Letter From America – 1995 Ford Escort

Escorts? We got tons of ’em. Basic transport sold here for decades, some of them benefitting from rally history. But they’ve always been German/British-designed Euro Escorts, with the country of origin being Brazil at best but never the States. The USDM Escorts appear here only occasionally, being privately imported when someone’s returned to the country. They’re closer to Mazda 323:s than the comparable Escorts, but I can’t imagine either a Ford or Mazda spare parts counter being of much help when you’re trying to source bits for this 1995 Escort LX for example. I’ve heard horror stories of Probe drivers getting the shaft, and this can’t be much better.

Yeah, it’s an exchange student in a class of mouse grey Fords. Short plates, automatic seat belts, it’s got it all. Just like the Taurus and Ranger, it’s a common car over the ocean but you almost never see one here.

Back in ’95, Ford had started to call the Euro Escort sedan the Escort again, having used the Orion moniker for the ’80s version and for a couple years on the ’90s model, until they decided the name was just as rubbish as the ’80s car was – it looked just like the Escort with a box on the back that it was. The ’90s car was a sleeker effort, but still looked like a car only your local vicar would drive and no-one else. In comparison, the US Escort is a sleek slab of aero.

The RS-style wheels look great. They match the ones commonly seen on the Sierra and Scorpio, but if the US Escort has such a large percentage of Mazda parts, the bolt pattern should be the Japanese satajako 4×100 and not the Ford 4×108.

I do admit, from a distance I thought it was a Tempo at first. I walked closer heart-a-flutter, as I wanted to get a Tempo sighting – I’ve noticed the famous FordTempoFan has joined the Hooniverse commenter ranks…

But alas, no Tempo. Still, anything with a tail light cluster this wide and a rear plate this narrow would be a content-worthy shoot.

Even if the paint on the Escort is good and bears no tracers traces of lacquer oxidation that’s apparently common on US cars in USA (we ~never get it here), it looks like it’s been sideswiped by a truck at some point. There’s a really sharp crease running along the side, which is a damn shame. The rear wheelarch has also been scratched to hell. Another possibility is that it’s been reversed into a set of brick stairs with a metal railing.

The last Escort I’ve seen in a posting has been a junkyard three-door. How easy would it be to spot one this nice over there?

Bonus Content: Here’s the one other US Escort in our town, a facelift wagon. Consider it a spiritual forerunner of the Focus Wagon.

Note the extra brake light, as required.

[Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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