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Well John, that was then and this is now, its really got nothing to do with the sport changing, its just the cost of anything and everything in todays world in general
A proper Full spec Group 4 Escort like you say from the 70s is now 120k built by the right people to the right spec, its just how it is, if you are serious about Rallying at any level it is very expensive
Certainly at the WRC Level in a modern WRC car you need millions and without investment from people like Nasser we wouldnt even have a WRC at all. Its crucial in fact. I Have my fingers crossed that this deal with come off and will be a Three year deal at least, so as to allow Malcolm the time to secure the teams future with fresh investment