The Kent first appeared in 1300 form in Sept 1967, in the Mk II Cortina. It was designed by one Alan Worters and so named because he lived in Kent, UK. The Ford Kent engine was one of the most successful engines ever made with around 10 million being produced around the world. The last country to produce this engine was South Africa where it finally went out of production in 1997.
The Kent is probably the most raced and developed motorsport engine in modern times. It is the most popular engine for use in Lotus 7 replicas and also the engine that powered the
victorious Ford Mexico's in the World Cup rally. The Kent also formed the basis of the Formula Ford revolution which in turn formed the cornerstone of modern single seater racing.
The engine, in tuned form produces anywhere from around 100 bhp to well over 150 at the wheels. There are a wide selection of cams, big valve heads and piston kits available both locally and from the UK powerhouses such as Burton, Mass and Vegantune.
Exotic options include forged pistons, steel cranks and off-set big valve heads. Top motors are able to rev close to 9000 rpm and produce power figures that are
Johan Coetzee (in an Escort) is reputed to have produced the most powerful Kent engines in SA motorsport circles whilst the jury is still out on who raced the fastest Kent powered
Sevens. Amongst the very fast were Clive Wilmot, John Montanari and Nigle Townsend.