By Mark Nobes, chief editor

Built between 1968 and 2004, the Ford Escort is one of the UK's best-known family cars. However, it is the third and fourth generation models (Mk3 and Mk4) that is most closely associated with the 1980s, and this was built between 1980 and 1986. By 1982, the Escort had taken over the Cortina as Britain's best-selling car, and it held that honour for eight consecutive years.   
Ford Escort XR3i White - public domain photo

Mk4Xr3i (public domain image - free for reuse)

The Mk3 was a completely new design and vastly different to the Mk1 and Mk2 models. For starters, it was now front-wheel drive (like the Fiesta) and featured a new hatchback body. Ford fans would have to wait until 1983 for another saloon with a boot, and this came in the form of the new Orion.
The aeroback design of the Escort (with its deceiving boot stump) helped reduce drag, and the black radiator grille and stylish straked rear lights helped it to retain a sporty look. 
The fourth generation (Mk4) model (1986 to 1992) retained the overall shape of the previous MK3. However, the straked rear lights were smoothed out and the bonnet gained a nose. The larger front and rear bumpers now completely covered the bottom of the bodywork and there was a new interior with a more modern dashboard included. 
In 1988, a new 1.8 L Lynx diesel engine replaced the 1.6 model and the 1.1L and 1.3L models gained new and improved engines. 

Now, grab your favourite beverage and take a gander at our ever-increasing collection of original Ford Escort pictures to remind yourself of a time when these popular cars once graced the British roads. 

Photos taken by (copyright) John Lonergan

These four splendid images of a 1978 Mk2 Ford Escort 1.3 Popular Plus four door in Diamond White were kindly sent in to us by its owner John Lonergan - please respect the copyright of these photos. As you can see, it's in an immaculate condition (both inside and out) and has only covered 6,300 miles from new - lucky man! Select (left click) an image to view its full size.
Ford Escort Mark 1 estate 1974
Photo of an Italian Ford Escort Estate Mk I taken in 1974. The Mark 1 was built between 1968 and 1974 and replaced the Anglia. By 1974, Ford had sold two million Escorts and it became the second best-selling car of the 1970s, beaten only by the Cortina.
A Mk3 (Photo by Rudolf Stricker). Ford had five of its cars in the top 10 bestsellers list, and the Escort was No.1. In the 80s, it was built to compete against the VW Golf and Vauxhall Cavalier. However, despite its continued popularity, the MkIII suffered from many teething problems (the suspension was shocking) and also performed badly as a rally car. 


Ford Escort MkI Estate with red wheels

An Escort Mk1 estate with red wheels

By Riley from Christchurch, New Zealand (Escort.) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Ford Escort Mk1 (public domain photo)

Blue Mk1 with white go-faster white stripes and gold wheels (public domain photo)

1987 Ford Escort Finesse in white(public domain image)

Ford Escort RS2000

Creative Commons image of a Ford Escort RS2000 by Robert Photography

Ford Escort RS2000 MkI

Escort RS2000 Mk1 

Ford Escort MKI

Ford Escort Mk1 by Spanish Coches

Ford Escort
1970 Ford Escort Mk1 rally car. Creative Commons image by Robert

Ford Escort Mk1 Rally Car
Photo Credit: Rd. Vortex via Compfight cc


1972 Ford Escort Mk I 1600 GT Mexico (6052541880)
By sv1ambo (1972 Ford Escort Mk I 1600 GT Mexico) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

An angled side view of a lime green Escort Mexico with its boot and bonnet (hood) open

Interior of a 1972 Ford Escort Mk I 1600 GT Mexico (6051994885)
By sv1ambo (1972 Ford Escort Mk I 1600 GT Mexico) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Ford Escort MkI 1100 1972

Mk1 1100 (1972) 

Ford Escort Mk2 four door
Ford Escort 1.1l rear view
Public Domain Photos of a four door Ford Escort 1.1L Mk2 (built 1975 to 1980). The mark II came in L, GL, Sport, RS and Ghia versions and was a very successful rally car, which helped to boost its popularity as a family car.
1978 Ford Escort RS2000 - orange
1978 Ford Escort RS2000. Photo by Simon Povey

Ford Escort RS
Ford Escort RS - Creative Commons photo by Robert

Ford Escort Mk II


1980 Ford Escort Van Mk II (W. Smith)

1980 Ford Escort Van 

1983 Ford Escort RS1600i black

1983 Escort RS1600i black 

Ford Escort RS Cosworth
Copyright-free photo of a silver Ford Escort RS Cosworth

Ford Escort Mk4 (built 1986 to 1990) Photo by Rudolf Stricker

Ford Escort cabriolet (1990's)
Copyright free image of a Ford Escort Cabriolet Mark Vb (1992–1995)