By on July 25, 2014

04 - 1988 Ford Escort GT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMost of the Escort GTs you see these days are the Mazda-based cars that came out starting in the 1991 model year. The first-gen North American Escort, loosely based on its European counterpart, was built from 1981 through 1990, and examples are becoming very rare in wrecking yards. We saw this first-half-of-1988 Escort GT last month, and now I’ve found this “1988.5″ model in a Southern California yard.
02 - 1988 Ford Escort GT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou could get a 5.0 “HO” V8 in the Mustang and Continental Mark VII, and so Ford just had to label the 1.9 CVH engine as an HO as well. 110 horsepower out of this engine, which was two more than the ’88 Honda Civic Si had.
09 - 1988 Ford Escort GT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI am experiencing an 80s flashback, looking at these tape graphics. Makes me want to loot an S&L.
10 - 1988 Ford Escort GT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNot much left of the interior. This might have been an interior-parts donor for a nicer GT.
14 - 1988 Ford Escort GT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe rear wing, which did a fine job of trapping a couple of decades’ worth of dirt, won’t be going to The Crusher with the rest of the car.

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81 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1988 Ford Escort GT...”


  • avatar
    jgcaulder

    I love these cars. You never see them anymore. My neighbor growing up had one of these. I always thought they were pretty sharp. My Mom had a blue ’89 Escort sedan with no balls. It would have been nice to have the extra ponies of the GT.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I’m not surprised that they are rare. People treat economy cars as if they were disposable, and the relatively low price of a new one makes replacing a tired one attractive.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        Most economy cars are disposable. After a few years of depreciation, any major repair bill will exceed the FMV of the car.

        BTW, I had a plain-Jane 1981 version with a 4 speed. Zero power out of the 1.6 liter and one of the worst cars I ever owned.

        • 0 avatar
          zamoti

          I am also a former Escort owner, but mine was an automatic, powder-blue 1986. I will say, it was no fireball, but I had no problem darting around in mine. Acceleration wasn’t exciting, but it would pop through traffic in town rather well.
          However, for it’s modest $900 purchase price all it took was a pair of failed axels to send it along to the next lucky person. I believe it was sold for $600 with just under 100k miles.
          I looked at the GTs with envy, but did they have a bad-ass add-on tape player like I did?! I think not.

          • 0 avatar
            skor

            The very early cars(I owned one) were 1.6 liter with carburetors….I think they were rated at 65hp. Even with a manual they were dogs. Starting in 1985 the engines were punched out to 1.9 liter and injection replaced the carbs. The larger injected engines were much better. Ford should be ashamed of itself for selling any of those cars in North America with the 1.6 two barrel.

          • 0 avatar
            ehaase

            Ford actually planned a standard 1.3L for the Escort, according to the previews of the car in the car magazines in the late 70′s and 1980. However, the 69 hp 1.6 was so sluggish itself that Ford limited the 1.3L to Europe.

          • 0 avatar

            Europe and Brazil and the rest of the world. Just giving you some perspective. The 1.3, yeah very slow, but quite good economy and lasted forever. When disposable income is not so great, your priorities changes.

          • 0 avatar
            skor

            I believe the 1.6 was ‘de-tuned’ in the US to comply with federal emission requirements….lower compression ratios and more restrictive anti-smog bits. Brand new 1.6 US Escorts manages to generate of about 65hp.

          • 0 avatar

            My Escort XR3 1989, ethanol, CHT 1.6 had 86 or 89 hp (I can’t remember). The non-XR3s had about 75-ish. By that time, I don’t think the 1.3s were sold anymore, though later we had a Brazil only version with a re-worked 1.3, diminished to 1.0 making about 55 hp. 0-100 km/h in over 25 seconds! That was slow.

        • 0 avatar

          I always get a kick out of seeing cheaper, older cars in pristine conditions. I recently saw two pristine examples: a Fiat 147 and an Escort GL (not even an XR3). Makes my head snap faster than if I see some of the usual suspects or new, expensive models.

          • 0 avatar
            Russycle

            Indeed. I recently saw a pristine Dodge Omni in Malaise Brown, with “OMNI” in huge 80′s striped-graphics on the doors. It was so awesome, felt like I’d stepped out of a time machine.

