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Interview: Maximum Bob – Part one

10 months ago

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Writer:

Mel Nichols | Journalist

Date:

16 August 2023

The Alfasud is flat out now. Its speedo has just nudged past 100mph and that’s it; there’s no more to come. In my mirrors, a 1981 Ford Escort is closing, closing, until it’s up the Sud’s backside. All too clearly, I can see the grin on its driver’s face.

Then the Ford nips out from my slipstream and is alongside. As we start another lap of the 2.6-mile high-speed oval, it edges ahead and stays there.

The beaming face in the Escort belongs to Ford of Europe’s biggest cheese, Chairman Robert Anthony Lutz. He’s revelling in the proof that his much-improved – indeed, revolutionary by Escort standards – all-new front-wheel drive hatchback has the legs of the best car in its class. With its low weight and clean aerodynamics, his four-speed 69bhp 1.3GL Escort just about matches the five-speed 85bhp 1.5 Sud Super through the gears and ultimately, as we’re seeing, outruns it.

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