Saturday, 28 June 2014

1968, Cars: Ford Escort (Mk I)

Ford of Britain introduced the Ford Escort at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1968. The Escort replaced the successful long running Ford Anglia. The Escort production commenced at Halewood (UK) at the end of 1967, and for left hand drive markets in September 1968 in Genk (Belgium).

The new small 2-door saloon rear-wheel drive Ford was available with a four-speed manual gearbox, or a 3-speed automatic transmission. The car was presented in two trim levels, “De Luxe” with circular front headlights and rubber flooring, and "Super" featuring rectangular headlamps, carpets, a cigar lighter and a water temperature gauge. Underneath the bonnet was the Kent Crossflow petrol engine in 1.1 L, and 1.3 L versions. A special version, the 1300GT, had a tuned 1.3 L Kent engine with a Weber carburetor and uprated suspension. The same tuned 1.3 L engine was also used in the Escort Sport.

Predecessor Ford Anglia 105E (1959-1968)
Ford Escort Mk I "De Luxe" 2-door
Ford Escort Mk I "De Luxe" 2-door
At the end of March 1968 a 3-door estate was introduced. A panel van appeared in April 1968 and the 4-door saloon in 1969.
Ford Escort Mk I "Super" 2-door
Ford Escort Mk I "De Luxe" 4-door (1969)
Ford Escort Mk I Estate (1968)
Ford Escort Mk I Van (1968)
The Mark I Escorts became successful as a rally car, the greatest victory was in the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally being driven by Finnish legend Hannu Mikkola. Afterwards Ford introduced the Escort Mexico with 1.6 L Kent engine. In addition to the Mexico, the RS1600 was developed with 1.6 L Cosworth Kent engine. The RS2000 Escort was introduced in July 1973 it had a 2-litre overhead cam Ford Pinto engine.

Ford Escort Mexico Mk I
Ford Escort RS2000 Mk I
The Escort Mk I was built in Halewood, UK  (1967-1974), Genk, Belgium (1968-1969), Saarlouis, Germany (1970-1974), Seaview, New Zealand (1968-1974), Homebush, Australia (1970-1975), Nazareth, Israel (1968-1975), and Taipei, Taiwan (1972-1975).

Ford Escort Mk II (1974-1980)
Production ended in 1974 with the introduction of the squarer-styled Mk II in January 1975. Unlike the Mk I (which was developed by Ford of Britain), the second generation was jointly developed by Ford of Britain and Ford of Germany.

Ford Escort Mk I UK Advert (1968)

Ford Escort Mk I Advert (1968)

Ford Escort Mk I UK Advert 1969

Ford Escort Mk I German Advert (1970)

Ford Escort Mk I UK Advert with Ronnie Corbett (1970s)

Ford Escort 1300E Mk I UK Advert (1973)

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