The Ford Escort had - essentially - one of the most long, prolific and beloved careers of any rally car, ever. But, what’s odd about this, is that very few people would have expected it. You see, for the first six years of its production, it was never offered with what could be considered then-modern suspension and drivetrain. It certainly proved itself capable of being a rally car, but it was never expected to be a rally car. How it ignited the hot hatch frenzy that came to be following it, with cars like the Peugeot 105 rallye taking inspiration from it, is not really clear. Well, it’s not clear unless you delve into it beyond the mere specifications and details. You have to view the car as an entire thing. Its entirety is greater than its parts. Its entirety was going to shape an entire generation of European cars to follow.
An opening paragraph like this demands an explanation about how such a thing could be possible. How can a car like this exist? How can one car be so influential? Well, it’s a combination of factors. Primarily, it was the size of this car, and the way that the dimensions seemed to be even smaller when the car was driven quickly on the narrowest of narrow Irish roads. Indeed, a big car would have no place on such a road. A narrower car makes a narrow road feel wider, indeed. Oh, and the dimensions gave it a small curb weight, too. According to a few sources, the car weighed between 800 kg., to 950 kg., depending on options. The most powerful option, the 1.6 Ghia, was also the heaviest, making it the fastest in a straight line, but not necessarily down a rally stage.
Andrew Geier is an accomplished automotive enthusiast, with 15 years of automotive experience. At age 22, he created Melons' Better Driving in an effort to make people rethink the automotive world with insightful vision and articles about the future of the automotive culture and all of its subcultures, including motorsports. Seen in the site's background image, examining a road which was torn up by rally cars with his friends, his passion is clearly demonstrated by his excited pose.