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    This brings back memories…I had a white ’86 GT. For a 19 year old, it was a great car to have, the first step on the ‘performance car’ ladder (at least that’s what it felt like). Even after all these years, my memories of the car are pretty positive: it was fun to drive, easy on gas, reliable, and looked good. Teenage car GOLD!

  • avatar
    crtfour

    I kind of have a soft spot for these as well being it was the car I took drivers ed in and therefore the first car I really spent any length of time driving.

    After that my behind-the-wheel time was primarily my mom’s Chevy Astro conversion van. I liked the Escort better.

  • avatar
    Ridgerunner

    I bought a 1989 brand new in silver while in college – my first new car. Drove it hard over Blood mountain on 19/129 in Georgia every day for over two years. I ran 20W50 oil in the summer because I would have my foot to the floor in third gear most of the way up each side of the mountain. The car sported 195/60/15 tires and Sears had a 60,000 mile warranty on their Michelin SCR brand – I wore them out every 18,000 miles and due to the warranty, the next ones were less than $20. Got to love Sears since they restarted the tire warranty with the replacements. It was a great fun driving that road very day. Would love to get a Focus ST and try it today. Traded it in with over 100,000 miles for a Probe GT (V-6 5 speed) for my new bride and I started to drive her Topaz GS 4 door 5 speed. Now that is what you call love.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I hope your wife appreciates how lucky she is! The Tempo/Topaz was a dog.

      • 0 avatar
        Ridgerunner

        It was a wallowing dog, but ran forever, until a third wreck by my sister killed it – it ended up off the road on a big rock with the sub frame snapped. It did get from A to B without every letting me down.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          At least it was 5-speed, the 3-speed autos were awful. Turn on the AC and I think you had 20 HP making the ground.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            AT LEAST- at the very least- the air conditioning controls were push button which technically could be considered an improvement over the damned levers/slide bar HVAC controls from previous years.

            Which I guess you could say was an improvement? Score one for Tempo! Lol!

            (DISCLAIMER- I’m referring to a MY ’93 GL… can’t comment on previous years’ HVAC controls.)

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        Tempo was, INDEED, a dog. Very unpleasant to look at, too.

        Although I wouldn’t mind having an AWD Tempo just for sh*ts and giggles; rather, to run into the ground and then discard like yesterday’s garbage :P

        • 0 avatar
          Featherston

          Haters! Google “jackie stewart ford tempo” and prepare to eat crow. ;-)

          I always wanted to see him in a match race against a Bobby Rahal-driven K car. It could’ve been held on the neutral turf of GM’s Milford Proving Ground.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            As a child that grew up near the GM Proving Ground and who’s family had a Tempo and a K-Car at some point in time, I would have been excited about that in 1992. I also would have know it was ridiculous.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            Would you have kept a straight face?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I don’t think he can keep a straight face typing about it. I know I can’t.

          • 0 avatar

            Ha! Don’t know much about the Tempo, but it looks quite good to my eyes (honestly). Plus Jackie Stewart “endorsing” it, would have made it my first choice (sarcasm obviously).

            Anyway, it’s interesting. Here in Brazil Ayrton Senna is forever linked to Ford, the Escort, peculiarly the XR3, though later he defected to Audi (he was the official importer for a while, and reportedly the major reason why Audi outsold its rivals in the 90s).

            youtube com /watch?v=rp-c0YdYpZw

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Marcelo-

            Is Senna still immensely popular in Brazil? I would assume that he would have to be, but I am just wondering his level of popularity in his home country, even 20 years after his death.

          • 0 avatar

            Yep, recently it was the 20th anniversary of his death. You couldn’t watch tv for a week or two without seeing some reference. As an anecdote, my father kept newspapers and magazines from around the time of my bothers’, sister’s and my birth, man landing on the moon, and Senna’s death. Still strikes a deep chord.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The first motorsports event I ever went to was the 1988 Detroit Grand Prix. I still have two t-shirts from the event. One with the RenCen on it, and the other is a Senna shirt. My wife wears them now, because I do not fit into a men’s S/M from 1988.

            The Senna documentary that came out a few years ago was excellent. I find myself watching it whenever it is on TV.

