Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers

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The Ford Escort was the workersmuscle car

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-ford

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The second generation of escorts was tried out in 1973 under the code name Brenda. This model was developed by Ford Germany. The car was launched a year later.

Source: Ford

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-ford

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The Escort II was manufactured in the factories Halewood (Great Britain), Saarlouis (Germany), Cork (Ireland), Homebush (Australia), Wiri (New Zealand), Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Israel. In Israel, the Escort II was one of the market leaders. In this photo he can be seen in the combined version of the tournament.

Source: Ford

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-muscle

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The Escort RS 1800 and RS 2000 made their debut at the Geneva Salon 1975 (photo).

Source: Ford

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-workers

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The sporty escort Mexico completed the program especially for Great Britain.

Source: Ford

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-workers

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In 1976 a homologation series of 400 units of the Escort RS 2000 Special for Group 1b motorsport use started.

Source: Ford

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-escort

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In Great Britain, the Escort took second place in the registration statistics after the Ford Cortina.

Source: Ford

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-oldtimer

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And the escort also celebrated numerous successes in motorsport. In 1979 Ford won the brands and drivers championship in the World Rally Championship with the Escort.

Source: Ford

The Ford Escort II was supposed to win over thrifty people as well as racing fans 40 years ago – and by the way keep the Golf in check and conquer new international markets.

R.Looking back, she is completely wrongly in the shadow of her notorious predecessor, the first escort with a dog-bone grille and a cheeky swing of the hips. The Escort new edition 40 years ago did away with such design quirks. Generously glazed and smoothly drawn, the second generation of what was then the smallest Ford series wanted to be an inconspicuous companion for everyday automotive use.

A little seduction was allowed to be in the game, however, so there were Ghia versions with luxurious accessories such as vinyl roof and chrome-decorated wheels and spectacularly sharp RS athletes for rallying, racing and the left-hand motorway lane. Only the station wagon tournament showed itself in the old bodywork; this three-door model had to have a new front design to indicate the generation change.

Under the sheet metal, all Escorts stayed with the conservative, conventional technology of their predecessor – although the European compact class had been converted almost entirely to front-wheel drive, with the exception of the Opel Kadett. For the future small car Fiesta, however, Ford had designed a completely new front-wheel drive architecture, which, however, only encouraged the Americans to keep everything as it was with the Escort.

Renault Supercinq – the fastest among the little ones

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-muscle

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Hello, it’s me, the Renault Supercinq! – In September 1984 the second generation of the Renault 5 was presented and given the nickname Supercinq. From the first genesration, more than five million vehicles had been built.

Source: Renault

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-muscle

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Marcello Gandini, who had previously designed vehicles for Lamborghini and Maserati, was responsible for the design.

Source: Renault

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-workers

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The small car was still offered as a three- and five-door model.

Source: Renault

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-escort

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The top version was the Renault 5 GT Turbo with 115 hp. With this motorization, the small car won …

Source: Renault

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-ford

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… numerous racing titles. However, the 408 hp Renault 5 Turbo 2 Maxi, with which Ragnotti took first place in the Tour de Corse rally, had even more power.

Source: Renault

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-oldtimer

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The cockpit looked quite futuristic at the time. A floating screen covered the instruments.

Source: Renault

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-escort

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In 1990 Renault presented the successor to the R5 with the Clio, but the small car was built in Slovenia until 1996. In the rest of Europe, Schluss.

Source: Renault

After all, the 1976 Fiesta was supposed to be the most expensive car in the world in terms of development costs. And so it was important to save money for a world car like the Escort, especially since the almost exclusively competing Japanese also drove up to the oceanic and Asian markets with rear-wheel drive.

On the other hand, general forecasts by leading Ford managers about new vehicle types for the European market seemed daring. Despite the VW Golf just shown at Ford, it was said that new models of almost all brands in the future would only be more or less profound changes to existing cars. A policy that – with the exception of the Fiesta – was actually valid for almost an entire decade for Ford, as Capri, Escort and Taunus in particular showed.

But not with the assembled competition, which in the years between the first two oil crises mainly combined a generation change with the presentation of new designs. Financially in any case, Ford was apparently doing very well with its strategy of cosmetic facelifts. After all, the models, which were renewed with accurate economy, were so well received by the public in many countries that they usually topped the bestseller charts.

This even applied to the Escort II, which had rather disappointed in the first generation in Germany and now, despite more progressive competition from the Beetle successor, the Golf, made significantly more units. As early as 1975, the first full year of sales, 100,000 German compact class buyers opted for the new Escort Infusion, while the seven-year-old predecessor in Germany only escorted 300,000 customers through life.

Even more impressive were the numbers for Great Britain, where the smallest Ford traditionally played the role of an affordable, yet highly desirable, people’s car. What Herbert Austin first achieved in the 1920s with his cheap Austin Seven assembly line car was continued by compact Fords in the United Kingdom from the late 1930s.

