The first North American Ford Escort went on sale for the 1981 model year; it was related to its Mark III Escort European counterpart but was more of a cousin than a sibling. It wasn’t a great car, but was such an improvement over its miserable Pinto predecessor that it flew off the showroom floors in great quantities. These cars were cheap and disposable, so nearly all of them disappeared during the 1990s.
I see quite a few of the Mazda 323/Kia Sephia-related second-gen Escorts in junkyards these days, but a genuine, early Escort wagon is nearly as rare as a numbers-matching Geo Prizm GSi today. Here’s a solid-looking ’84 wagon that I shot in Denver earlier this winter.
It has a manual transmission (I can’t tell from the photos whether it’s the base 4-speed or the optional 5-speed) instead of the allegedly more luxurious automatic, but the original purchaser of this car wasn’t going to cheap out on the sound system. That’s AM/FM with genuine stereo sound, son!
These sky-blue Escort wagons were very popular government-agency cars, being driven by an entire generation of mosquito-abatement inspectors and Weights and Measures accountants around the country. The presence of a manual transmission and $200 radio option rules out this car as a government machine, though.
How many Fords got this blue cloth upholstery during the 1980s? Millions? Billions? More than the number of atoms in the universe?
Number One nameplate in the world! Telly Savalas is impressed.