Junkyard Find: 1991 Ford Escort Pony

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1991 ford escort pony

Back in the early 1990s, the elite members of the Detroit Big Three were trying hard to compete on price with dirt-cheap imported Misery Boxes such as the Subaru Justy, Hyundai Excel, and Toyota Tercel EZ. They came up with stripper versions of their low-end subcompacts (e.g., the Plymouth Sundance America), which few bought. Why buy an Escort Pony for $7,976 when you could have a zero-option ’91 Civic for $7,095, and still be driving the Civic (very slowly, and maybe on its third head gasket) today? This makes the Escort Pony a very rare Junkyard Find today, so I grabbed my camera when I saw this one at a Denver yard.

Ford used the Pony name on their cut-priced Pintos in the 1970s, and it made sense to recycle it for the Escort.

This one wins the Cryptic Sticker of the Week award.

Remember super-simple climate-control panels like this in cars? Replace the plastic knobs with cheaply plated pot-metal and you’d have the controls from a 1963 Ford truck here.

These 1.9 engines have proven to be fairly reliable in the 24 Hours of LeMons, which is a good indicator of resistance to horrific levels of driver abuse.

The new styling on the ’91 Escort turned Mr. Import into Mr. Escort. Of course, this ad is for the much snazzier Escort GT. If the Escort Pony had TV ads, they were broadcast on high-numbered UHF stations between 2:00 and 5:00 AM.

Join the conversation
2 of 112 comments
  • GS650G GS650G on Oct 08, 2015

    My 94 Escort LX was a good car. Sure it had a few problems but got 40 mpg to the day I sold it with 209 on it. CR went from not recommending them new to recommending them used because they were pretty darn reliable.

  • Lemko Lemko on Oct 28, 2015

    My wife had this car's sister - a 1991 Mercury Tracer. Her car was a maroon four-door sedan. Unfortunately, the paint peeled on every top surface and the rubber door sill trim dry-rotted. She replaced the car at 107K miles with a new 2001 Chevrolet Impala.

  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.