You Can Buy A Brand New Classic Escort In 2020
The rally legend is being re-produced by a small company in Wales.
Ford's Escort has been solidified in the history books as one of the best selling cars of all time, but it was also one of the first Fords to become the first in the long line of fast Fords that we have come to know and love over the past 60 years or so.
Sadly, the escort lost its sporty touch with the MK6 Escort RS2000 in the 90's. This didn't sell anywhere near the number of its predecessors such as the XR3i and its never had the everlasting appeal of something like an Escort Mexico. So, even though the loss of the Escort in 2000 was never really mourned, drivers all across the world have always held a light for it and the small Welsh company MST Cars LTD have fulfilled a dream for many of these people as they have re-started production of the popular, classic, sporting escorts.
MST (standing for Motorsport Tools) have been supplying parts and tools to the motorsport industry since 2008 and have roots in the industry going back 100 years. After building up enough parts to build a full car, the company have decided to do just that and make them to order.
Model Pictured: MST Cars MK1 Escort Fast Road & Touring. Picture Copyright MST Cars LTD
So, What's On Offer?
Well, it's not like they're going to start making the old Escort L or Ghia again, as there is next to no market for them, and if there was, they would have to make a lot of changes to update it for modern families. No, what they are building are 4 sports variations of both the MK1 and MK2 Escort.
Both iterations are available in 'Fast Road & Touring', 'Fast Road & Track', 'Group-4 Rally Car' & 'Ultimate Rally Car' guises, with differences to each model making them stand out from one another.
For example, the 'Fast Road & Touring' models come with a 2.5L Ford Duratec engine, outputting 200+ BHP. Whereas, at the other end of the spectrum, the 'Ultimate Rally Car' model comes with a 2.5L Millington Diamond Engine outputting 330+BHP.
Along with this, customers are able to customise the interior for in either 'touring' or 'lightweight' styles. The cars can also be painted in whatever colour the customer desires and with liveries if required.
Finally, Minilite wheels are standard across the range which really takes the timeless styling to another level.
But Is It Just The Same Escort Grandad Bought In 1970?
The closest these Escorts are to dear old grandads one is if your grandad bought an Escort Mexico. Even then, the new MST Escorts have uprated parts so that they can be registered on modern roads. So things like collapsible steering columns, adjustable Bilstein coilovers, vented disk brakes, fuel injection, 5/6 speed transmission are just the start of a long list of modernisation upgrades on the new Escorts.
Thanks to the joys of modern manufacturing, the build quality will be 10,000 times better than it was back then and the bodywork most likely wont rust as if it were made from left over Mr. Kipling pie casings, like the original 70's models did.
Picture Copyright MST Cars LTD
Sadly, with any car that's been re-produced and beefed up, comes a beefed up price tag. A whopping £69,000 for the 'Fast Road & Touring' model, right up to £95,000 for the 'Ultimate Rally Car'. Just to put that in perspective, you could buy a second hand Ferrari 355 for that money. But there are a lot of people (and prospective buyers) who will happily pay that money for an old Ford nowadays, just look at how the Sierra Cosworth has become ludicrously expensive in the past decade. So for someone to pay that for an Escort (especially a brand new one) is something that most of us can just about get our heads around in this day and age. As well as this, these cars are a hell of a lot better in terms of driving pleasure than the classic models you can buy on AutoTrader. That's not to say the originals are bad. Just that the new MST Escorts will give you a more modern and precise driving experience in comparison.
My Personal Choice
If I did have the £69,000 to buy one, personally, I would be going with the MK2 'Fast Road & Touring' model, in either this rather fetching shade of black, an orange or something similarly 70's. For me, I love the racing attitudes of the more expensive cars, but I've always preferred something that you can do both in. Have a bit of fun in it at the weekend and if the local racetrack has an open day, belt it round for an hour or two.
Model Pictured: MST Cars Escort MK2 Fast Road & Touring. Picture Copyright MST Cars LTD
Personally, I wonder how they've got the legal rights to pull this off, but I think it's fantastic that they've been able to, as its allowing a whole new generation to experience the wonders of classic motoring/ rallying, without having to spend 6 months restoring the thing first. Sadly the price somewhat counteracts this, but with the way that original classic Escorts are going, it might be cheaper to buy one of these in years to come. Either way, its great to see them being made again and I hope that it proves successful for them.