Gymkhana guru and all-around hoonigan Ken Block enjoys a bit of stage rally when he’s not throwing one of his mega-horsepower custom creations through a series of donuts and massive power slides. Specifically, he has a soft spot for classic Fords, as we’ve seen not only with an old Euro-spec rear-wheel-drive Escort and a Killer B RS200, but with the old Group A Escort Cosworth. It turns out he also has a soft spot for the old-school rally ways, back when teams would have upfitted service vehicles to chase cars from stage-to-stage.
Enter Galpin Auto Sports, who took a pair of new Ford Transit vans and gave them a makeover so Block and his Hoonigan Racing crew could have some classic-style support. The vans have a fiendish matte black finish with blue stripes to match the livery of Block’s reborn Cosworth, but as you can probably surmise by the added ground clearance, these vehicles offer more than just a sinister appearance. Each sits on a 4WD powertrain and packs 310 twin-turbocharged brake horses under the bonnet, so they should definitely be capable off-road. A roof rack with an access ladder offers extra storage for gear, and banks of LED lights provide illumination to either see down a dark road, or light up a service area.
Gallery: Hoonigan Racing custom Ford Transit vans
Inside, Galpin Auto Sports creates a mobile work station with plenty of room for spare parts, tools, jacks, and anything that might be required to perform roadside repairs. Modern stage rally events have dedicated service areas where cars need to return to, so the Transit’s mobile capability may not be fully utilised. Still, it’s cool to see such a creation out and about as a throwback to the good old days.
Following the fiery demise of Block’s first Escort Cosworth last year, Cossie V2 is updated with a wider stance and more aero tweaks to better fit in the modern rally world. The car had its rally debut this past weekend at the 100 Acre Wood event in Missouri, though engine troubles on the first day took Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino out of contention. It was the first stop for Block’s 2019 Cossie World Tour; the revamped Escort and its Transit support vans will next visit New Zealand on May 5 for the International Rally of Whangarei.