Wayne Courtenay  - Escort - Project Earl

I always wanted to build a big power base model escort so started looking.

Wayne Courtenay  - Escort - Project Earl
Wayne Courtenay  - Escort - Project Earl
Wayne Courtenay  - Escort - Project Earl
Wayne Courtenay  - Escort - Project Earl
Wayne Courtenay  - Escort - Project Earl
Wayne Courtenay  - Escort - Project Earl

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Wayne Courtenay 

Escort - Project Earl 

Instagram: @project earl

Growing up as a kid I had a soft spot for mk3 mk4 escorts. Watching my grandad fix my uncles xr3 both amazed and inspired me. How 1 man and some tools could change a car's performance so much by just listening and turning some screws was to my magic. As a teenager, all the cool kids had xr3i  and rs turbos. There was a white rs turbo on our street and I thought this was the coolest car on the planet and I promised myself one day I would have one. Now I have a few of them. I have xr3i. I have rs turbos but there is something about base-spec cars. 

Don't know what it is but base-spec cars to me are perfect. Just driver and car. I always wanted to build a big power base model escort so started looking. One day many years ago woke up to a message from a friend who had found a base-spec escort 1.3 that needed help. Went to look at the car and knew straight away this was it. Did not haggle gave the guy what he wanted and took it home. With ford fair, only 6 months away plan was a 2.0 Zetec in it with 32 36 carbs. The more I got into the car I thought I am going to build my dream escort. Something that will stay in my garage forever. So the car was completely stripped. Every inch was sanded cleaned painted every nut bolt clip inside outside the lot. New wings were fitted and after 3 months of bodywork, the car was as straight as a dye.  

One weekend talking to a friend he asked why when going to all this with the body was I just fitting the 2.0 and he was right. So a quick chat with Ian Walley I knew we needed more power. I knew I wanted to stay carbs and so started looking into big carbs. But then I fell lucky I found some modified bike carbs of a winning formula 2 sidecar and these were the ones. 

The engine block was sent away to be bored out 86mm the head was sent to Ian to be polished and ported and the carbs were bought.  With all the bits back the new 2.1 was built with accralite pistons piper 256 cams. I built my own intake, fitted the carbs and dropped the engine in. This was married to an rs turbo box. 

The car was built today taken to the rollers to be set up for M.O.T after a full day on the rollers I could not believe what a difference it was like someone gave the car 2 extra cylinders and it made 193bhp. Sadly the rollers showed one massive problem with the 4 branches melting the wiring to the starter motor. I looked at protecting the starter but decided to move it to the back of the engine. So an mk3 fiesta si gearbox was bought and stripped and the rs turbo guts and diff were fitted. Sadly this was not straight forward and took some working out. 

The day came she was all back together she went mot and she was ready for the road. I have never loved a car as much as this, the sound the look on other peoples face and the smiles it produces is unreal. Sadly after 8 years of abuse, I feel like it's time to improve on her but can not bring myself to start doing it. 



  • 2.1 Zetec 86mm 
  • Accralite pistons 
  • Ian Walley racing polished and ported head 
  • Piper 256 cams 
  • One-off homemade intake 
  • CBR fx formula 2 sidecar bike carbs 
  • Homemade wiring looms 
  • Ashley 4 branch and full system


  • Mk3 fiesta si casing rs turbo bc guts and diff Capri bearings 


  • Avo shocks and springs lowered 40mm all round fully poly bushed 


  • Bog stock look with resprayed in original diamond white


  • Bog stock with a few extra garages


  • Diamond cut Rs turbo wheels


  • ebc discs and pads standard rear


  • Big unfiltered carbs and Ashley exhaust

Big thanks to 

The wife for letting me do this. Ian Walley from Ian Walley racing for the engine work Rob Wilkinson for the paintwork and Bogg Brothers for the setup

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