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The Ford Escort Over The Years

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Ford Escort

The Ford Escort Over The Years

Andy Zain
September 10, 2009

Two-plus decades of the Ford Escort seemed to have gone by in the blink of an eye after it was introduced to the North American market back in 1981 as Ford's first "world car." Up to that time, Ford had largely been unsuccessful in making compact vehicles that would be widely accepted by its customers; the Escort would change that.

As a model that ran up through the 2003 model year, the compact Escort had a very nice life. The new Focus picked up the load after the little compact was put out to pasture though thousands of them still run on the roads to this day. Originally based of model off the same name sold in Europe, it was redesigned extensively before being put forward for sale to Americans.

Technologically, the Escort was Ford's first car sporting front-wheel-drive and it took over the small car duties from the Pinto, a car that made its debut in 1971 and was always a vehicle that elicited no small amount of controversy. The Escort was nothing like the Pinto, though, and became one of the Dearborn automaker's most popular vehicles. "The little Ford that could" became the country's best-selling car in its second year and throughout most of the 80s.

In all, the Escort carried on through three generations of increasingly improved vehicles and body styles that reflected the age in which the car was built. It was offered in a number of different engine and transmission combinations, even including a 52 hp diesel engine and a higher performance turbocharged model that delivered 120 hp, which was a fairly robust engine, given the Escort's relatively small size.

Over the course of the third, and last, generation (1997-2202), the engineers at Ford had put it all together, creating an admired small car that could put out nice performance using its four-cylinder engines and also show off relatively attractive sheet metal that appealed to a lot of customers.

Throughout its life span, the Escort appeared in a number of different body styles and/or combinations, including a three door hatchback, a five door hatchback/sedan, a station wagon and also a range of sporty looking coupes, which made their appearance in 1998. Ford kept up with the times in periodically freshening up the interiors to keep the vehicle interesting.

Over the course of its lifespan, the Ford Escort filled an important niche for the Blue Oval. It was able to give the manufacturer a platform through which a number of different small car technologies that we now take for granted could be introduced and tested while also ensuring a nice-selling vehicle in the compact car segment. Barring anything else, just this fact alone made the Escort a great success.

Andy Zain is the admin of Ford Escort Forum , a place where fans and owners can get the right information for tuning, customization and general discussions on anything about Ford Escort. Get the information you need when you visit Ford Forum

Source:  Amazines.com

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