An early launch colour Ford Escort 1.3 Ghia Mk3 in long term family ownership.
Laminated windscreen, safety glass all round, louvred design radiator grille, anti-burst locks, body-side protection mouldings, overriders, wide bright mouldings on windows, bright mouldings rear lamps and tailgate, belt line moulding in bright finish, tilting/sliding sunroof, triple body side tape stripe, remote control door mirrors, additional sound insulation, Ghia badging, two speed plus variable intermittent wipe, heated rear window, tachometer, trip recorder, solid state multi-function digital clock, four spoke soft feel steering wheel, loadspace carpet, cigar lighter, illuminated interior controls. Factory options; Metallic paint. Dealer option; Electric aerial, Ford mud flaps, driving lamps.
This wonderful and very early Mk3 Escort Ghia is finished in Forest Green metallic, (Code 4 1), a launch colour for the Mk3. With fastidious family ownership from 1986 until 2020, this original example looks fantastic with a bright uniform finish and polished shine. The factory applied paint shows light aging, minor scratches and a few dings as you would expect of an original unrestored car. This garaged from new example is structurally exceptional with no weld repairs having been carried out nor required. The Ghia specification brightwork is remarkably well preserved and undamaged. Unique features of an early car are the boot lid void of rear wiper and wiper hole and the single bonnet mounted washer jet fitted prior to the twin jet scuttle siting. A once common sight on our roads, this lovely Ford Escort in desirable Ghia specification is sure to stir up nostalgia.
Finished in factory original ‘Ghia’ spec Durham and Crushed Velour trim in Shark Grey colour scheme, (Code TK), the seats are very clean and generally wear free with no rips or tears. The matching door cards with wood inserts are in excellent order. All switchgear is functional, and the soft finish dashboard has just one small hairline crack, incredible for a Mk3 Escort! The parcel shelf is intact, straight and complete with the correct cord hangers and two speakers for a modern CD player. The factory Ford RST 21P push button radio cassette remains with the car. This wonderfully presented interior is exactly as Ford intended, a real delight for the enthusiast.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The time proven transverse mounted 1300 OHC engine develops 69bhp, ample to keep in flow with modern traffic. The engine is wonderfully quiet and smooth, owing to a lifetime of fastidious care and maintenance. A manual choke Webber carburettor has been fitted to improve reliability. In April 2020 a full service was carried out along with a cambelt and water pump change. The engine bay is clean with factory plates, stickers and panels stamps to the original factory wings. The four-speed synchromesh gearbox with remote shift is light and a joy to use.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
Five unrestored 5” x 13” styled road wheels with bright finish wheel centres and rim embellishers are shod in 155/80 R13 tyres with masses of tread remaining. The black painted edges to the wheel holes remain correct as per factory build, often lost upon wheel refurbishment. The diagonally split hydraulic circuit servo assisted brakes with ventilated 9.4in front discs and 7.0in rear drums bring the car up to a steady, straight and assured halt.
A wonderful and documented vehicle history that no amount of money can buy. Built in December 1980 following the introduction of the Mk3 Escort in the September, this very early ‘W’ registration was registered new on the 22nd January 1981. The supplying Ford main dealer was South Essex Motors (BAS) Ltd in Basildon and the first owner was a Mr John Fanning followed 19 months later by the second owner, Mr Michael Clift. In January 1986 the car was sold to Mr John Whitebread and this was the start of a 34-year love affair! Mr Whitebread purchased the car to bring home his first new born son, Graham, from hospital and his desire was to have a modern, safe and reliable vehicle to transport his new family. There are various photographs of Father and Son next to and inside the car which form a wonderful memento of the car’s history. Used and a cherished until in 2002 and with an expanded family, the car was replaced by a Vauxhall Carlton. At this moment and unable to part with it, Mr Whitebread put the car into garaged storage and covered it with blankets. In 2007 the decision was made to sell THJ796W which horrified son Graham so much that he bought the car from his Father and has owned it ever since. KGF Classic Cars were contacted by Graham and are delighted and honoured to have had to opportunity to buy the car and find the next deserving new owner.
The history file itself is huge and includes the original Ford book pack containing the service book and all the new car sales leaflets, accessories brochure as well as the original driver’s manuals and radio guides. A huge collection of invoices and receipts for service and maintenance work as well as MOT certificate carried out going back to 1985 completes the history file along with two original keys. There is a log of the car’s amazing history and a sales brochure from the actual supplying dealer. Sold by KGF Classic Cars to a Mr Atkinson we were delighted to be offered the car back for the next lucky custodian.
MOT May 2021, HPI Clear.
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