Under the name Ford Popular as a basic automobile engine and in other escort lines as the ultimate dream car for less well-paid employees and workers. A task that the Escort II performed with ease.

A small Ford as a dream car? What was hardly conceivable in this country looked different in the country of the strike-ridden mass manufacturers British Leyland and Chrysler UK, plagued by quality problems. Quite a few Britons waited longingly for Brenda, as the renewed escort was called in its development phase.

German escort buyers complained about the poor quality

While German buyers complained massively in 1975/76 about minor teething problems of the second generation of escorts manufactured in Saarlouis (Saarland), the English generously ignored such start-up problems. Ford was the epitome of reliability in the island realm – at least in relation to cars like Austin Allegro, Morris Marina or Hillman Avenger. And so the Ford Cortina and Escort models were once again national bestsellers in 1975/76.

The lead of the renewed Ford Escort on the markets of the former British Empire was not quite as confident. Especially in Australia and New Zealand, the Ford came under pressure from Japanese imports with equally conventional, but even more reliable and cheaper technology. Which is why Ford did not even introduce the third generation of escorts there at the end of 1980, but replaced it with cooperation models with Mazda.

When barn finds are kissed awake

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-oldtimer

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Open an old barn and find an automotive treasure in it – that’s probably what every classic car lover dreams of. This barn hides, for example, Opel Rekord, model yearage 58.

Source: Michael von Klodt

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-escort

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On the outside there is a thick layer of dust on the well-preserved Opel, but inside the painted sheet metal of the dashboard shines. Behind the sun visor there are still notes from dhe time before the car disappeared in the shed for decades.

Source: Michael von Klodt

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-oldtimer

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Sigvard Nyling (left), the owner of the car, and his nephew Lennart also discover old cards and papers in the trunk.

Source: Michael von Klodt

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-workers

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Andreas Jaldeback is familiar with barn finds and other old cars. For almost 30 years he has been trading European vintage and youngtimers in a suburb of Malmo.

Source: Michael von Klodt

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-workers

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In Sweden, however, vintage cars are also often offered for sale by private individuals. Alain Steegmans, for example, offers his Renault 4CV on the lawn in his front yard on.

Source: Michael von Klodt

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-ford

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For the cream sandwich, which has not yet reached 100,000 kilometers on the speedometer, he charges around 3,100 euros.

Source: Michael von Klodt

Oldtimer: The Ford Escort was the muscle car of the workers-escort

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Germans often come to Sweden by trailer to take home with them in well-preserved vintage cars. However, they are not too popular in Scandinavia because they are supposed to beh ruin the prices

Source: Michael von Klodt

Only South Africa held a special position. “Born to perfom” was the magic marketing formula that transformed the initially staid escort into a sporty cult car. What was reserved for the top RS 1800 (not for Ford Cologne) and RS 2000 versions in Europe was already achieved in South Africa with an Escort 1600 Sport.

Ford South Africa implanted more powerful 1.6-liter units with 84 hp in the 54 hp Escort 1300 two-door model, which was previously difficult to sell, refined the chassis – and the affordable, lightweight road racer that had the image of a titan in the rally was ready World Cup benefited. There the Ford Escort RS with an English Cosworth engine fought for countless victories until 1979 not only the brand but also the driver’s title under Bjorn Waldegard.

In Europe, the street athletes Escort RS 1800 and RS 2000 were presented at the Geneva Salon 1975, after which the Escort 1600 Sport, previously shown at the Brussels fair, did not delight the audience. Apparently, despite the powerful 84 hp (the base only offered 44 hp), it was visually too discreet.

In 1980 the third generation of escorts came onto the market

In contrast, the RS 2000 became a dazzling star thanks to a spectacular polyurethane front section, which made the 3.98 meter long Escort 17 centimeters longer and at the same time reduced the drag coefficient by 16 percent. 110 hp made this Ford accelerate more vehemently than the Opel Kadett GT / E and the later Golf GTI. 8.9 seconds for the sprint from zero to 100 km / h, which back then seemed like time-lapse, didn’t give the Porsche 924 or the twice as powerful Mercedes 450 SL a chance to catch up.

In contrast, the standard Escort 1300 GL (no extra charge compared to the 1.1-liter version) was considered sluggish from the start in the environment of competitors such as VW Golf, Opel Kadett 1200 S, Fiat 128 or Alfasud. In return, it had something that not even the top of the class Golf could offer – a guarantee period that was twice as long. For Ford Germany this was an investment that paid off.

Despite the start-up problems of earlier models, the compact conservative drove strong profits in the box office. Until Brenda was replaced by Erika in the summer of 1980, the third generation of escorts. Only once again did a staid blue escort from 1975 make the global headlines: In the summer of 2005, the former vehicle of the late Pope John Paul II was auctioned for the record price of 690,000 US dollars.

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