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Mk1 Ford Escorts - share the love

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Probably a story I've told before, but throughout the summer of 1998 a man in the pub kept trying to get me to buy his red 2-door Escort, K reg I think but don't remember the full registration. His wife was giving him earache about it sitting on the driveway after an MOT fail. Originally he wanted a hundred quid I think, by September it was "just come and take it." I just couldn't get excited about it at the time, despite it being a presentable enough example. I don't dislike them but no way I'd be paying the asking price for one now even if I did have spare cash. 

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And another good thing about them is that along with mgbs you can now buy every single panel and make your own brand new shell.

Or if you want to be lazy you can buy one ready made.


Yes it's arched but standard are also available too along with mk2 shells aswell.

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I’m a committed Capri licker so can define exactly when I first remember one clearly (May 1976, neighbours new black 2.0S) but Mk1 (and Mk2) Escorts were more common as street furniture even then so I paid less notice of them. My uncle had a purple velvet 1100XL RFS146M that he bought at 4/5 years old I think and had it for a long time, he had the engine out a couple of times, one occasion was to replace piston rings from memory, the car would have been ten years old by then maybe. Both of my cousins learned to drive in it and it went around the clock at least once. It was given away in the late 90s to a young lad as a project but that never happened.

There was a mildly customised red K reg Mk1 that was parked up on the driveway of a pensioner’s house on my paper round in the mid-80s that did pique my interest though, jacked up a little bit with front quarter bumpers, Corbeau seats, rear window louvre, road style wheels and a fair bit of rust! It was there for a few years and then disappeared, can’t say I ever saw it on the road again. EDIT  - looked incredibly like a red version of the blue one in davocano’s thread.

Living local to Crimond stock car track, there were always several Mk1s both racing and there as spectators cars. One memorable one was owned by a superstox driver, a wide arched Mk1 with a tasty pinto in it I think, sounded like a pinto on twin carbs to me. The arches were not like the usual bubble arches but were more like a works set up along the lines of the Cologne arches that you used to see on Mk1 Capris, anyway it looked fantastic.   

@Essex V6 had a gold 1300E, he can relay the antics he got up to in that yoke.....


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never had a mk1, had a mk2 for all of 2 months. aus spec 1600xl. was fun in the rain, but for a daily it was average. theyre overhyped an overpriced.  swapped it for a 100e with the same running gear. far more fun car oddly. 

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On 2/13/2021 at 9:58 AM, Shite Ron said:

I have never been a big fan of Mk1 Escorts or that size car in general, a decent original looking one is a good looking car though, especially as a 4 door. My Aunty had a 4 door L from new for many years, it was certainly a nicer looking car than my Dad’s Viva. I did own a mk1 2 door briefly, bought for £50 just to sell on for a profit, I had no interest in driving it much at the time, this was years before they started fetching silly money.  I would quite like a 4 door XL but would not pay more for one than a Cortina or Rover SD1 or any number of more interesting cars at lower prices. The bubble arch rally replicas are monstrosities in my eyes though.

Here is a proper looking mk1 on ebay:



This is nice.

The wood trim on the doors of the 1300E always seemed odd. WTF wouldn't it be at the top of the door panel instead of being mounted so there's a big patch of painted cheapo looking metal still at the top ? Always looked weird to me.

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On 2/13/2021 at 9:10 AM, artdjones said:

A typical old school small Ford. A crude, lowest common denominator type of car with poor economy and a predisposition to dissolve before your eyes.

Same as the rest of it's market competitors at that price level, designed to be a simple high-selling low budget saloon car, what did you expect?   And, as it turned out, they were rather good in motorsport. 

