This 1978 Escort is the fast Ford of my dreams

Dougie Cringean

I bought my first car, a powder-blue Mk. I Ford Escort Mexico, before I had a license. I would start the car and listen to the radio, thinking I was the coolest kid in town. I passed my driving test when I was 17 (first attempt). When you live in a small Scottish town, having the ability to escape to other places is immense.

Many years and many Fords later, I moved to Los Angeles and worked as an archivist for Warner Brothers, where I looked after studio artifacts. I drove the Batmobiles, the General Lee, and even the Ford Gran Torino that Clint Eastwood drove in the eponymous movie. A fast Ford, but not really the one I wanted.

LHD 1978 RS2000 orange side profile escort
Dougie Cringean

The holy grail to Escort fans was an RS2000. I started looking in earnest for one 15 years ago. I wanted left-hand-drive, original as possible, and, if I had a choice, Signal Orange. About a year ago, after placing yet another advert, I was contacted by a man representing the seller of a very original, LHD 1978 RS2000. Signal Orange. Expensive? Yes. Did I want it? You bet.

LHD 1978 RS2000 interior escort
Dougie Cringean
LHD 1978 RS2000 engine bay escort
Dougie Cringean

One of my best friends, based near London, checked it out. He called on his way home. I asked him what it was like. “I’m driving it now!” he replied. He’d bought it and eventually delivered it to the Southampton docks.

I checked the location of that ship dozens of times. Then, it was here, across the Atlantic, a lifelong dream cocooned in my attached garage. My wife’s Toyota Venza sits on the street. She never complains. She knows I love her more than anything—but the Escort is a close second.




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    This article could have used a little more information on the car. It looks better than the Escort we got in the USA.

    All the European Escorts are not only better looking but also a lot more sporty and faster than the US versions. The most collectible ones are the MK1 RS versions I love them.

    Beautiful car and nice to have one the Ford of America didn’t change the engine to something unworthy like they did with the Merkur XR4ti. I had a 71 Capri 2L and a 76 Capri II with 2.8 v6 both German built. Both great cars I regret selling the second one and lost the first to a distracted driver. I always wanted to import a Cosworth3100 and gearbox for the Capri II. Glad you got your dream car and I wish you many years of enjoyment with it.

    The Ford Escort RS 2000 of any year is currently fetching very good money on any forum that they are advertised or sold on. Doesn’t matter what it’s condition is like, if it’s an RS 2000 it’s a seller!

    The front quarter reminds me of a Chevette; the rear side view reminds me of some Renault model (or maybe of an early-1970’s Dodge Colt, an attractive little car). Overall, not bad-looking.

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