40 years of the Ford Escort

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1970 Ford Escort Delux

1970 Ford Escort Delux

In January 1968, Ford launched the all-new Escort family saloon, which became an all-time best-seller. In a 32-year career the Escort always offered remarkable value for money and, to keep abreast of trends and customer demands, the style, specification and equipment of the Escort was regularly refreshed.The original Escort coupled a simple but attractive style with innovations, including a new all-synchromesh transmission, rack-and-pinion steering for the first time on any Ford, front-wheel disc brakes on some models, and a novel body shell construction which incorporated massive one-piece body side pressings. By the standards of the day, the first Escort offered remarkable performance from a 50bhp/1,098cc engine, with a top speed of 80mph, typical fuel consumption of 35mpg and all for no more than £605.
Ford Escort GT

Ford Escort GT

UK market leadership Ford became UK market leaders during the Escort’s career, and has kept that lead ever since. Initial Escort production was concentrated at the Halewood plant, on Merseyside. Production at Saarlouis in Germany followed within a year, and many other Escorts were later assembled at other Ford plants around the world. Larger and more powerful engines, optional automatic transmission, four-door, estate car and light commercial vehicle types were added to the original two-door saloon, along with many different trim packs and options. The famous Twin-Cam and the equally legendary RS1600 helped to make the Escort the world’s most successful competition saloon car.
Ford Escort 1.3GL

Ford Escort 1.3GL

A newly-styled Escort appeared in 1975 to keep the range at the head of the sales charts for five years. In 1980 an entirely new Escort took over. Not only did this, the Mk III, have a smart hatchback style, but it also featured a transversely-mounted overhead-camshaft engine and front-wheel-drive. A much up-dated range of cars (the Mk IV) followed in 1986 with the Escort's final major change happening in 1990. In 1998 Ford introduced an all-new replacement to its fastest-selling family car, the Focus. Motorsport triumphs Specialised Escorts were spectacular and triumphant race and rally cars at competitions all around the world, winning more events than any of their rivals. Victory in prestigious rallies such as the Monte Carlo, East African Safari, British RAC and World Cup rallies were matched by success in European and British Touring Car race series, these being delivered by heroes like Roger Clark, Hannu Mikkola and Ari Vatanen. When the Escort came to the end of its glittering career, an outstanding car was needed to take over. The Focus was a worthy successor to the Escort, and has itself always been a great success in both the sales charts and in motorsport.Tags:,