It was over the winter of 2012 - 2013, that I completed restoring my Right Hand Drive P7b 20m XL and started to take it to a few local car shows, where it attracted lots of interest.

This interest in the car, and the Taunus marque in general, lead me reform the Ford Taunus Club GB - with the able assistance of Stu D., my ever willing technical igor and general dogs-body.

With the aim to offer help to other owners with parts and information for these rare cars, a Facebook Group seemed the way forward and as the popularity of the Group grew, we had an increasing number of overseas owners and fans joining us.

In April 2015, Jorn Aldal joined the Facebook Group. He was the owner of a South African 20m RS. He mentioned that he had imported the one-owner-from-new Taunus from South Africa in 2008, and it was up for sale...


... Within minutes of Jorn's post, I registered my interest in purchasing the RS. After lengthy dialogue and photos a deal was done. Around 4 months later having sold the 1971 P7b 20m XL to a fellow FTC-GB Club Member, I picked up the RS from its shipping container at Immingham Docks after its 3 day boat journey from Norway.

20m-RS-400x400 Once home, work commenced straight away to make the RS road legal for the UK. This was required in order to be able to obtain and secure an English Registration. Although having passed its MOT, after minimal work, it wasn't running properly.

Engine issues could be tackled later, as I needed the RS running in order to move it between my lock up to my driveway to be able to work on it at every available opportunity.

Following an assessment of the bodywork, only a small section of rust was found on the lower rear quarter panel. This was duly cut out and new metal Tig Welded in place. Meanwhile I began sourcing all the parts needed to replace any worn parts, coming mainly from Europe.

It was then I made detailed drawings of the RS original painted on stripes, for future reference. My aim was to make the RS, as true to original as possible.

Although the RS was a bit battered and bruised in places, all of the panels were original and 99.9% rust free. The advantage of having spent life in a hot climate in S.Africa!


Upon stripping out the interior, everything was covered in red road dust! It was absolutely everywhere! Initially I hired a small sandblaster to remove the factory sealant in various areas underneath the chassis and floorpans. Trying to get all of the basic graft done first, so I had a sound basis on which to work.

I had 4 litres of the original Red 11-65 paint mixed, and basically brush painted the underneath after having applied primer beforehand in the same manner. All of the work was done on the driveway with no overhead cover. I was determined to do as much as possible and spent lots of hours upside down getting covered in sand, paint and debris... Phew, within a few weekends it was sorted.


Now with the interior stripped out, and stored under cover, I stripped and renewed brake parts. I had the discs lightly skimmed along with the rear drums.

The calipers were sent away for a refurbishment, and the original steel wheels were blasted and powder coated silver. The original wheel nuts proved impossible to find, so a friend set to and copied them in 316 Stainless Steel.

20m-RS-200x200 The Part Number on the original steel wheels trim rings was found, and I matched it to 14" Ford Mustang items, so an original set were purchased from America.

After having the wheels powdercoated I was faced with a dilemma. How to repaint the black centres of the wheels? Several experiments carried out and I finally settled on a solution. I made a bolt on template to fit the wheel prior to spraying and it worked a treat!


Ford 20m RS


This attention to detail continued on all aspects of the RS. Renewing and improving as many parts as possible, until I was satisfied with the results. Luckily the chrome work on the RS was very good, which was fortunate as it is expensive to buy and hard to find good used items.

However, the anodized trim around the grille and bonnet was poor and damaged. Many hours were spent tapping out the dents using hardwood formers, removing the oxides and polishing before applying 2-pack laquer.

Work continued in this manner, until I got to a point where prep and paint were required. I took the RS to the same local body shop as I had used previously to repaint my old 1971 P7b 20m XL.

I paid several visits to the painters whilst they had the RS, and in particular after it's coat of Red 11-65 had been applied. Once dried it was time to mask up for the satin black stripes! These cover the bonnet and scoop. Andy the Painter spent a full and tedious day masking up, and the day after spraying.

Finally the paint was all done and it was time for the RS to return home. With the RS back home time to make it watertight with a new windscreen and screen rubbers front and rear, including side glass mouldings and fittings.

I also fitted the new rear and RHD headlamps I had purchased from the previous owner, along with fitting a NOS pair of spot lamps to finish the front grille off.


20m-RS-300x200 It was at this point, I decided to look at the low mileage original engine, noting that the previous owner had mentioned that while the RS had been in South Africa the radiator had been holed, and the engine had overheated. The engine had, reputedly, been stripped and rebuilt.

A compression test revealed nothing, but on removing the heads, I found that they were different! One Oval Port head, and one D port head that had been matched to the original Oval Port Inlet Manifold...

Suspicious, I looked further and removed bent pushrods, cracked pushrods guides. In addition the threads on 4 rocker posts were shot, and double nuts had been added!

On finding these problems, I pulled the Zodiac 3ltr engine out for a closer look.

Fortunately the bottom end and everything else seemed in accordance with a 53,000 mile engine. I was relived there were no further issues, so I fitted a new oil pump and hex drive, and refitted the new unleaded oval port heads I'd had purchased months earlier, Having bought them for £10 for the pair.

Other new parts had previously been sourced and stored now ready to fit. The original DFAV Weber was replaced with a new 38 DGAS unit, along with all new ancillaries. The engine was set up on an old Sun Tuner, and is now running sweet.


20m-RS-250x380 The fit up continued quite quickly, with the interior all clean and fresh it was looking like a car again.

My main goal all along was to have the car, ready and driving for Cortina Day 2017, and I am pleased to say I completed it with time to spare!

So I was ready for the 450 mile round trip, which was effortless. At the end of the weekend I was both delighted and surprised to find out the RS had won 'Car of the Show'.

With just 2 previous owners, and low mileage, I feel very privileged to own this piece of RS History. A 20m RS. A Car with a cult following, and uber rare in the world of RS cars.