- Warranted mileage of 68,000 miles
- Just one previous owner
- Registered new 10th July 1972
- Known provenance
- Stored since 2014
- Please scroll down the page to see the bidding and to read a full description for this lot
|MODEL||Escort Mk1 1300 Deluxe Auto|
1972 Ford Escort Mk1 1300 Deluxe Auto *SOLD*
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- Warranted mileage of 68,000 miles
- Just one previous owner
- Registered new 10th July 1972
- Known provenance
- Stored since 2014
Garage finds? What does that even mean? We’ll admit we don’t know either.
This one isn’t a ‘find’ because it was never lost. It has been stored, unused, in a garage since 2014 and it hasn’t moved. We’ll talk a lot about the car. Yet, this is as much about the charming story behind this classic. It is the snapshot history of a family, which all of us can relate to, because in many ways it is about all our families. This delightful Escort deserves to be preserved, loved, cherished and become a snapshot of someone else’s life.
The first owner was Doris. Back in the 60s/70s when British industry produced things, if you lived in an area where there was car production nearby, you would have probably worked in that industry. Doris worked at the Ford Motor Company plant in Dagenham. At its height, the plant sprawled across 55 acres of the hinterland of East London dominating the local area. Doris was one of those 40,000 workers directly employed at the factory. The Ford Escort Mk1 she purchased under the Ford Employee Scheme was just one of the 11m vehicles they produced.
Aren’t those numbers just a little bit, well, breathtaking!
The plant and its team of workers became a showpiece for British industrial culture in all its forms
Doris must have wanted the Escort to carry her through her later working years and into her retirement. Which it did.
The second owner, our vendor’s father-in-law, Fred, lived just two doors down from Doris. Along from the Dagenham plant, on the Thames, is Tilbury Docks. The docks, serviced the Ford plant. Fred worked as ship’s chandler there. Living just two doors down, he knew Doris and is reported to have said to Doris, “I’ll buy that car when you’re done with it”.
In 1981, Doris downsized and gave up driving. Fred became the proud owner of the classic Escort Mk1 in November that year, even though at that point he had a company car.
Throughout the numerous conversations we’ve had with Martin, Fred’s son-in-law, about this Escort and about Fred, one phrase was oft repeated about his father in-law. Fred “was a law unto himself”, but in a great way.
Fred knew the Escort because nearly every other weekend, on a Sunday, he hand washed the classic Escort Mk1 for Doris. He also made sure anything that needed doing on the car was done, along with Dealer Servicing.
Because Fred had a company car, Fred’s wife used the car mostly. She worked at the Becton Gas Board in East London, which no doubt supplied energy to the Ford plant!
Martin tells us his mother-in-law used the Escort when his wife was pregnant with their son (who’s now 33) to travel back and forth to Orsett hospital for appointments. Without fail, when it wasn’t in use, the classic Mk1 was tucked in the garage that you see in the pictures.
During Fred’s ownership, we’re told he fettled like mad with the Escort. The box of spares that come with it are testament to that and we will talk a little bit more of that below.
But what a snapshot. This car is a portion of Britain’s industrial and social history, now long since lost. What brings that period and the post-industrial change that followed to life is the people that have been involved. Some of them not even born!
Many of them have grown up with the car. Their lives, their growth, their memories, their futures all linked by that car. And now it will be someone else’s future.
Along with the family, we hope the proud new owner of this classic Ford will take good care of it.
About the car.
The Black Cherry paint work has been remarkably preserved. Aside from a few comments we’ve gathered from anecdotes, we understand the whole car is in un-restored condition. From the volume of images in the gallery, bidders will come to their own conclusion.
We do know some remedial work was undertaken. Martin tells us Fred was a serial tinkerer. He states work was done to the rear arches and to the front wings. But we have no detail. The pictures do not reveal any clues.
Keeping this classic Escort under cover and exposing it to minimal exposure to the British weather has kept the Escort looking very healthy.
All the exterior appears to be in very good condition. The closures, boot, bonnet and all four doors look sound, the shut lines are consistent, even the roof is good.
Images under the vehicle, cobwebs included, provide good evidence of the condition.
We can see the images with all four doors open. The inner frames of the doors look free of any age issues. If we look inside, the wheel arch housings and sill sections, they are the same. We struggle to recall the last time we saw one like this.
The chrome-work looks period and original. It has all the original badges, not replacement ones. The Escort even has the original wing mirrors, when wing mirrors were actually mounted on the wings.
It’s worth noting here the mirrors mounts were drilled and bolted straight through the wings in those days and were often a massive corrosion magnet. See for yourself how good this one is.
From the images inside the engine bay, the inner wings and the front panel, again notorious corrosion areas, are all sound. The original ‘dogbone’ shaped front grille complete with original AA badge is intact with member number 998273.
The bumpers appear to be factory originals with the small over-riders fitted. The boot area looks used, as a boot area should be, but is in sound condition. A nice touch is that the original reverse lights are also still in place.
Are there any niggles? Other than it is a fifty-year-old classic car and not a factory fresh new one, not really any that we can spot. We’re sure you’ll tell us if there are. As always, we’re happy to talk to the vendor if you have a query.
We have to admit being a little taken aback when we saw the inside. If you haven’t already, take a look at the gallery.
