The Ford Escort needs no introduction. Ford’s behemoth “every man car” sold over 4 million units throughout its 33 year lifespan. Once a throwaway car that hit the scrap heap once rust had taken hold, classic Ford Escorts have now become exceptionally valuable with people paying over £100,000 for some of the RS models.
The MK2 Escort was released in 1975 and featured a more boxy, angular appearance than its predecessor. The car was codenamed “Brenda” during production (Ford had a habit of giving their cars codenames that sounded like your mother-in-law).
The Escort MK2 came in a range of body styles including 2-door coupe, 4-door saloon, Estate car, and panel van. Like most Fords of the 70’s they were offered up with a range of engine sizes (from 1.0 litre up to 2.0 litre) and featured a live axle and leaf spring set up at the rear, and MacPherson struts up front.
It’s the 2-door coupe that everyone wants to get their hands on now. Ford had already honed the MK1 Escort for competition on the racetrack and rally stages (the London to Mexico rally win being one of their most famous at the time) and they made no secret of having motorsport capabilities high up on the agenda when it came to the design of the MK2.
MK2 Escorts are still hugely competitive in rallying today (even when pitted against far more modern machinery). Ford produced a car that was lightweight, had sublime balance and manoeuvrability, and could be modified in a myriad of ways. The lack of supply and relatively low survival rate of good 2-door donor cars (to be turned into rally machines) has now helped drive values of 4-door cars up too!
George’s Escort MK2 is a bit of a beast really. He’s taken an old, brown, rather boring four-door Escort, and turned into this bright orange screamer! We’re well impressed by what he’s done to the car, and even more impressed by the fact he’s done most of it on his own.
We reached out to George to ask him a bit more about his MK2, what he’s done to it, and what got him into old Fords – read the owner interview below to find out!
Ford Escort MK2 (1980)
- The MK2 Escort has always been a dream car for George – luckily he bought this one before the prices sky rocketed!
- In George's words its "the best drivers car I've ever driven, it's raw, nothing holding your hand, just you and the car trying to stay on the road… normally going sideways"
- He's done a load of modifications to the car, and has been through a few different set of wheels… oh, and he's on his second engine already (we'll ask no questions there!)
- George's next plan for the car is to get a limited-slip differential, arguably the best modification you can make when it comes to a RWD classic Ford!
- The car is currently running a semi-built 1300 x-flow. It's a "Frankenstein" engine made up from left over parts from the previous (it blew up…) 1700 x-flow!
- Moved to a Willwood peddle box and rear disc setup as the old drums kept overheating. These are then topped off with beaded brake lines.
- Suspension has the usual upgrades such as lowered all round, poly bushes and stiffened springs.
- Bodywork has been "de-trimmed" and benefits from the addition of a chin spoiler, and different bumpers.
- Car was resprayed "signal orange" with black accents then custom 'screamer' decals added.
- Wheels are currently a set of 7.5J 3-piece Compomotive Turbos, wrapped up in Nankang NS2R's.
Interview with the owner
- Well George, it's no secret, we love an old Ford – when did you get this one?Back in 2012.
- What made you buy a MK2 Escort?The MK2 Escort is one of my dream cars so it had to be done. I just got lucky that I bought before their prices sky rocketed.
- What's it like to drive?The best drivers car I've ever driven.It's raw, nothing holding your hand just you and the car trying to stay on the road, normally going sideways!
- Do you know the current BHP?Yes, around 70bhp.
- Has the car been restored / rebuilt?Yes, partly. Around 5 years ago I sorted all the rust, de-trimmed it, and got it repainted from brown to "signal orange".Over the last 5 years I've chopped and changed different components to get the car how I want.It's currently running a semi built 1300 x-flow on twin Webber's, custom front suspension, custom interior and and lots of other bits and bobs.
- So you've clearly done a few mods, what exactly have you changed then?I've made changes to the engine, brakes, suspension, bodywork, paintwork, wheels & tyres and the interior.
- What have you done to the engine?I've had a few different engines, but I'm currently running a semi built 1300 x-flow, Frankenstein engine made from left over parts from my blown 1700 x-flow.
- What have you done to the brakes?I've moved to a Willwood peddle box and rear disc setup as I kept overheating the old drums, then topped off with all beaded lines.
- What have you done to the suspension?Bits and bobs but I've kept it fairly conventional in terms of Escorts and nothing really new in terms of inventions!Note: Based on what you tend to see on classic Fords, we'd guess this would be single leafs at the back, with lowering blocks and poly-bushes. And up front a set of coil-overs, thicker anti-roll bar and poly-bushes.
- What have you done to the bodywork?Apart from fixing rust (of course… it's an old ford) the body work is pretty much untouched aside from de-trimming parts of the car and adding a chin spoiler, and some different bumpers.
- What have you done to the paintwork?I changed that from mis-matched panels of brown to "signal orange" with black accents then added some custom 'screamer' decals as the orange just looked a bit bare without something to break the colour up!
- What have you done with the wheels & tyres?The wheels and tyres I've swapped around a fair bit.I'm currently running a set of 7.5J 3-piece Compomotive Turbos, sat on a set of Nankang NS2r's which I love.In the past I've also run the car on Ford Capri Laser wheels and a set of banded steels.
- What have you done with the interior?The interior is currently a mismatch of different things.It currently has a pair of Sierra Sapphire Cosworth front seats.I'm planning to re-upholster the seats and interior in a leather and dogtooth theme but haven't got round to that yet.In the front I'm running an OMP wheel on Race-tec quick release and custom Marshall speaker mount with the speaker sat and tied down too it.
- Do you plan to do any further modifications to it?Plans for the car, like everything chop and change and I can't say for certain what will be next, but an LSD (Limited Slip Differential) is probably next on the list then to start looking at a different engine option!Our View: 100% get a limited slip diff, and engine wise a hot 2.0 pinto on side draught carbs!
- Is the car a "keeper" or will you sell it one day?I'll take it to my grave.
- Do you own any other interesting cars?Yes, my current 'daily car' is an Audi 80 B4 Avant with some bits and bobs done to it.
- Ok final question – ignoring cost, and assuming you couldn’t go and sell it for profit… what’s your dream car and why?That's a question I really don't know the answer to. Probably one of the Eagle super light inspired E-type Jags. But I'd also love an Evo 6.5, Skyline R32, Datsun 620, another MK2 escort but full rally-spec (to actually race).