        • 0 avatar
          skor

          For a short time you could get a V-6 with the Tempo. I believe a diesel option was offered as well.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            That was the Vulcan 3.0L V-6. It didn’t do great in the Ford Maya mid-engined sports car, so it didn’t set the Tempo on fire either.

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          Had a loaded sky blue topaz in the shop this week 1.9HO and power seats. Even though I clearly remember our sky blue tempo being a turd (right up til it burst into flames. Leaving me an embarrassed ten year old for having cried infront of the firefighters) it still brought a tingle of fondness from somewhere. Probably from the part of the brain where Stockholm syndrome comes from. Stuff like that makes me doubt anyone who goes on about the “good ol days”.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      What ever happened to the vocal Tempo Jihad on here?

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    My folks had two, actually:

    *a 83 or 84, charcoal gray with red interior. 1.6L (IIRC) and a 4 speed. Power nothing, no air, but (score!) a pop up sunroof to “help”

    *an 89, navy over light blue interior, automatic. Power nothing again.

    Both did have alloys, though. Rather, steelies.

    So help me God the first one just wouldn’t die. Went from one family member to the next. Great car. Sold it to someone in 93 who continued to drive I for a while (although the paint was gone by then, flat gray/primer mix).

    The second one ran good enough for us to take long road trips with. No, it wasn’t comfortable or classy, but it ran decent. I remember one day the damn rear right side door just flew open. Apparently, the latch was frozen. Lol

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Waiting for a Ford EXP Junkyard Find…

    …if that’s even possible to find :)

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      I have not seen an EXP on the road for at least 15 years. BTW, I liked the original body style, the fresh was a step down.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        The first gen’d EXP speaks volumes to my pro-obscure side.

        The second gen, to me, just looks very, very much like a GT version of its cousin, the Escort.

        The first gen, although its relatively the same damned thing (an Escort still), doesn’t look as much like an Escort to me. But that frog-looking face (raised headlights) doesn’t make my heart go pitter-patter much, if you know what I mean.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        I saw a running 1982 with a 1985 bubble back in March of 2014 in Kenmore, Washington. It had 1986 – 1989 Escort GT rims on it. It was, on the outside, in pretty good condition. Rolled the window down and had a traffic light chat with the owner – he had just bought it for $400.

        No idea on interior condition. I have seen an 84/85 or LN7 (never seen it enough to determine year) running around from time to time in the Shoreline area.

      • 0 avatar
        MK

        Holy cow I had completely forgotten about that car existing and had to go look it up on GIS to jog my memory!
        I think I saw maybe 2 or 3 of those back in the 80s and my brain had shut it out due to the ugly

        What were they thinking with that front clip? And why wouldn’t you just buy a mustang 4-banger if you wanted a cheap “sporty” car?

        Or maybe that’s what happened and why you never see them! Lol

        Wow thx for dredging that one up from the memory!

    • 0 avatar
      dannew02

      I had an 84 EXP, I personally would prefer to never see one again.
      The carbed 1.6 made what felt like 7hp, would not idle (either at 3000 rpm or would stall unless I kept my foot on the gas), the head gasket blew several times, I replaced the head once and had it surfaced once (and then it cracked again), it rusted so bad the subframe under the engine came off the body (I had my dad weld a couple pieces of angle iron just to stay on the road a couple more months) It leaked a prodigious amount of water every time it rained, there would be an inch of standing water in the footwells. The ignition module fried itself 3 times, I actually kept a spare in the glove box. Oh, and the Michelin TRX tires cost as much as 3 sets of “normal” tires. If you could find them in the rural midwest where I lived. But mine was black, with tinted windows so it looked super cool and it was pretty comfortable to ride in. But yeah, TERRIBLE car, and I wasn’t sad at all to see it on the way to the junkyard.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      My first car was a 1985 Ford EXP with literally no options. No radio, no tinted glass, no rear defrost, no power steering, steel rims, and IIRC 82 HP with a very narrow useable band of power in the upper range only. The first generation EXP has the distinction of having the worst F/R weight ratio of any US car – 68/32. Understeer combined with torque steer due to the stunningly sloppy front end.

      God I miss that car.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    My mom had an ’84 wagon, it was forcibly retired due to floor rot.