Without being restored the seat shape, format, foam and condition look as good as any we’ve seen. The benefit being, these are all original. In fact, all the interior is original.
The dash is crack free. The faux wood veneer of this up market Deluxe model is still nicely intact if a little faded after fifty odd years, but aren’t we all. The original Deluxe steering is fitted along with the centre section
If we take a look at the door trims they are the same. They are all damage-free and the interior architecture of original chrome door handles are all there. This is saying something for a 50-year-old Ford and it reflects the caring ownership this classic has had. The colour coded carpets are all good too.
We are genuinely struggling to find niggles to report to you. We are told Fred was a reformed smoker and wouldn’t let anyone puff in his Escort. To prevent this, he went to the extent of removing the cigarette lighter and the ashtray. So there is a niggle, if we were searching for one. However, the originals are in the box of spares in the garage.
Is it too good to be true? We don’t think so. This has been one of those classic two-owner cars (more like one and a half in this case) which has been genuinely cherished. It is one of those classics that we all hope we’ll stumble on one day. Well here it is. Simple as that.
Engine and transmission
This is not a niggle, it is just a simple fact. This is a non-runner, currently.
A few months before Fred passed, he noticed the coolant level was inexplicably dropping slightly, but his fettling skills failed to determine the cause. He enlisted some help. The cause was a rogue core plug. However, the only way to access the rascal core plug was to remove the gearbox. Fred made a plan to deal with it. In the meantime, during 2014 he parked the Escort in the garage you see in the pictures and began planning. The last tax disc in the screen provides the evidence.
Sadly, Fred passed just six short months later. The Escort has sat since then exactly where Fred parked it until Martin took the pictures you see in the gallery in February this year.
It did run. Fred drove it in. It never catastrophically dumped its coolant, it was just mysteriously dropping slowly away. It will run again. Martin has not and will not run it. Which to our mind is the correct thing to do.
We all know the lovely 1300cc ohv Kent engine is very robust and moreover very simple. Once the three speed Borg Warner auto box is dropped out, taking a couple of hours, the mischievous core plug can be removed and a new one fitted. And the next leg of the classic Mk1’s journey can continue.
The Kent engine along with the gearbox looks sound and dry and displays no obvious issues. Given the history and condition of the rest of the vehicle we’ve no reason to doubt that either.
The battery was sensibly removed some time ago. As we all know, they leak and the contents can do damage. Even before that happens, Ford Escort battery trays were considered to be a rust trap. With the battery removed, you can judge from the images the condition of this tray. The original battery is there, but we’d advise the new owner to source a new one.
A short-ish time before it went into storage the automatic choke decided it had had enough. A new manual choke carb was sourced and fitted. Probably a much better option tbh.
There are full set of keys with the car, again, all original, of course they are, why wouldn’t they be.
There are a pile of invoices and books and notes. Interestingly, there are at least two original factory/dealer workshop manuals. Goodness knows where the enterprising ‘law-unto-himself’ Fred got his hands on them. But he did, and the new owner will benefit from Fred’s endeavours!
There are two jacks. Again, don’t ask. There is a box of odds and sods, bits and bobs might be a better description, of various wear and tear type items. They’ll be useful to the new owner.
The wheels you see in the images are obviously not original. In our view, the Wolfrace wheels are very nice. But if they are not to your taste, as you can see, the originals are there along with original and rare hub caps.
The Wolfrace wheels were fitted for one simple reasons; tyre sizes. The original tyres were time expired, fair play after all this time. Trying to source them in this size, as we all know, is tricky and not always cost effective. Hence the fitting of these wheels and tyres.
The new owner now has the best of both worlds.
We’re told there are original MOT tickets going back to the 1980’s. There may be one or two gaps, but the paperwork is being tidied up and that may prove to be a red-herring. We’re also advised there is an amount of other paperwork that will come with the car for the new owner. Rather than photographing everything, if anyone has any questions, just ask.
As always, our view is simple and straightforward. This a remarkable, adorable and very charming 1970’s Ford Escort Mk1. Don’t dither about, bid on it. These are not like buses. It’s doubtful there will be another along shortly after this, so don’t miss it.
If the term ‘garage find’ means anything, its narrative means a lovely little one former-owner treasure, hidden in plain sight that is all original, all there and with very light recommissioning is good to go. In that sense, this classic Ford Escort Mk1 fits.
But it’s much more than that. This car has been part of the fabric and edifice of at least two, nearly three generations of family life in East London. It is also a reminder of when we in Britain made great, world-beating cars.
The economic opportunities of direct employment at plants like Ford, as well as affordable cars like this Escort, opened up big opportunities for us all and contributed to the industrial and economic growth of this country and moreover many families.
This everyman classic Escort Mk1, coupled to the story above are the social history of millions of us.
The family want this to go to the ‘right’ new owner. Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to guarantee that. We can’t, but we do hope any new owner will understand the treasure that has been uncovered here and protect that treasure, as others have, for the next generations. Don’t blow it. Good luck bidding.
Vehicle Location: Upminster, Essex– it’s the responsibility of the winning bidder to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor
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|Bidder||Bid amount||Bid time|
|Start auction||£1,000.00||17/03/2022 12:00 AM|