking for and although I knew I’d have the hard work and upkeep again, it just sounded too good. I heard it was on display at a regional RS show in Northampton, so I got in the car and went straight down to view it. It was just as my friend described. Totally original with 40k miles and not at all messed with. A deposit was left and the following week, we jumped on the train to Reading and drove it home. With Sonia in the tape deck, I was 18 all over again – what a feeling!

Mike Brewer Motoring - Mark Stewart's Ford Escort RS Turbo

I’ve spent the past twelve months removing layers of Waxoyl and detailing the car to a standard I’m happy with. I’m a stickler for originality so cleaning the engine bay and floor pan was made harder because I didn’t want to start removing things that had been bolted on in the Ford factory – I just wanted to preserve that originality.

I only managed to get it to one show in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic but was overjoyed to win Best in Class followed by Best in Show. A great result. I hope to attend many shows and put a few miles on it in the future, and meet up with the many good friends I’ve made through car shows over the years.”

Join the club:
The Ford RS Owners Club

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