    Seemed to be a decent car before that, though.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Mad props to your mother. The Escort Wagon could haul a lot of stuff with rear seats folded down. They where in the same price range/demographic as a no options Ranger but readily hauled more people. A precursor to today’s CUVs. PS, I know there are some on here in mental agony debating: a 4 tire, 4 cylinder, 4 speed Ranger or an MT Escort Wagon? Sometimes cheap is good.

  • avatar
    clem151

    I was introduced to the wonders of stick shift when my dad bought a stripped to the bone ’82 Escort. Back then they had the base, L, GL, GLX and GT, and it was the base. Manual steering and brakes, no radio, but it has a 4 speed.

    That car was dead nuts reliable, I don’t think it ever broke down.

    Growing up in the Detroit suburbs in the 80′s, there were Escort GT’s of this vintage everywhere. They all kind of vanished at the same time in the late 90′s.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      They vanished after the timing belts broke. The timing belt was supposed to be replaced at intervals of 60K miles. If not replaced, the factory timing belts broke between 85K-95K miles or so. At that point they were hauled off to the nearest auto bone yard.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    I actually considered one of these for my first car, as I wanted to buy American. I had driven an 8V Golf GTI.

    I felt the Escort GT was quicker–maybe it was perception, or noise. But that was it. In every other respect, the VW seemed way better to me–steering, clutch, shifter (Escort was sloppy), seats, interior, exterior….

    The Escort did cost a lot less. I also considered a Mustang GT, which would’ve cost me only $500 more than the VW. I got the VW–the best car I’ve ever owned (or will own).

  • avatar

    Once owned an 81 GL with auto / 1.6 and an 86 Pony four speed / 1.9 but never owned a GT version.
    Both were reliable enough but it was the little things that needed attention, making me a regular visitor to the local pick your part.
    In the mid 90′s there were row upon row of Escorts (most under 200,000km) for the picking confirming their status as disposable cars.
    Today, I see the (very) occasional well kept Escort driven by a little old lady and realize how far we’ve come in American small car design.

    • 0 avatar
      Drewlssix

      Hell the next gen (mazda) escort was miles ahead of the pseudo euro version and can still be a decent car in good shape. Especially in 1.8 5 speed form. Sadly gifted a good thing it was left neglected while everyone including mazda moved on to newer better things. That the escort was neglected to fleet duty while the protege transitioned across two unique generations ending up as one of the best compact sedans available is sad.

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        Ford also moved on to newer and better things; gas prices were at a historic low in the 1990s, and the best selling car (with a higher profit margin) was no longer the Ford Escort, but the Ford Taurus; followed in later years by the Ford Explorer. Compact cars like the Escort were not selling as well as the midsize cars; so that is where Ford focused their time and money; the NA Escort was later replaced instead by the Focus “world car.”

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Argh! Those stripes!! This must have been owned by an illegal immigrant in its last miserable days. I didn’t see the bottle of Baja Agave that was probably under the seat. The junkyard guys must have drank it.

    These cars came from the factory with such clean lines, there was no need whatsoever to sully it like that. Bah!!

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Those are almost certainly “stock” as a dealer add on kit through Ford Accessories.

      That stripe kit SCREAMS 80s.

      I won’t even touch the rest of your comment.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Looks like this one sat dead somewhere wet…for a loooooong time.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’m getting nuttin’ from this one, the car and its condition are too lacking in character, IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      We owned an Escort for 13 years. They all lack character!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Even an Escort could have character to write a piece about, this particular example does not.

        • 0 avatar

          28, here: www thetruthaboutcars com/2013/03/the-ford-xr3-or-why-my-wife-hated-my-brothers-ex/

          Don’t know if you read that one, but one of my favorite daydreams is to pick up one of these cars again, do it up and drive it again. Some day…

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          A bland car needs to have a crazy (Read this as “on drugs”) owner to attempt a Last Ride story.

          For example, take this Toyota: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/junkyard-find-1998-toyota-corolla-le-new-jersey-skater-edition/#comment-3299073

          It’s not a very good work, but, still, I couldn’t come up with much on this car:

          Christine owned a Ford Escort. One day, [insert some common Escort problem, like a Timing Belt] failed. She called her boyfriend Dierks, who showed up with his 1984 Chevrolet Scottsdale. He towed the little Escort back to her house.

