Ford Escort XR3i
ENGINE 1597cc/4-cyl/OHC POWER 105bhp@6000rpm TORQUE 102lb ft@4800rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 118mph 0-60MPH 9.5sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 28-35mpg TRANSMISSION FWD, five-speed manual MoT May 2018 ODOMETER 70,068 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Starting the engine reveals a smooth idle with no worrying noises or exhaust smoke. The 105bhp 1597cc engine pulls strongly and feels quicker than its relatively low power output would suggest. Steering is heavy but precise, with no dead areas. The gearchange feels accurate despite the long throw and feels like it has many miles left in it. Synchromesh on these cars often wears on second and third gears, but this one is fine. The brakes are strong and firm, with no tramlining. In short, it drives like an Escort XR3i should.
Minor corrosion spots are visible on the nearside of the tailgate (which also has a couple of dings in it) and on the nearside rear wheelarch, but there’s no noticeable rust in the sills. The windscreen has a chip in it, though it doesn’t look big or serious enough to warrant an MoT failure. The car has, however, recently had thousands of pounds’ worth of parts fitted to it to return it to standard. This work included fitting original five-spoke 13inch wheels (which are in fine condition and shod with new Avon tyres all round) and the correct black striping on the front and rear bumpers.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The original seat upholstery is clean, with no major tears or broken springs, though the driver’s seat is sagging a little. The vendor has spent time returning the interior to standard in the past three years, with work including replacing the car’s aftermarket whitefaced dials with correct black ones. The door cards are clean, intact (no ugly holes cut in them for speakers, thankfully) and mostly scuff-free. The radio/ cassette player is non-original but works. The partial service history is in the glovebox.
UNDER THE BONNET
The engine bay is as clean as they come on a £5000 Escort XR3i – it’s almost spotless, in fact, with practically no rust visible anywhere. The engine has recently been fitted with a new radiator and Varta battery, and oil and coolant are clear, clean and to the correct levels. Some electrical tape has been used to secure a few wires here and there, but it’s not enough to cause concern, and most of the other leads appear to be new and of a high quality.
THE CCW VIEW
This represents a lot of fast Ford for the money. The fact that it has no rust on it (not even in the wheelarches, like many Escorts of this age) and just over 70,000 miles on the clock makes it look like excellent value, especially compared to the earlier, more square-rigged Escort MkIII. Currently in tidy, usable condition, its next owner could use it every day as it is, or – given its low mileage and general condition – sort its minor foibles and get it to show-standard. Values can only go one way.