Beetle V8 60s Saloons

UK Special Saloon + Modsports Historical Database

the John Robinson-Bob Trotter Ford Escort

Some of the very best Ford Escorts were built on special chassis by John Robinson Racing Services of Northampton. Customers included 1977 Supersaloon champion Nick Whiting and 1978 class winner Walter Robertson.

One such chassis was bought by Bob Trotter and he built up a Ford Escort that would have a 20-year racing career and morph its body to keep up too date with the current Escort styling in the hands of subesquent owners Chris Maries and Alan Crosby.

My thanks to Alan Crosby for the photos and info. Some of the photos used origionally by Steve Jones at Oulton Park.

my last outing mark 1 trotter mark 2 trotter car

Bob Trotter is the car in Escort Mark 2 bodywork.

Bob Trotter - mark 2 Escort

Bob Trotter - mark 2 Escort RS2000

Trotter

Bob Trotter of Crewe purchased one of John Robinson's demon chassis built to take the Ford Escort bodyshell and initially fitted a Mark 1 shell before this blunt-nosed Mark 2. The project was well supported by sponsor 'Red Star parcels by City-Link' making the yellow car distinctive.

Bob had previously raced a 1-litre Ford Anglia with the same sponsor . The Escort debuted around 1979 using 1976cc Cosworth engine.

Bob updated the styling with this RS2000 body and revised wheel arches ,still with City Link sponsorship. 

As the body evolved so did the power unites from initially 4 cylinder and grew by 1983 to a Rover 3.5 V8 turbo.

Bob was a regular at Oulton Park and raced in the BRSCC Northern GT championship until it folded at the end of 1983. The idea was taken up by the BARC-NW branch for a full championship for 1984 after trial races the year before. Bob was the fastest man on the grid winning 6 races outright ,usually from poor Roy Yates trailing close behind in his Mustang and became the inuagural champion. The championship is still run to this day .

Bob Trotter - Escort XR3 V8

XR3 white trotter car

Bob updated the styling again in the 80s with this more aggressive XR3 styling. The big bonnet bulge housing a new Rover V8 4.2 unit rated 380 bhp. This was the styling that defined the car for the rest of its race career.

Top photo presumably is the car on its debut still unpainted and as you can see it was painted blue and had sponsorship from Mobil.

By the 1986 season the BARC-NW championship had expanded to 5 classes and big grids. Bob was in class A for modified cars over 2500cc and had to give second best to the mighty Aston Martin of Dave Ellis which won overall.

Trotter

1984 - Bob Trotter was the inuagural BARC-NW Special GT Champion in 1984 with 6 outright race wins. Car now running a Rover V8

1984

Chris Maries - Escort XR3 V8

maries car

Chris Maries from Northwich raced an interesting variety of modified cars and bought the car for 1987. Still with the Rover V8 it was painted red ,sported a huge rear wing and known as the Mulberry Homes car. Chris took class wins in the BARC-NW 'Howley GT' Championship and the national BARC 'Wendy Wools' championship. At Oulton in particular Chris faced some of the fastest cars in the country such as Dave Ellis (Aston) ,Robin Hamilton (Jeg-E ) and Chris Crawford (Esprit). Lap records were set at Brands Hatch and Thruxton as Chris took the car all over the country and was a regular top 3 finisher during '87 +  '88.

After the car spent a brief time in Indonesia it returned home and was owned by Peter Tomalla ,who also owned the Beetle-Chevy around the same time.

Alan Crosby - Escort XR3 V8

crosby and son donington

Tomalla sold the car to Alan Crosby , an Architect from Coventry. By now the car was in poor condition and Alan stripped it back , rebuilt ,repalced several items and repainted it baqck to continue the red livery. In fact the only parts left from the original car was the Robinson chassis and the wheels.  

The new engine was a 4.2 J.E.Motors Rover V8 rebuilt by Graham Nash which was later enalarged to 4.8 TVR Tuscan-spec.

Alan like Bob and Chris continued the car's long history at Oulton Park by being a mainstay in the BARC-NW Championships from 1991 through to the end of the decade.

The 1994 season ,sponsored by Lynton Trailers, Alan made 3rd in class A ( the big class ) behind the Tony Sugden turbo Skoda and Brian Scholey's V8 Kitten.

The car continued to be developed as the decade wore on until being sold to Mick Tester in 2000.

1987

1992

Maries1 crosby rebuilt

1991

Mick Tester - Escort XR3 V8

Maries2 crosby in action

additional photos...

crosby car aerofront crosby inside

From 2000 the car's history stats to become murky. Mick Tester is believed to have owned it next , racing at Lydden and Brands Hatch in his county of Kent. Mick having had Escort V8 expereince before with the Costello V8 Mark 1.

This advert from 2005 ? seems to be the last reference to the car when Mick offered it for sale.

With specialist saloon cars like these now returning to racing with the CSCC 'Wendy Wools' Special Saloon series there's never been a better time for it's return.

 

1997

Trotter blue

1986

Known Results

Bob Trotter - 1979 Escort - Known Results

Bob Trotter - 1983 Escort RS 3.5 turbo - Known Results

Bob Trotter - 1984 Escort RS 3.5 - Known Results

Trotter2

BARC-NW Special GT Champion 1984 - ran in Class A for cars over 1500cc

Bob Trotter - 1985 Escort XR3 3.5 - Known Results

Bob Trotter - 1986 Escort XR3 3.5 - Known Results

Chris Maries - 1987 Escort XR3 3.5 - Known Results

BARC-NW ran in Class A for modified cars over 2500cc

BARC-NW ran in Class A for modified cars over 2500cc

'Chris Maries was consulted regularly, for help in the cars development and set up. On one occasion he suggested earplugs for an extra second a lap ! “Hearing strange engine noises slows you down”. He was right.'- Alan Crosby

Chris Maries - 1988 Escort XR3 4.2 - Known Results

BARC-NW '1275 GT Centre/Howley Racing' Sports + Saloon Car Challenge ran in Class A for modified cars over 2500cc

Alan Crosby - 1992 Escort XR3 4.2 - Known Results

Alan Crosby - 1993 Escort XR3 4.2 - Known Results

Alan Crosby - 1994 Escort XR3 4.2 - Known Results

Alan Crosby - 1995 Escort XR3 4.2 - Known Results

Alan Crosby - 1996 Escort XR3 4.2 - Known Results

Alan Crosby - 1997 Escort XR3 4.2 - Known Results

BARC-NW 'Clearway Filters' Sports + Saloon Car Challenge ran in Class A for modified cars over 2500cc

BARC-NW 'Delostar Electronics' Sports + Saloon Car Challenge ran in Class A for modified cars over 2500cc

BARC-NW 'Lynton Trailers' Sports + Saloon Car Challenge ran in Class A for modified cars over 2500cc

BARC-NW 'Lynton Trailers' Sports + Saloon Car Challenge ran in Class A for modified cars over 2500cc

BARC-NW 'Ace Vehicle Deliveries' Sports + Saloon Car Challenge ran in Class A for modified cars over 2500cc

BARC-NW 'Ace Vehicle Deliveries' Sports + Saloon Car Challenge ran in Class A for modified cars over 2500cc

Totter180_0606_02

Bob Trotter - 1980 Escort - Known Results

Alan Crosby - 1991 Escort XR3 4.2 - Known Results

Bob Trotter - 1978 Escort - Known Results