Jump to content

The American Ford Escorts


Recommended Posts

Back in 1985 I had a couple of these as hire cars – one a Ford Escort and the other a Mercury Lynx which I think were both 1984 model year. Easily the worst new cars I’ve ever driven. Both had auto boxes – they were hire cars after all – and there was little power available for acceleration. When the A/C was on they struggled to move at all. The interior was horrible with wall to wall ugly coloured plastic – red in the case of the Escort I had.  Utterly shit cars which should be avoided if you want to drive anywhere.  Best left parked where you can just laugh at them

A work colleague actually paid his own money for a 1985 model Escort with manual box and this was a lot better than the ones I had. The interior was more pleasant and it did at least accelerate reasonably. These were the days of the universal 55mph speed limit so they didn’t need to be fast.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, MorrisItalSLX said:

Utterly seamless rear indicator installation there, looks like Ford put them there themselves.

Other than the wheels, it's the only other curved thing on the car.  Stands out a bloody mile.

Mind you, the rest of the car is so awful that I didn't even notice at first...

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, GrumpiusMaximus said:

Other than the wheels, it's the only other curved thing on the car.  Stands out a bloody mile.

Mind you, the rest of the car is so awful that I didn't even notice at first...

Missed the seamless integration of the 3rd hi level brake light. Make BLs recycling of parts look slick.

   A thing of striking shytness but  the want is strong.

Interestingly it isn't taxed currently but has mot till April this year so that's a good sign.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw lots of these when I went  on hols to the States of US as a car mad teenager in the 80s, and found them as confusing as everyone else here. In the 80s cars in the US were still completely different to what we had in the UK or I had seen in mainland Europe (other than Beetles and the odd Corolla or Datsun) so it was exciting seeing a car I recognised, but then weird having a closer look and finding out I didn’t. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add, we visited relatives in Pittsburgh and she worked at Ford, so knowing I was car mad she took me round loads of dealerships and they showered me with brochures, which I still have in the loft. I’ve got them for the whole Ford range including the Mercury LN7/Ford EXP mentioned earlier, some are early 80s some are late 80s. Can’t remember exactly how the range went but there was Escort, EXP, Fairmont Futura, Granada, Mustang, Thunderbird and LTD Crown Victoria or some ostentatious bollocks like that. Also F150 series pick ups, Broncos and I think some Mercury and Buick brochures. 
I think I have some duplicates if anyone is interested in buying. Will dig out, photograph what I have and check for multiples.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, inconsistant said:

Just to add, we visited relatives in Pittsburgh and she worked at Ford, so knowing I was car mad she took me round loads of dealerships

I did similar in Florida in '93 (and again in '95 and '98).

In '93 I took them into school and role-played running an american dealership. Curiously it was around that time that the bullying really went up a gear.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read last part of the "Erika project" MK3 escort code name.

It ended up being 1%! Parts share when it came to its replacement  Mk5 the American versions where built on the Mazda 323 platform ( ford now having an approx quarter share in the company) & deciding they needed to seriously up their game (products & production process) if they were to fight the import market with any chance of success!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/16/2021 at 8:31 PM, wuvvum said:

At one stage the 1.9 CVH engine in these was popular as a "big bore" upgrade to Mk4 Escorts in Europe.

Indeed, Specialised Engines in Essex used to use them as the basis for many of their 1.9CVH engines. I had one in a S2 RS Turbo back in the late 1990's

Bit of a parts bin special from memory, the engine was originally an 1848cc and with a slight overbore and new pistons (from a 2.3 Cologne engine I recall) the capacity went up to 1905cc. Was still as rough and ready as a normal 1.6CVH even with extra paid for lightening and balancing etc. They used a 1.6CVH sump and oil pump to make sure they fitted into the Mk2 XR2's, XR3i's and RS Turbos. The only thing was as the block was a smidge taller, the 1.6 cam belt tensioner had to have the slots elongated to ensure you had enough adjustment to tension it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

These were really popular Stateside in their first few years, particularly as GM only had the Chevette based models as competition, and Chrysler the Horizon.  Between 81 and 85 the Escort was in the top three best sellers easily. After the mid 80s the Japanese started their domination of this sector with the Corolla and Civic, and the Yanks slowly started to give up.  

Conversely, the EXP was a bit of a damp squib and didn’t last very long. I bet a 2.3 engined Mustang wasn’t that much more expensive, particularly once a eager salesman got his teeth into the prospective buyer!

Pretty sure the USAF used these as run-around cars on their bases, they had a thing for Fords at the time and the larger Fairmont was officer level transport. Both were painted a dull mid-blue so easily identifiable off-base. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

US Escorts were the base of two electric cars. Firstly I bring you the Jet Electrica

557E928D-678C-4FDA-B0B0-FC2EA3A62E1B.jpeg.26f17992737569bc7a1cbf7bbd847dd8.jpeg

The Jet Electrica was originally manufactured by Jet Industries of Austin, TX, which produced about 3,000 EV conversions while they were in business. Most Jets were based on Ford Escort and Mercury Lynx chassis purchased new as from FoMoCo as "gliders" (body and chassis without engines). To convert the Escort to electric, Jet mated a Prestolite 96v traction motor to the original Ford transaxle, fabricated battery boxes front and rear, and added a speed controller and an on-board battery charger.

Then there was the EVcort.

D9485EAB-48E9-4228-8A37-26B07FE40D4F.thumb.jpeg.5f7a3d958cf3657524ad68ba882e6f9e.jpeg

EVcort The EVcort was an experimental electric car produced from 1981 to 1994 by Electric Vehicle Associates of Cleveland OH and later by Soleq Corp. of Chicago IL.[1] It consisted of a stock body and transmission from the Ford Escort, refitted with an electric propulsion system, every component of which was engineered and manufactured specifically for the car. It incorporated features such as regenerative braking and a multistep charging algorithm, that are common on modern electric vehicles but were quite innovative at the time. The intent was to produce a practical alternative-fueled vehicle with performance comparable to gasoline-powered cars, but like many electric vehicles of that era, the EVcort proved far too expensive to be commercially viable. Nevertheless, the it was used extensively by a variety of institutions for electric vehicle demonstration and testing programs.

(Wikipedia)

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I one test drove a 3 door 1986 Escort that looked like this one, but in white...

 

1024px-1985-1988_Ford_Escort.jpg

 

It took me less than the length of a football pitch for me to fully appreciate how bad it was, so I turned round in the middle of the road and drove it straight back to the dealer!  As I handed back the keys to the salesman, I just shook my head and said "No."

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I don't know if I get a 'good grade' merit, for paying extra attention in class... But...

If you watch the movie 'Plain Clothes', 1988. <yes, I did, thisevening> you will see a Red 'looks like an XR3i' septic Scrote, screeching tyres as pimpled yoof exit the school parking lot... Around 3/4 way through film.

*no, its not a film listed on Imdb cars.

Even with the Plague >>> "I must get out more!" ;)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...