1974 Ford Escort 1300 XL
HOW LONG HAVE YOU HAD IT? It was given to me some time around 1993/’94 and it was the car in which I learned to drive. Before that it was my mum’s car – she bought for just £100 sometime in the 1980s from a local friend. It’s a four-door, not another twodoor RS wannabe, but that makes it easier to get the kids in the back when we take her out for a spin.
The ‘XL’ badge means that over the basic ‘L’ model it got rectangular headlamps, a bit more chrome, and slightly plusher interior trim material, along with a cigarette lighter and a vanity mirror in the sun visor. The vinyl roof would have been a £17.77 option when the car was new. HOW MUCH HISTORY? It was resprayed in 1995 (a gift for my 18th birthday) once we’d had the usual rust cut out of it. At the same time we had the steering rack refurbished and the brake master cylinder replaced. I have a folder full of old tax discs and MoTs that confirm the 83,000 miles it is currently showing. The interior is completely mint. WHAT’S LEFT TO DO ON IT? Rust is starting to creep back in so that will certainly need sorting. I’m also thinking about getting the engine rebuilt and maybe getting the valve seats done as I’m just using unleaded without any lead-replacement additives at the moment. POWERED BY HAS IT BEEN MODIFIED? During the time I’ve had the car I’ve fitted the period-style 13in Minilite alloys, it’s been lowered by two inches all round and I’ve fitted a four-branch exhaust manifold and two-inch twin-box exhaust, which has a ‘tasteful’ sound.