On 2/13/2021 at 7:10 PM, artdjones said:

There was a bubble arched one up for sale on Done Deal for €45000 lately. On the next page was a really nice 1925 Delage  DS tourer for the sterling equivalent of €35000. I'm afraid that just didn't comput

It depends on what you want to own and what you want to use it for.  Spending that sort of money on any car is not something I have to worry about.  Sure, they're overpriced but are they actually selling at quoted prices?   Many just appear up for sale again and again.  Buying an expensive Escort now is a risky move, the market will diminish as the target age group loses interest or dies.

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September 1974.  Add VAT to total price (I think it was 15% in 1974).

Multiply by 10.5 to give approximate 2020 price.  A push-button radio was an expensive item.



Some Ford 'on-the-road' recommended list prices taken from Motor, Dec 1974.  

Mk1 Capri RS3100 still listed despite Mk2 introduction Feb 74.  I wonder how many of the gas-guzzlers were sold at discount that winter.



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1 hour ago, JeeExEll said:

Same as the rest of it's market competitors at that price level,

I was comparing it more with cars like the Renault 12 or the FIAT 128. Cars that actually we're an advance in design. Even GM managed to put a 4 link rear end onto the HB Viva not two cart springs.

If it wasn't for styling the Escort was no advance on the Anglia.

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Aye, the front wheel drive cars were far more advanced in design, the 128 was a fab wee car.  See also Citroen GS.  The 'traditional, tried-and-tested' rear wheel drive Escort was deliberately designed to be simple so as to be cheap and easy to build and then run in everyday use, much like the Mk1 and Mk2 Cortinas.  To some people fwd was the work of the devil.

Leaf springs were good enough for the performance of the lower production models and the Mex and RS road cars got anti-tramp bars which helped a bit.  Lots of development went into the competition cars and these mods are still used today.

Major advance of the Escort over the Anglia has to be the steering rack (and great steering feel) instead of a steering box, and the much better crossflow engines.

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I only ever had one mk1 escort, it was actually abandoned after a tenant left a local property. 

A mate was good friends with the land owner,and it was just a case of take it away.

No paperwork or number plates unfortunately, but what I got was a fairly nice Mk1 estate, in metallic purple with the black cloth interior and six clock dash.

A bit of tinkering got it running sweetly,but a lack of brakes and rusty sills meant I never did much with it.

I sold it on for £50.00 to be harvested for parts.

I still regret that. 

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Ermine white twin cam.  The sale price is mega, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it's a better way of tieing up that sort of money than keeping it in the bank. 

Absolutely gorgeous. Would.





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This is the only comparison test I’ve found so far, but I’m back off to Vauxpedia and Triggers Retro Roadtests to look for more, very easy to get distracted. 
For those comparing fancy foreign fwd stuff, you have to remember how expensive they were in the 70’s, I’ve just read a test comparing a GS with a Viva, Avenger and Marina - The Marina won!
For those of us brought upon Car, the Alfasud, R12, 304 and 128 reigned supreme , but in the real World they couldn’t compare to offerings from the British “ Big 4”. This was of course reflected in sales.

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RS1600 had a 16V BDA racing-orientated engine with twin Webers,  developed by Cosworth, very tunable but sold in mild tune when new.  I think the last cars had lightweight aluminium engine blocks. 

RS2000 was same car but with an almost standard Cortina / Capri sohc Pinto engine.  Easy maintenance and similar performance (as a standard car).

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5 minutes ago, inconsistant said:

Sorry if daft question as my OSF knowledge is not strong, but in the above price list why is an RS2000 cheaper than a RS1600?

The RS1600 was effectively a hand built homologation special with a highly strung and tuneable BDA Twin Cam engine.

The RS2000 was a 2.0 Cortina engine in an Escort shell , built in Germany.

The same with the RS1800 and RS 2000 Mk2.

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The Twink is the one for me. I think MK1s look much better with the oblong headlights than round anyway, unlike 95% of people it seems

Image result for mk1 escort barry lee

The Super I pictured earlier was a square headlight car, and I've thought of two more differences from the later cars - external bonnet release in the grille (so the grille's different) and canister rather than spin-on oil filter

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