1989 Ford Escort XR3I Cabriolet £21,000
This 11,000-mile car has been in the same family from new. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s in timewarp condition, says
Built by Karmann in Germany, this cabriolet in Aquamarine with Mocha trim has covered fewer than 11,000 miles from new and has lived almost within sight of Ford’s Dagenham factory all its life. It was ordered from local dealer Allen of Romford by a Ford employee, but immediately registered to Frank Ross, in whose family it remained until now. It’s on Dunlop D8 tyres, all with plenty of tread (the spare matches and it’s never been used, so it’s a fair bet these are the originals), and all the parts removed when the car was recommissioned – cambelt, distributor cap, rotor arm and wheel nuts – are in the boot.
It was registered in January, 1989 and there are just two stamps in the service book – for the 1500-mile/12-week service carried out at 415 miles in June 1989 and the 12,000 miles/12 months service at 1249 miles in April 1990. Old Mots start with its first in November 1992 at 2764 miles.
It was SORN’D between 2001 and 2013, passed to Mr Ross’s daughter in 2014, and then to her son. It’s almost as factory, with only a few small areas of deterioration. Obviously you wouldn’t want to drive anywhere on those tyres, but they’ll be a concours hit. The silver finish to the wheels is just beginning to bubble between the spokes and there’s surface corrosion under the radiator. The headlight rims are starting to blister. Otherwise it’s like new and looks never to have had paintwork.
Inside, the dash plastics are still sharp and the seat velour hasn’t gone baggy – it doesn’t last well on this era of Ford. The leather bolsters are slightly creased, more so on the driver’s side. The hood looks hardly used, and even the foam padding on the roll bar isn’t compressed. The roof vinyl is perfect and the rear window is glass, so no worries about yellowing.
The original Ford stereo remains (with cassettes lined up in alphabetical order in their slotted cubby below) and everything works, including both electric mirrors.
The CVH motor is tidy, though an additional Revotec temperature sensor let into the top hose is a bit of a mystery, since the electric fan is the standard item. Coolant is nice and pink, oil light brown and just over the max line.
It starts instantly and drives tightly, though with the inevitable scuttle shake with the roof down – they all do that. The clutch is sharp, the gearchange has yet to go floppy, and the brakes are nice and firm. And you rediscover with delight the little ‘ear’ control stalks, surely the neatest ever devised in the history of motoring.
Sold with its original order sheet, Ford Cares handbook original Ford finance agreement, Piranha alarm instruction booklet and invoice showing that at £10,406.24 this cabrio cost far more than the equivalent hatch. Yes, it’s expensive – but, as dealers like to say, find another…