The first-generation North American Ford Escort looked a lot like its European namesake, but was a very different machine under the skin. For the 1991 model year, the Escort moved to the same platform as the Mazda 323, so the late-’80s models are the last of the all-Ford American Escorts.
Here’s one that I spotted in a Northern California yard.
For some reason, 1988 model-year Escort GTs are the ones I find in these self-service yards; so far in this series, we have seen this first-half-of-1988 red one and this post-mid-model-year-refresh white one. Today’s Escort is another “1988.5” version.
The 1.9-liter CVH engine in this car made 110 horsepower. This would be considered intolerable in 2016, but wasn’t bad back then.
Poor bedraggled junkyard mini-disco-ball.
I hadn’t seen one of these Ford-issued EMISSION CONTROL SYSTEM MODIFIED stickers in a California car before. Since the California emissions check involves a ball-bustingly strict, factory-equipment inspection, this probably authorizes a different type of EGR valve or similar minor change.
A much worn,Â late-1980s-vintage KEEP ABORTION LEGAL sticker is a very San Francisco Bay Area-appropriate accessory.
The list price on this car was $9,093, which was a lot cheaper than the 132 hp, $12,058 Mazda 323 GT Turbo. However, the 1988 Dodge Omni GLH (which was lighter and had the same horsepower as the Escort GT) sold for a mere $8,226.
Weedly-weeee guitars and a trip to Club 911? Take the Escort GT![Images: Â© 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars]