Let’s test our knowledge.

What was the first Ford Escort?

If you’re an American, you’re thinking this.

And you’d be wrong. That’s a US spec Mk3 and the name’s a clue. The Mk3 must have been preceded by a Mk1 and a Mk2. While we’re here though let’s examine the US Escort. The Mk3 was supposed to be a “world car” sold on both sides of the Atlantic. In the event North American Escorts and everyone else’s shared remarkably little. The extra chrome, big bumpers and sealed beams are obvious but one little known fact was that Ford US didn’t have presses big enough to make the sides of the car in one piece and so they had to do press several panels and weld them.

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So, the Mk1 was first, eh?

Nope. The Mk1 was the first car where the entire range was called an Escort, but it wasn’t the first Escort. (Bonus Mk3 Granada)

This was.

The estate version of the Anglia model of the 100E from the 1950s was called an Escort (the fancier Prefect model was a Squire). You can see the name above the grille. Note, while looking at the front, the hole in the bumper where a starting handle could be inserted.

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So there we have it. The first Ford Escort wasn’t what we imagine.