          Five years later, she saw the Escort. She also saw an advert in the paper for car removal.

          The end.

          ————

          See, not that exciting, really.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I remember thinking the factory header on the ’89 I had for a short time was pretty neat.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I dislike when they do a .5 refresh of a car between years. It just smacks of poor planning to me. And I much prefer the offset GT logo grille to this boring one, which looks more Euro and Skoda/Vauxhall ish. (Favorit/Cavalier, respectively.)

  • avatar
    Scout_Number_4

    My father-in-law had one of these with a diesel engine–he had over 300,000 miles on it and loved the fuel economy. The thing just wouldn’t die. Hell, he might still have it.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Within my family we’ve had 4 Escorts, well 5 if you count the 89 Tracer hatchback. They were all good little rigs, but the one that I drove specifically was a 93 LXi with the 1.9, good for 88 hp or so, lost important bits of the transmission after I lent it to my brother (it had a very slow transmission leak that I didn’t realize until it died). I was 17 and it was one of my early cars.

    My brother had a 93 LX wagon with the 5 speed, can’t remember which engine. My parents had a 93 notchback and my dad had a 99 sedan with a 5 speed. Mom had the 89 Tracer hatch. Mine, the 99 LXi, was the sedan and got an honest 26 mpg combined with a teenager behind the wheel.

    My brother owned his 93 during the same time as my dad had his 99. I also had my 93 when dad had his 99, but my brother and I never had ours at the same time.

    These 5 rigs got us all through years of motoring. They were all good cars, generally.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      After 1990 the Escort(North American versions) was based on the Mazda 323….I think the base engine carried over. The Second gen US Escort was a much better car. After 1990 Ford dropped the ‘world car’ strategy for the Escort. The North American, South American and Euro Escorts all being unique to their respective markets.

      • 0 avatar

        The South American and the European Escort were always the same car with different engines here and there, and maybe a redesign hitting Europe first. In both Europe and South America Escorts are for the most part fondly remembered and are part of both continents’ automotive history.

        The debate has been carried on here before, but most would seem to agree that the Mazda-based US Escort was a bit of a let down and not the Euro or South American versions.

  • avatar
    carve

    It’s amazing how similar these looked to the Mustang LX.

    My step mom had an 87 Escort Pony with a super tall geared 4-spd. What a POS. 75 hp with tall gears and it STILL managed to have the worst torque steer I’ve ever experienced.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The sloppiness of the Escort/Tempo front suspension was legendary. I had a MTX V6 Topaz for a time, and you had to hold the steeting wheel at 90* angle under hard accel to keep straight.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        That is the beauty of a true MacPherson strut suspension on a FWD car, made worse by keeping the bushings soft to get a good ride. I’d love to drive a V6 MT Tempaz just to see what it is like.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        For the lack of power in my 102 HP 1987 Tempo, the torque steer was terrifying.

        EDIT: 102 HP was actually respectable in 1987 now that I think about it. Not impressive, but respectable.

  • avatar
    wmba

    An employee of mine, gentleman farmer and diesel nut that he was, drove an ’85 Escort diesel. To compound his ideal, he also then bought the same diesel in a Ranger. Add that to his two gigantic Massey tractors and a Ford County 4-wheel drive tractor with bendy chassis and a diesel combine, and he would proudly pose in front of his all diesel fleet.

    The Escort handled about as well as any FWD compact with 70% of its weight up front and mighty 165/13 tires possibly could. I preferred the Ranger. Don’t think they were turbos, so both were dead-nuts slow but only cost pennies to run. Until the fuel injection system in the Escort screwed up. Ford here in Canada could not fix it, despite numerous tries.

    The owner got a deal on a new Mercury Tracer, gas of course, as compensation. Very reliable and nicely made, one of the first out of the Hermosillo factory in Mexico.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I have heard the later Escorts were better. I had a 1985 Mercury Lynx with a 1.5 and 4 speed manual and it was slow on acceleration and not a very good car. The Lynx was a rebadged Escort.

