Incredible detailing has gone into this Ford Escort RS1800 Rally car replica using precious metals and minerals. Pic:SUPPLIED
Incredible detailing has gone into this Ford Escort RS1800 Rally car replica using precious metals and minerals. Pic:SUPPLIED

The real Ford Escort RS1800 made its debut on the Granite City Rally in 1975 where Roger Clark took it to first place in its debut rally. Timo Makinen, Bjorn Waldegard and Ari Vatanen also had successful stints in similar cars. Now the Ford Escort RS1800 has been given its most expensive, most intricate reincarnation

The good news for those interested, and according to the website www.themarket.co.uk — which is auctioning off this 15.2cm silver, gold, platinum and diamond crafted replica of Ari Vatanen's 1970s Ford Escort RS1800 — is that nobody has yet secured it because the auction runs until May 14.  

At the time of going to print the unreserved bidding amount stood at just over the R56m mark for the model estimated to cost more than R1.4m just in materials alone. Russell says he is too scared to tote up his financial investment in the car but figures in excess of R1,3m has been bandied around — and that’s without putting a price on the estimated 1,300 hours of work he has invested in it.

The model was completed after Lord’s son, Rob, discovered the half-forgotten remains of his father’s 25-year-old project some four years ago, and convinced him to complete the job.

It’s built using gold, silver, platinum, studded with diamonds, sapphires and rubies. The body shell and floor pans are made from solid silver, the rear spoiler and bonnet hinges is in gold.

The radiator grille is made of white gold, the headlamps are 65-point diamonds, and the lower spotlights contain another pair of 75-point diamonds, whereas the top set are more than a carat each.

A one-off scale model Mk2 Ford Escort made from silver, gold and diamonds, has been a slow-burning labour of love for professional jeweller – and petrolhead – Russell Lord.

Front and rear indicators are made up of orange sapphires, the rear brake lights from rubies and the oval rear-mounted Ford badge is a blue sapphire. The reversing light is a diamond, too.

The Minilite wheels are also crafted out of gold, resulting in golden brake discs and callipers. More than 630 black diamonds make up the mud flaps. Wait ... catch your breath … just like Ari’s car, the left-hooker driver’s seat has a fixed back and the navigator’s seat reclines and the headrest adjusts, just as it did back in the day.

The pedal box is adjustable too, and the handbrake moves through a proper arc. The gear lever is made of platinum, and topped off with a gold gear knob fashioned in the shape of a piston. It moves, and has a diamond set in it.

The steering rack and column are made of 18-carat yellow gold and are topped with an 18-carat gold. Still breathing?

The carburettors are made of yellow gold, with their trumpets being crafted by hand in white gold and the suspension and anti-roll bar compresses and rebounds too, are pink gold.

"It’s been a hobby that I’ve come back to again and again but three years ago I determined to finish it. I know this car inside out — so there were no plans, I just built it from the ground up piece by piece," said Lord.

All auction proceeds are to be donated to charity.