Ford-Cosworth BDA/BDG Engine History

Cosworth was founded in 1958 by Lotus employees Keith Duckworth and Mike Costin. In 1966, with the help of Lotus founder Colin Chapman, Cosworth sold the rights to their FVA engine to Ford and agreed a development contract. Cosworth further solidified their association with Ford in 1969, by developing a double overhead camshaft (DOHC), 16-valve, inline four-cylinder engine for road use in the Ford Escort, meant to be a higher-performance rival to the Lotus-Ford Twincam. As Keith Duckworth was busy designing and developing the DFV, the project was assigned to Mike Hall, who created the 1601cc BDA on the Kent iron block, with the cylinder head being based on the FVA and DFV designs. The camshafts were driven by a toothed belt developed for Fiat 124, hence the name BDA, literally meaning "Belt Drive, A type". It was designed for FIA Group 2 and Group 4 on either rallying or touring car racing purpose.

In 1970, the 1701 cc BDB was created for the Escort RS1600. This engine later received fuel injection for the first time in the series as the 1701cc BDC. Two years later, the BDA series was adopted for Formula 2 and was initially the only engine run by teams. First came the 1790cc BDE, then the 1927cc BDF eventually reaching a maximum of 1975cc for the BDG in 1973, when it was joined in Formula 2 by the BMW M12/7. Due to bore size limits on the iron block, the BDG received a new aluminium block (originally designed by Brian Hart in 1971 and re-engineered by Cosworth). This cylinder block was used as a replacement part in rebuilding many other BD series engines as well as some Mk.XIII engines.

By the time the BD series reached type G, the engine was producing 280bhp at 9,250RPM with a compression ratio of 12:1.

Ridgeway have decades of combined experience in building and rebuilding Ford BD and DFV engines, ensuring they are just as dominant now as they were in period. We can also supply the components required to refresh or rebuild these engines.

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