  • avatar
    Bee

    My mother had a ’90 Escort 5 door back around 1999. It was a fairly uncommon model, as all the first-gen Escorts I see are the 2D hatch or wagon variant. It was not particularly memorable or exciting.

    I recall it being a fairly unreliable car that spent a lot of time with the mechanic.

  • avatar
    matador

    We bought a 1994 Escort LX Sedan new in 1994. We drove it through 2007. It developed a warped head with about 360k on the clock, and the transmission was starting to go. We let it die.

    A family friend gave us a 1989 New Yorker as our next car (Yes, the K-Body one!). That car lasted only a year before the transmission died. The New Yorker taught me a lesson on cars, and I’ve never looked back.

    You can keep your Escort. As for me, I then bought a LeSabre and an Audi wagon.

  • avatar
    shaker

    I bought a new ’90 GT black with grey interior – fairly loaded for $9,999 (the Mazda-based one was due out soon). The car was quite attractive, and had decent room on the front seat, and was a definite improvement over the ’83 Omni that they gave me $500 for.
    It developed a tapping lifter with <10,000 on the clock, which was replaced under warranty.
    Since it was sold as a "sporty" car, I drove it like one, I got 8,000 miles out of the original Eagle GT's, only slightly more out of subsequent replacements. Rowing the OK shifter for the 5-speed was lots of fun, but I don't think the car ever cracked 27MPG for the whole time I drove it – may have been the wide tires (?)
    A buddy and me went on a ski week to Killington when the car had about 30k on it, and on the Interstate somewhere around Wilkes-Barre, the car just started losing power, then just died; I had heard that the electronic ignition module (inside the distributor) could be the issue, so we just sat on the side of the road and let the engine cool down, and sure enough, she started right up. I pulled off in town and bought a replacement module, threw it under the seat (with the intent of replacing it when we got there) – the car gave us no trouble for the remainder of the trip, and never again – when I sold the car with 55k on it, the replacement module was still under the seat.
    The new owner had to put a fuel pump in it, and drove it until the timing belt broke (80k). I drove my '97 Camaro to a party at his place and gazed upon the weed-encrusted husk of the old girl in his back yard; the beer soothed the pain a bit…

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @shaker–We trade our 85 Mercury Lynx for a new Escort Wagon in 1994 which was a much better car. The Mazda based Escorts were a much better car.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      At the time, the upcoming Escort was a new, untested platform (at least in the U.S.), and the existing one, mediocre or not, had most of the “bugs” worked out. Or so I thought. It was the deeply discounted price, credit availability, and trade-in money that sealed the deal.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    We talked the 1.6, the 1.8, the 1.9, and the diesel, but wasn’t there a crazy 5 cylinder back in the 80′s for a while?

  • avatar
    kinsha

    Made the terrible mistake of purchasing one these new off the lot in July of 1987. (escort GT black with tan interior) Nothing but problems is all I have to say. Sold it with about 35000 miles on it because I just could not take it anymore!

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Those door stripes are not factory. When the 1991′s came out, Ford had a ‘blow out sale’ for 90′s, and dealers added ‘customizations’ for added profits.

  • avatar
    djkenny

    My Mom had a white 86 EXP Sport Coupe. I think it was purchased reasonably cheap, under 40k, off a Honda Lot in 1990.

    It was fine. She found it fun to zoom around in. I think the white paint with grey cladding was attractive. The lack of a rear seat seems silly though. I mean, the Escort GT was the exact same car, had more room, and equal performance but costs less.

    From what I recall a Honda Civic DX was just as quick and more refined. If one could give up the sporty seats and sporty ground effects/spoiler.. they could save around a grand and have a nice smooth shifting, better steering, more reliable 5 speed manual Civic DX.

    The Civic Si would run circles around a GT Escort, but also costs more.

    Now, the 1991 models on the other hand.. TOTALLY different beast. Over 127 Horses, Mazda Zoom, smooth.. a proper car. Not so much an appliance like the H.O. thing prior. I drove one once and quite liked it. The steering was better, it accelerated better, the interior was way better designed.. it was basically a Japanese car.

    My fave car to this date from that era is my 2 liter VW GTI 16v. They were pricey back then and are starting to creep up in value now too. I think it is the best hot hatch that ever reached American soil.


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