Ford once touted that its Escort diesel achieved better fuel economy than a 750-cc motorcycle. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe diesel wagon costs about as much as an old bike too, but will that be enough to have you saying diesel do nicely?
When you look at a car that’s had some major mechanical modification do you picture the work having been done by a maniacal individual in surgical garb and goggles screaming It’s Aliiiiiiiive!? No? Maybe that’s just me.
Regardless, yesterday’s V8-imbued 1986 BMW 325e had some pretty substantial post-factory reconfiguration done to it. Even though it was someone else’s project AND had a salvage title that Böser Bub still managed to eke out an RCH-narrow 52% Nice Price win for its five-grand asking price. Thus again does the immutable magic of the E30 continue.
There’s never been anything even remotely magical about Ford’s U.S. Escort. Look, apologies in advance to anyone who currently owns one, but these are cars that you drive when all other options prove unaffordable, and walking’s just too damn dangerous. The cars are typically in the triple digit range which makes this 1984 Escort something worth our attention owing to its cheap by anything-other-than-Escort standards price tag.
The Escort was Ford’s first U.S. built FWD car. It was also the company’s first attempt at a global design, the car having been released at the same time in both the States and in Europe. The thing of it was, while the Euro-‘Scort and State-side edition shared names and appeared to be of the same family - from a distance - they were for all intents and purposes two distinctly different cars.
The European Escort featured taut styling and came in models like the RS1600i and XR3. The U.S. edition was a bloated and be-chromed distant cousin to that car, sharing almost no parts save the rattly 1.6 four pot. We did get some sporting models - the SS and then the somewhat spiffy GT - but shizzle, when was the last time you actually saw one of those on the road?
We did got a nicely proportioned wagon as well, and that wagon could be optioned out with a Mazda-sourced diesel four, and a five-speed manual transmission. Sadly few buyers checked those option boxes.
Perhaps the reason is that so equipped, the Escort diesel will redefine slow. With just 54-bhp and 70 lb-ft of torque on tap it’s not going to give snails anything to fear. Power walkers will out-drag it, and had Doc Brown converted one into a time machine instead of a DeLorean, Marty McFly would never have knocked boots with either Jennifer.
Okay, but what about that mileage, which was once claimed to be better than a Honda CB 750, that’s got to be worth something, right? Damn straight, pilgrim. That is in fact the Escort diesel’s raison d’etre, and from the factory it came with an EPA rating of 46 city and 68 highway. Take THAT, Prius!
This ’84 is so equipped and brings with it 175,000 miles on the clock. The seller says it still gets between 35 and 45 MPG, so it’s keeping the dream alive. It’s also seen some action, there being some creasing on the curbside rear arch, and of course it’s painted that weird band aid flesh color that no human actually possesses, but hey, there’s no apparent rust or gypsy infestation.
That paint seems to be a respray, owing to what looks to be overspray on the hatch seal. Who cares, right? The interior benefits from the upgraded dashboard received in the Escort’s first mid-cycle refresh. It’s a lot better looking and more solid than the crepe paper one the first version had.
The seats look like they have been sat in… by really fat people… a lot. There’s also a mystery switch on an aluminum plate screwed to the dash. I’m guessing it’s for fuel pump or glow plugs, but I’m itching to flip it.
There’s no mention of its function in the ad, but the seller does say that the wagon comes with a clean title (yay!) and would make for a good work car. The price for this diesel-powered, five-speed equipped, longroof is a modest $2,200, or about five normal Escorts.
What’s your tale on that price for this ‘Scort? Does that seem like a diesel do? Or, for that much is this a diesel don’t?
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