Double vision for Jim Hutchinson with pair of Escorts that provide the Portadown man with smiles per miles whether he be on pole position or simply grabbing a pint of milk.

Now, the purists reading this will be spitting their tea out in disgust at these fine machines being referred to as Escorts, and they are quite entitled to, as in reality these cars only share the silhouette of Ford’s first Escort model. Albeit in ‘bubble arch’ guise.

Designed and built by SHP Engineering in Ely, England, they are best known as an RSR, which is the name SHP gave these unique multi-purpose competition cars sold as either a rolling chassis kit, or a complete ready-to-race car.

SHP state, “Born out of nostalgia for the Mk1, the RSR Escort is a product from SHP with over 45 cars built to date all delivered to SHP’s exacting standards.

“With the classic elegance of the original Mk1 shape and flow of the car, the fibreglass body sits on the newly engineered space frame chassis offering the perfect balance for the enthusiastic track day or race day driver, giving the classic style with a modern engineering performance.

“Once on track the RSR comes into its own as a competition car with pinpoint handling and a superb power to weight ratio.”

I know of at least five RSR’s on the Emerald Isle, three of them being in Northern Ireland, with this brace belonging to Co Armagh driving ace, Jim Hutchinson. Jim’s double vision started just two years ago, with the delivery of his road car. But it’s a decade-long love affair with RSR for Hutchy, as that’s when he got his racing car.


Jim’s Green car was bought from SHP in 2014 and was fitted with an engine Jim supplied, which was an SBD Vauxhall XE engine producing 300 bhp. This was paired with a 6-speed sequential gearbox and equipped with Geartronics padel shifters.

Winning on its debut appearance at Kirkistown Racing Circuit in Co. Down, it didn’t take long for Jim to want more from the RSR, and so the modifications started. The Willwood brakes were replaced with Alcon, which put a stop to “brake knockback” at the chicane at this fast venue.

Next was the change from Gaz shocks to Ohlin’s TTX, which helped with consistency over a race distance. Then, the rear wing was upgraded for a full carbon fibre unit, and more downforce was gained with a full floor splitter at the front.

For several years, Jim competed in a wide array of events such as sprints, grid racing, RallySport Association events, and invitationals, where Jim and the Green RSR proved always to be at the sharp end of the stick.

Then, more power was needed, so Jim decided to go the route of the coveted Millington Diamond, but in 2.8-litre capacity. The car was great for a few seasons where Jim spent a little time ironing out a few issues along the way.

Last year though, this engine was upgraded to a 2.9-litre Millington Diamond, which provides something in the region of 400 bhp. The power is sent to the wheels via a Tractive sequential gearbox.

Weighing in at a mere 800kg, the Green car is frighteningly fast. And to think that it can still lose several kilograms, makes me wonder where Jim will stop with the need for speed on track. What I can confirm is that his plans this year are to compete a few events in Northern Ireland, and he’s registered for the Modified Ford Series and CNC Modsport Series in England.


Jim’s White car was bought in 2022 and it is a complete copy of the Green car, only it’s road legal, and with different running gear. I have had the pleasure of watching the Green car in action for many years, but I first stumbled upon the White car last year at the Armagh City Car & Bike Show.

Speaking to Jim about the white car at the show, I was somewhat excited at the prospect that this RSR was driven into the venue, and that it was most certainly going to take a de-tour home via some amazing roads.

Fitted with a 2.0-litre Duratec engine, the one for show comes across as an ideal car for some spirited driving on the roads, but a car that might not be too capable or exciting with anything more demanding.

We should never judge a book by its cover, though. As the White car can also go!

Thanks mostly to a 308 bhp Sherwood Racing engine that is paired to a 6-speed sequential gearbox, this RSR will cope with absolutely everything Jim can throw at it. Affixed to the space frame, Nitron suspension keeps the White RSR suitably dampened on the road, and its Wilwood brakes don’t get asked of much since the car only weighs 820kg’s.

Since purchase, Jim has enjoyed many a road-trip and even brought home a total of four “car of the show” awards from the show’s he has taken it to. If you happen to be at DubShed in April, or Portrush’s Ford Fair in June, be sure to feast your eyes on this white gem.


Born in 1971, Jim Hutchinson is an absolute gentleman and character, but to those in racing circles Jim’s best known as nothing more than, Hutchy. After building a well-sorted Ford Anglia for the road, Hutchy was tortured by police back in the day, so in 1991 decided to cage the Anglia and enter competition in the form of Sprints.

Some four years later, a deal was done for a Ford Escort MkII 1600 Sport which was then used in anger for a few years. The turn of the Millenium saw Hutchy step into the unknown with the purchase of a well-sorted Terry Nightingale Westfield, which was equipped with a potent 2.0-litre Vauxhall XE engine.

With an interested party wanting to purchase the engine from the Westfield, a deal was done, and Hutchy then done a deal with the rolling kit-car that remained with his father, which saw him take on Jim Hutchinson Snr’s Broadspeed Anglia.

Staying on the local racing scene which saw Hutchy race mostly between Kirkistown and Mondello Park, the Broadspeed car was used until around 2004. By this point the motorsport bug was deep, and progression in racing took a major leap in 2004 when a Jade 2 landed into the stable.

Equipped with a 3.5-litre Chrysler engine, it produced 360 bhp and served Hutchy well in local racing for the next two years. Things got even more crazy in 2006 when Hutchy upgraded to a Jade 3 which produced 520 bhp from its 3.4-litre V6 Nissan/Willman racing engine, which provided Hutchy with great success.

It was in this car that Hutchy won the 40th Anniversary race meeting at Mondello Park, Dublin. And, whilst traversing the Irish Sea with the Jade 3, Hutchy won five races from six during a season racing in the UK. He still holds and outright record set in 2008 at Welsh Circuit, Anglesey.

Two years ago, Hutchy bought this exact Jade 3 back again, and has since been giving it a ground-up overhaul. So, expect to see it in action sooner, than later.


Graham is a photojournalist and motoring writer with over 20 varied years of coverage from manufacturer press launches to international motorsport and motoring events throughout the world. Graham is a full member of the Guild of Motoring Writers and Ulster Motor Writers Association.