When Ford launched the front-mounted, front-wheel-drive Escort XR3i in 1983, the established competition was the VW Golf GTi.
The XR3i 1.6 (1597 cc ) was a 4 cylinder single overhead camshaft naturally aspirated engine with 2 valves per cylinder, with 105bhp at 6000 rpm and a 5-speed manual gearbox. It captivated a new younger audience and invoked the "which is best GTi or XR3i debate" which continues to this day.
The three-speed manual family saloon car manufactured by Ford in the UK was a 4 door, rear-wheel drive that had a claimed top speed of 75mph from its 1508 cc engine.
There was an estate version made by Farnham based coachbuilder E D Abbott and even a convertible by Carbodies.
The popular Mk III featured improved aerodynamics reflected in increased performance and economy over the Mk II. The bonnet's leading edge was pulled down over the top of the new quad headlamps, making the appearance more aggressive. Available with manual and automatic transmission with engine displacements of 1.3, 1.6, 2.0, 2.3, 2.8 and 3.0 litre, the latter featuring in The Professionals (Think Bodie & Doyle)in the 80's.
A total of 5545 models of the The Ford Sierra RS Cosworth were produced at the Ford Factory in Genk,Belgium from 1986 and produced in right hand drive only. Of these 500 were sent to Tickford for conversion to the Sierra three-door RS500 Cosworth. The Cosworth had a top speed of 149 mph and accelerated from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds
The Ford Escort Harrier was one of three special edition Escorts (inc. the Linnet and Goldcrest)launched in 1979 and 1980 with production coming to an end in 1980 with approximately 1500 produced. The Harrier Engine was a 1598cc 4IL OHV with a maximum speed of 100mph accelerating form 0-60 in 10.3 seconds.
The Mk2 Cortina was the first car to have the Savage treatment by Race Proved Ltd (Jeff Uren ) fitting a Ford 3.0 L Essex V6 engine in the mid 60'S. Total production of the Ford Cortina Savages was around 1000 which included the Mark 3
Anglia 105E-based Thames 307E 5 cwt and 7cwt Vans were released in 1961 with a 997cc engine and from 1962 with an 1198cc and these were designated Thames 309E until March 1965 when the use of the Thames name was discontinued in favour of Ford Anglia
The sporty futuristic-looking Sierra XR4i had a 2.8-litre Cologne V6 engine with Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical injection producing 0 to 60 in just under 8 seconds and hit a top speed of over 125 mph
Available as a 4-door saloon, a 5 door estate and as a 2 door convertible with a recorded top speed of 87.9 mph and could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 17.1 seconds. Fuel consumption was around 21.5 miles per gallon
The 4 cylinder Ford Cortina (Mk1) launched in 1962 as the Consul Cortina (dropped the "Consul" from 1964) had rear-wheel drive and was available initially as a 1200 cc in two and 4 door saloons and from 1963 as the Cortina Super 1500 cc. A 5 door estate was added to the range in 1963 as well as the Cortina GT which featured lowered suspension and an engine tuned to give a claimed output of 78 bhp over the 60 bhp claimed for the Cortina 1500 Super.
The 997cc and 1,340cc bottom end were developed until in 1962 Ford released the 116E five bearing 1,498 cc engine before giving way to the Lotus featuring a 1557cc engine.
The heater was an optional extra and the top speed of the Ford Prefect 100e was 71mph ( the deluxe version ) with an 1172cc engine and it would set you back a cool £658-00
Oh, and you could get it in Black!
The Cortina Mk2 stalled the dominance the BMC 1100 & 1300 as Britains best selling car. Initially offered as two-door and four-door saloons, the five-door estate was launched in the UK 15 February 1967 with the Cortina 1600E (GT 1600 Kent engine)debut at the Paris Motor show later in the same year. Engines ranged from 1.2 L to 3.0 litre catering to international engine size tax thresholds.
The Ford Capri II maintained the large rectangular headlights, which became the easiest way to distinguish between a Mark II and a Mark III.
The Escort twin cam won in countries all over the globe from 1968 covering 0-60 in 9.9 seconds with a top speed of 113mph. Using a 4-cylinder 1558cc Ford pre-Crossflow block fitted with DOHC Lotus cast alloy cylinder head and twin side draft dual choke Weber 40 DCOE carburettors it was the car to beat until its last (Pre Cosworth) safari rally in 1971.