Can’t afford a new Focus ST? Well then maybe its grandpappy - today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Escort GT - will be more to your bank account’s liking. Let’s find out!
Do you recall the Simpsons episode in which Homer gets food poisoning from a huge sandwich he’s been eating for weeks? He ends up railing at the moldering sub for making him sick only to stop and hug the loaf, cooing “Oh who am I kidding, I can’t stay mad at you.”
I got that same kind of vibe from the comments on yesterday’s 1989 BMW 325i droptop. Many of you noted that there’s nothing more expensive than a cheap Bimmer, and many related their own horror stories and battle scars of having once owned one. In the end however, the E30's siren call couldn’t be ignored, and that heaviest and automatic-est of all the E30s took home a 63% Nice Price win. After all, who could stay mad at that face?
If you want to get angry, get angry at Ford for not offering a sporty Focus with a diesel engine so you could tell your friends you have an STD. The gas engine engine in the one-letter-away-from-a-most-excellent-joke ST won’t make you angry. That bad boy’s got 252-horsepower and a six-speed gearbox to make the most of it. Plus, it has just enough torque steer to make you, on occasion, think you’ve got one of those fancy self-driving Teslas, Ooh-la-la!
Of course, a Focus ST costs a damn good bit of change. Oh sure, it’s worth it, but not all of us are made of money and so we tend to go for cheaper alternatives. One alternative to an ST might just be this 1991 Escort GT. Okay, stop laughing. Seriously, stop it!
The Escort represents a venerable nameplate in the Ford corral, having first debuted in 1968 in replacement of the long-serving Anglia. The Europeans got a series of both family-friendly and rockum-sockum Escorts over the years. Lucky pups. Here in America, the Escort arrived as an 1980 model, and it underwhelmed from the outset.
The second generation of American Escort (Wasn’t there an ‘80s movie staring Richard Gere with a name like that?) was vastly improved, mostly because it switched to the far more capable chassis of the Mazda 323 and featured styling that wasn’t evocative of an evangelical teen dance party.
This GT climbs even farther up the Mazda family tree, as it features a 127-bhp DOHC 1.8-litre four. You might remember that mill from such fun cars as the Mazda Protege and MX5. It proved not just to be more powerful than the 1.9-litre CVH four Ford was cursing the base Escorts with, but a lot smoother too, as the Ford mill was coarser than a washing machine full of tennis shoes.
The chassis was up to the task as well, featuring a slick Mazda-sourced five-speed stick, big 10.1-inch disc brakes up front and 9.9 analogs in the back. Zero to sixty times for the GT were clocked by contemporary tests at solidly at about 8-seconds. Yes, your hoverboard will do that today, but it’ll burst into flames right after. You have to remember, this was the early Nineties and eight seconds was screamin’ back then.
This one might make you scream with delight as it’s seemingly the cleanest, and nicest ’91 GT out there. The ad notes 119,000 miles under its belt and a few nicks and cuts that have occurred along the way. It’s a California car and so it has to look good, as that’s a requirement for living here. I’m the exception and must be here on some sort of visa.
The interior is equally nice, and exhibits seemingly no major wear or tear on its cool red-piped seats or issue with all the plastic bits, and there are a lot of them. It also should be noted that Ford’s interiors on this generation of Escort were pretty nice, with a tidy dash and, surprisingly, reasonable build quality.
This one still looks pretty good and as a bonus still has A/C that works. We now have to figure out if this survivor’s price works as well. The asking on this GT is $3,000 - or about ten times what you’d expect to pay for a standard ’91 Escort - and it’s very likely that you won’t find many others in this sort of condition.
What do you think, for $3,000, could this be the poor person’s ST? Or, is that price still too much for this Escort service?
H/T to MovieMaestro10 for the hookup!
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