2017 Shannons Sydney Winter Classic Auction
1978 Ford Escort Mk2 Ghia 2 Lt Sedan
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 2000cc|
This lot is no longer available
For the better part of two decades, Ford Australia's most popular small car was the Escort, starting with the Mark 1 introduced to the local market in 1970, more than twelve months after it first appeared in Europe. Right from the outset, the Escort appealed to a broad range of buyers, from those seeking economy motoring on a tight budget (with the 1.1-litre model) through to performance versions like the GT and even more sporting Twin-Cam. The combination of lightness and excellent handling thanks to the stiff monocoque shell allowed the Escort to show its mettle on the track, with Twin-Cam versions proving hugely successful as both a rally car and on the track, often beating much bigger Mustangs, Camaros and the like. In September 1975 Ford announced a heavily revised Mark 2 version of the Escort in Australia, sold initially in three models - the L, XL and more luxurious Ghia. The modern, angular styling provided usefully more legroom and bigger boot space. Mechanical improvements included front disc brakes across the range, along with a revised range of engines and transmission options, most notably the introduction of the smooth C3 automatic. In July 1976 the 1.6-litre engine was standardised across the range to cope with tough new emissions but a noticeable drop in performance led Ford to add a 2-litre option the following year for the GL model - it was standard on the Ghia. With 70kW on tap, the 2-litre Escorts also came with a larger fuel tank mounted below the floor to increase boot capacity. Leaving aside the imported RS2000s, the 2-litre Escort in manual guise was the fastest Escort ever made in Australia and they remain fantastic fun to drive even today, almost 40 years on.