Ford Es­cort

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Matt Richard­son

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.

BODY­WORK CHECK

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.

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