WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
If you haven’t driven an Escort MkI before, you’re in for a treat. Getting on the road in this 1970s family Ford is more engaging than the lowly 1300L badge might suggest. The ride is quite soft, gliding over bumps and rolling into bends, but overall it is comfortable and composed. This car has been cherished and well maintained which shows in the way it drives. The controls are all light, the clutch pedal operates with the minimum of pressure and the gearshift has a short snappy throw between ratios. Steering is unassisted but can still be twirled with ease. The engine starts instantly, idles quietly and is smooth through the rev range. The brakes pull the car up straight but take some effort for a hard stop. Everything about the car feels correct – possibly even better than new. The drivetrain is quiet, there are no unusual noises and the suspension moves smoothly under the car as it should.
This Escort has had a full respray in recent years and the finish retains an excellent deep shine and remains almost totally blemish-free, aside from a couple of chips on the rear valance near the exhaust. The vinyl roof is also immaculate and the radiator grille looks like new. All the chrome is immaculate, only the Escort badge has any pitting. The steel wheels have immaculate paint finished off by sparkling chrome hubcaps, and wear Firestone 155/R12 tyres with very little tread wear.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
This interior is completely unmolested. The blue vinyl seats look as though they have barely been sat in, matching the matching door cards are perfect and the black carpet has no wear, even on the driver’s heel pad. The interior is basic, but at there’s a rear screen demister and a heater. The faux wood strip adds interest to the simple black dashboard, which isn’t cracked. The parcel shelf has factory speaker grilles but it looks like no radio has ever been fitted. Static seatbelts are provided for the front seats only.
UNDER THE BONNET
The engine bay has been thoroughly detailed, making it hard to tell just by looking whether items like the radiator, battery and washer bottle are new or just very clean. There are receipts for an engine overhaul and new clutch and the service history and MoTs date back several years.
THE CCW VIEW
Registered in August 1975, this must be one of the very last Escort MkIs. It has been owned by the same family since 1977 – first by the father then his son 11 years later – and lavished with the kind of care normally reserved for much higher value machines. Combined with the little use it has had over the last 40 years, this must be one of the best unmodified Escort MkIs left.