Inside Ford Cologne Competitions

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In Germany they have their own version of Ford of Britain’s Boreham, but, whereas the British Competitions Department is primarily famous for its rallying activities, the German end is closely identified with racing. The Manager of the Cologne department, since it was established in 1968, is former works Porsche sports-car driver Jochen Neerpasch. So far as Ford in Europe is concerned Neerpasch is responsible to their Director of Motorsports, Stuart Turner. He allows the German effort to be pretty self-governing, though the interchange of staff—notably loaning Boreham engine expert Peter Ashcroft to Koln—is one of the more encouraging benefits that an international company can deploy for the mutual good of staff and company. Although the German side is relatively young it has notched some impressive victories, including a 1969 East African Safari win with a Taunus 20M and six outright International victories during 1971 with the racing development of the Capri RS2600. Incidentally the competition staff, of which there are now 24, originally developed the RS2600 into the basis for a competition car, a selling proposition for the German Advanced Vehicle Operation to produce so that it could be homologated into Group 2 for European Touring Car Championship rounds.

Some of the racing Capris that you see here are in the workshops to be rebuilt to 1972 specifications, which feature an even more powerful 2.9-litre Kugelfischer mechanically injected V6 engine, giving 300-305 b.h.p. with the assistance of Weslake aluminium cylinder heads. The pictures above show how the Capris sprouted quadruple round lamps and new colours for 1971, replacing the previous rectangular units and silver/blue paint schemes. Below can be seen the intricate spider’s web of the BBS (formerly called Limmer) magnesium cast wheel centre, threading their way out to the detachable spun aluminium rims, covered by Dunlop low profile racing rubber. In the centre is a detail shot of the MacPherson strut front suspension, showing new location arms and hub for the ventilated ATE disc brake. To the right the single leaf spring below the live axle can be seen with the alloy caliper vented disc brake in the foreground. The axle is located by four rods and a Watts linkage; a ZF limited slip differential is used in conjunction with the same Company’s five-speed gearbox.

It was certainly a privilege to examine the sheer craftsmanship of the work that goes into these Continental Capris, but we also found the normal road version of the RS2600 a pretty formidable machine as well, offering standards of performance that would be familiar to the owner of a late model Porsche 911.—J. W.

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