Here's how the Escort Cosworth's wild set of wings was designed.

The Ford Escort RS Cosworth is one of the most iconic creations from Ford in collaboration with Cosworth, popularised by its "whale tail" rear spoiler – a huge wing and a spoiler, stacked over each other and connected in the middle. If you happen to come across a list of all-time cars fitted with craziest wings, we'll bet the Escort Cosworth joins that list.

Originally, however, the Escort Cosworth was designed with three stacks of wings in mind. This is according to Frank Stephenson – the very person who designed the famous wings of the rally car.

Gallery: Ford Escort Cosworth

How did he come up with that idea? Stephenson posted a video on his Youtube channel, wherein we learned that the concept was actually inspired by the Red Baron's plane, the Fokker Dr.1. If you're not familiar with the Red Baron (or Manfred von Richthofen), he's considered the ace-of-the-aces fighter pilot of World War 1, serving the German Air Force.

Richthofen's plane was a legend in of itself – a red "triplane" with three wings stacked on each other. Looking at Stephenson's design on the Escort Cosworth, the inspiration is uncanny but as it turned out, Ford wasn't too keen with the idea from a cost standpoint, therefore losing the middle wing.

The resulting car was still iconic, but as Stephenson said in the video on top of this article, it's like a child born with only nine fingers.

Stephenson pointed out that the three-wing stack wasn't just a design gimmick. A Discovery UK video was released a few years back, recreating the original design. Apparently, the three-wing Cosworth could have added more handling prowess – that's if you take Stephenson's and the presenters' word.

Here's that video from Discovery UK: