When I first started exploring the motoring world that existed beyond muscle cars and 4x4's in high school the first real foreign thing that I found was rally racing. This opened so many automotive doors to me that I didn't even know existed, From cool Subarus, to hot hatches that weren't rice rockets, Lancia and most importantly it opened my eyes to the fact that American car companies like Ford and GM made cars that didn't get sold in the U.S. This was a show stopper for me. All of a sudden names like Escort and Falcon and Fiesta took on whole new meanings. To my parents who both grew up driving Challengers and Mustangs my new found interest in hot hatches and Ford Escorts was more worrying than my potential drug and alcohol exploration. I have still never seen in person one of the fabled first generation Escorts but even after all this time and weekly internet searches for examples for sale in the US ( Thats I can afford) they still hold my attention like no other car. Because of this eye opening realization and the way at which the first generation Escorts changed the way I look at the automotive landscape, it will always be the top dog rally car for this gearhead.