A history of the Ford Escort – from Mk1 to Mk7 (Mark 3) 0

A-history-of-the-Ford-Escort-from-Mk1-to-Mk-7-Mark-3Our look back at the various guises of Ford’s much loved Escort continues with today’s fond recall of the third edition of the line-up. First hitting the roads as Margaret Thatcher took up residency at Number Ten; the Mk3 remained in production until 1986.

Mark III (1980 – 1986)

It’s fair to say the third incarnation of the Escort divided opinion. Not deemed ‘a proper Escort’ by Escort purists, this was the Escort that saw the most radical overhaul of the original design.

The reason for the controversy came partly due to the new Escort’s 1980’s angular style design, and also because for the first time it had a transversely-mounted engine that powered the front wheels.

The Mark III – nicknamed Erika – continued to enhance the Escort’s reputation of providing cheap, durable transport for the masses, but with a degree of style. The top end of the range was also tarted up in order to deliver some racy thrills.

This ‘tarting up’ saw the launch of the XR3 (and later XR3i) that, in truth, had a slightly iffy reputation. Not quite as refined as the Golf GTI, which was its targeted competition. For many though, that was its charm.

For a lot of people however, the Mark III XR3, complete with its cloverleaf alloys and rubber spoilers, will always be synonymous with ‘boy racers’, a term which was even more applicable on its successor which will be covered next time…

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