Ford Escort is a legendary car that represents many things to different people. This car is famous for its motoring history. It had various guises and iterations. So let us learn the history of a legendary Ford Escort.
The first Ford Escort was introduced in 1968 at the Brussels Motor Show. The model was created to replace Ford Anglia with an ultra-modern car. It was a small car, still big enough to fit a family. Ford Escort had an affordable price that made this car really popular. The career of Ford Escort Mark I lasted for 6 years. During that period, about 2 million cars were sold.
The Mark I was popular among families because of its Macpherson strut suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. Still, the greatest success of this model was dictated by its gear.
It was a great rally car that won the Circuit of Ireland Rally in 1968 and the London-Mexico World Cup Rally of 1970.
The first Ford Escort Mark II appeared in 1975. The production of this model lasted for five years, from 1975 to 1980. Now the Mark II is known as the winningest rally car of all time.
It was developed under the codename “Brenda”. The joint work with Ford of Germany has created the semi-Brit Escort that continued the fame of Escorts. The car was available from base-spec 1.1 liter version to the fire-snorting RS2000 road-racer.
The RS 1800 won a countless number of rallies. Frankly speaking, every driver of that time wanted to drive one: Colin McRae, Ken Block and many more.
The Mark III was designed under the codename “Erika”. The new car was aimed to continue the line of affordable cars for families, as well as to offer more racy thrills. The folded-paper angularity was removed and, what is more, the car had a transversely-mounted engine aimed at front wheels.
Still, the Mark III, introduced in 1980, was one of the most controversial Escort’s models. Many people criticized the Mark III saying that it is “not proper Escort”. Still, the Mark III range is known as the one that saw the most dramatical changes of the design. It saw the introduction of the XR3 and XR3i models. Both had an iffy reputation. Still, it was a really fast car known as the “boy racer”. But with the introduction of Mk IV, things changed.
The Mark IV was quite similar to its predecessor. The Mark III was re-skinned, the metal bumpers were changed to huge plastic ones. As the result of the plastic bumper solution, the car became very popular among youngsters. The Mark IV soon gained the reputation of a kamikaze car because of the attitude of its owners. That is probably why it is so hard to find a survived Mk IV nowadays.
The Mark V model, introduced in 1990, was aimed to provide people with a cheap basic car. Many of them will say that it was built down a price. The production of this model lasted just for two years, so it is quite obvious that Mk V was not popular. Still, the sensational Escort RS Cosworth enhanced the image.
The Mark VI model introduced in 1992 was the renewed Mark V. The 1.6-litre CVH engines were replaced by Zetecs, The design, as well as the interiors, were slightly refreshed to make a car more desirable. Also, the car was equipped with airbags and crash structures were improved. The production period of Mk VI lasted for 3 years, from 1992 to 1995.
The Mark VII was the last in the Escort line. It remained as a basic Mark V, still with a different engine and trim level. The Mark V production started in 1995 and ended in 2000. There were two notable models of Mk VII: the Ghia X and GTi.
There are many people who believe that the bright beginning of Escort’s career finished as the Ford decided to make a car plastic. It is true that every great car has its off day and the Escort was not the exception. There is one simple rule when it comes to the Escort cars: the earlier an Escort is, the better it is.