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!
You know what we love about Reuben’s Escort? It’s not trying to be anything special, it’s simple and only lightly modified, and as a result it’s packed full of charm. Being a little 1.3 litre, it perhaps lacks a bit of power for modern motoring, but Reuben’s got this covered! He’s planning to up the power with a Pinto engine conversion, something we think is a worthwhile pursuit!
Ford Escort MK2 ‘1.3L’ (1979)
- The car has been resprayed with the original factory red, as most of the panels were beginning to fade.
- To finish the look, the car sits on some Revolution 8-spoke wheels.
- Reuben's next project is to install a Pinto engine to give it a little bit more power!
Interview with the owner
- When did you first purchase the car?Back in 2016
- What made you buy this make and model in particular?Just how clean it was really.I was looking for something with a 1600 engine at the time but this car came up, with one owner from new and no rust in it was too good to let pass by!
- What's it like to drive?Once you get past the 70s sofa like suspension it's actually a really enjoyable little car to drive.It just seems to be a car that makes people happy whenever they hop in and drive it, even if you're not gonna go anywhere very fast!
- Do you know the current BHP?Yeah! A good old 57 bhp!
- Has the car been restored / rebuilt?Well, it was VERY tidy so didn't need much work. However it has had a full respray with the original colour as some of the panels were starting to fade pretty badly and then just a tidy up of the engine and engine bay whilst we where there!
- Has the car been modified in any way?No, it's pretty much standard apart from a set of Revolution '8-spoke' wheels which I think just set the car off perfectly.
- Do you plan to do any further modifications to it?Yes, I'm currently building a 2-litre pinto with a 5-speed box to power it and get a little bit more out of the car!
- Is the car a "keeper" or will you sell it one day?I'll take it to my grave.
- Ok final question – ignoring cost, and assuming you couldn’t go and sell it for profit… what’s your dream car and why?Hmm too many to choose from, but one would have to be a mk2 2 door with a Millington diamond series in it, would be such a fun car!