The world was introduced to the Ford Escort in 1968, a car designed to replace the aging Anglia. The initial iteration was hardly revolutionary, Ford in Germany understandably reluctant to tool up for its manufacture. Any misgivings proved unfounded, with the Escort going on to establish itself as a tried and true performer, both on the road and at the dealerships, along the way helping Ford Germany recover an extra 2.2% share of the domestic market.
Important to the success of the car were the rally versions, starting out with the Escort Mexico, so named after a rally prepared Escort took out the 1970
London to Mexico Rally. Joined by the RS2000 model that was to define the quintessential fast four genre, having Martin Shaw (a.k.a. Ray Doyle) use one as his “motor” in the cult show The Professionals would further add to the mystique of the car.
Despite Australian’s love affair with the trusty six cylinder, the Escort would win over many converts, although the majority of Escort’s to grace our roads would be fitted with the larger 4 cylinder versions, typically the 1.6 and 2.0 litre models. In 1979
Escort would add another World Rally Championship trophy to the cabinet, to join those won in 1968
. Boasting great looks and sure-footed handling, the Escort was undoubtedly the pick of the 4 cylinder Ford’s.
Also see: The History of the Ford Escort, from Suburban Runabout to Rally Champion