Rare Rides: A Pristine Ford Escort From 1985 is Your Squire, M'Lady

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides a pristine ford escort from 1985 is your squire m lady

The Rare Rides series has touched on the Ford Escort a couple of times before, via the sporty EXP and extra sporty Mercury Tracer LTS. And we’re back with more Escort today! This one carries no sporting pretense whatsoever, and unlike the prior two actually wears an Escort badge.

It’s an early wagon with the seldom-selected Squire package.

Escort debuted for the 1981 model year and was a new direction for Ford’s compact offering. Eighties box styling and front-drive happily took over for the departed and maligned Pinto. Though the Escort was a new name for North America, Europeans were on their third generation Escort at the time. Seeing cost savings, Ford’s intention was to share parts between the North American and European Escort versions. However, that message got lost in translation between the design teams, and the resulting cars shared no body parts. Though they were similar in profile, the North American version stood on its own: It was larger than the Euro Escort in every dimension and had more trim.

Escort was initially available as a three-door hatch and four-door wagon, with a 65-horsepower 1.6-liter inline-four at launch. The engine was a new design from Ford, called CVH. Said engine was shared with the European Escort, as well as the later Sierra and Fiesta. The 1.6 was available through the 1985 model year and had optional fuel injection by 1983 (88 HP). There was also a turbocharged version for ’84 and ’85, good for 120 horses.

The final body style to arrive was the five-door hatch, available for 1982. In its initial year only, Escort offered an SS trim package that featured tape stripes, black trim, and wider tires. General Motors quickly pointed out that it owned the SS name, thus in 1982, the Escort GT was born in its stead.

Toward the beginning of its run, Ford offered a Squire package on the Escort, keen to offer a trio of wood-clad wagons for traditional wagon-buying consumers. Simultaneously offered were the LTD Country Squire, Fairmont Squire (also called Mercury Zephyr Villager), and the Escort Squire. Atop the GL trim the Squire package added wood trim and a plush interior. The original owner here ticked all the option boxes and wanted the automatic, tilt wheel, cruise control, air conditioning, rear defrost, rally wheels, and a luggage rack.

Halfway through the 1985 model year, the Escort received a facelift which coincided with the debut of the EXP as a separate model. The 1.6 was swapped with a 1.9-liter engine from the CVH family, available with a carb or multi-port fuel injection. Carried over from the original Escort was the 2.0-liter diesel engine which made 52 horsepower. Throughout its first generation, transmissions on offer included a three-speed automatic, and four- and five-speed manuals.

Escort was refreshed again for 1988, at which point its Mercury Lynx sibling was killed off in favor of the Tracer which was a Mazda 323. The first generation Escort carried on through the 1990 model year before its replacement by the Mazda-derived second generation. But by then the Squire option was long gone, its low take rate meant the ’85 model year was its last.

Today’s Rare Ride just sold on eBay with 44,000 miles. In stunning condition, it fetched $8,777.

[Images: Ford]

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  • Eng_alvarado90 Eng_alvarado90 on Jun 02, 2021

    Back in the late 90s one of my aunts purchased an 85 Lynx wagon to replace her tired but trusty 81 Tercel. I believe she paid $500 for it back then. I thought the Tercel was slow, then the Lynx arrived and would've said hold my beer. That 3 spd auto/1.6 carbureted was the epitome of molasses slow. Surprisingly the Lynx survived for about 3 or 4 more years with few minor repairs but still my aunt had enough. She replaced that Lynx with a 97 Integra (bummer, 4 spd auto).

  • THX1136 THX1136 on Jun 03, 2021

    I owned an '86 wagon and thoroughly enjoyed the car. Understanding it was NOT a sports car it delivered what I expected, carried all the sound gear to jobs I had and was reliable to the end. The end was the timing belt going a few hundred miles from home. Wouldn't mind another, but not for the price of the one in the listing.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.