In 1980 Ford presented the third generation of the hit Escort. In essence, the new Escort was a completely differently constructed car from its first and second generation predecessors. For its time it was also a fashionably designed model. In the spirit of the times, it took on hatchback shape, fairly sharp lines and front-wheel drive. The new Ford was named Car of the Year for 1981. Forty years ago. That's how long the Escort Mk3 has been around.
The Escort literally became a world car for Ford. Ford built the car in Germany, England and Spain. And it was built and sold in North America with a substantially different look and different technology, also as Escort and Mercury Lynx. In Brazil it was built with CHT engines based on Renault engines, and also sold. The Brazilian version was close to the European variants in appearance. In any case, the result of Project Erika was a hit. The new Escort became a much sought after Ford product. In Europe, Ford offered the Escort depending on equipment with various new OHC engines with hemispherical combustion chambers. These CVH engines had a displacement of 1.100 cc, 1.300 cc and 1.600 cc (rounded), there were three-door, five-door, station and delivery variants. Later came the Orion, a four-door sedan based on the Escort. A 1.6 diesel that matched the trend of that time did not lag behind either. Equipment variants included the Custom, the L, the popular and slightly later introduced Laser and Bravo versions (both based on the L), the GL and the Ghia. The 1.6 later got KE-Jetronic injection, the 1.1 CVH later became a low compression engine with 50 DIN-HP.
Fun package XR3
The fun package was called XR3. unlike, for example, the injected VW Golf GTI initially got the 1.6 engine in the XR3 with a double Weber register carburettor and a different camshaft. for model year 1983, Ford added an i to the XR3 designation. This is due to the application of Bosch injection. Incidentally, the 1600 RS was also available, a fine peppery version. And the RS Turbo was certainly not to be sneezed at, as was the Convertible version that also came later. Meanwhile, Ford also looked at whether it could mean something to the Mk3 in the upcoming Group B of the WRC rally, by coming out with an RS 1700 Turbo Prototype. The project got stuck at the pilot stage, eventually turning Ford into Group B with the RS200.
So the Escort three. I loved it and built the Escort myself during my early teens. That was the Revell version of the XR3, in scale 1 to 24. I only had it. My parents bought a real, brand new Escort in November 1982. The registration number JF-71-VP was almost an abbreviation of my father's name. It was an Escort Bravo with the old 1.1 OHV engine. Ford also supplied the 1.117 cc power source with an overhead camshaft, but the older Valencia OHV with 55 DIN-HP was more economical. The Escort 1.1 Bravo got at least (until 1984) this engine in the Netherlands, and was also equipped with the economy package. With a 3 + E gearbox, where the E position certainly had no short transmission. Two lights as an indication for economical driving were included as standard. Whoever ordered a Bravo version was pampered according to Japanese example. The buyer got moldings around the side windows, headrests with removable cushions, a radio with push buttons, strips on the sides for protection, a right wing mirror and a clock. Just to name a few standard amenities.
I was a fan of our Escort and washed the car thoroughly every two weeks so that the beautiful metallic Arctic Blue glowed in full glory. In my experience, the Escort was also nice and spacious, you could move freely in it. In any case, I liked to sit in our Ford, which I considered new for almost a year and a half. The Ford (now technically adapted from the factory chassis) was nice in my memory, but my father noticed a lack of spice. "With a headwind I might as well take the 2CV4 with me, the Escort isn't much faster." So it was. My parents were happy with the Ford, but said a 1.3 or even a 1.6 would have been the better choice. I didn't care then. Because our Ford was bought new and I thought it was very nice.
Remote function, diesel or gas required
My father got a new position 110 kilometers from home. He drove over the Afsluitdijk every day. Gasoline couldn't get out. We had the Escort only recently, but for economic reasons a diesel had to be installed quickly. Or a gas car. Moreover, my father still wanted a more powerful engine in the next car. It was clear that the Escort was going out, and I found that difficult, I liked it.
The search for a replacement took a long time. And then my mother joined in the story. We came across an impeccable Golf C Diesel (1.6) from 1981 at Huitema in Emmeloord. I believe my mother drove the Golf for five minutes. Her "Koos, I know enough”Was the start of a five-year covenant. The Golf in other words, a quality, totally impeccable car, and really one of the best cars my parents had. I also became a fan of that, but I was sad because of the goodbye to the Escort. My parents' Ford hadn't been with us for one and a half. It did yield something. Because I've always had a soft spot for the generation three Ford Escort, which was eventually built until 1986.