This could be a Monday Money, however this time, it is not! January 2018 marked the 50 years anniversary of the MkI Escort and we thought that it deserved a tribute to comprehend how this little car marked the history of the American brand as well as the automotive industry.
The MkI came in to replace the Ford Anglia, and was introduced and produced in the UK in late 1967 (Halewood). From the start, it has been a massive success especially in the UK where sales figures outweighed those of any continental Europe country.
In fact, it was so successful that Ford managed to build 2 million units in only 6 years, and keep in mind this was in the early 70’s and was also the first time that a Ford model built outside the US reached that milestone.
Now to the car itself, the MkI was initially available with 1.1L and 1.3L engines and with round or rectangle headlights depending on the trim chosen. The main characteristic though is that is was first introduced as a 2 door coupe, and the 4 door version only came in 1969.
But what makes it so interesting and particular is its rear-wheel drive layout, combined with light weight and great chassis balance, which helped in it being a very successful rally car. Actually, it became one of the most successful rally cars of all time thanks to the Ford Works team and their many successes notably on the London to Mexico World Cup Rally, which granted us the Escort Mexico featuring the 1.6L crossflow engine. For Group 2 rallying, Ford up their game with the RS1600 version offering a Cosworth engine using the crossflow block and a Cossie cylinder head as well as suspension upgrade and sturdier body panels to help with stiffness for racing purposes.
Even though prices rose in the past few years, the Escort MkI is still great value for money offering a timeless look with its big curvy hips and proper performance in the rally versions. And being a 70’s car, a proper analogue experience for the driver as demonstrated in the video below. Enjoy!