The psychology of the Gen1 Escort owner: | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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The psychology of the Gen1 Escort owner:

Discussion in '1st Gen 1981-1990 CVH' started by nineteeneightyeight, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. nineteeneightyeight

    nineteeneightyeight FEOA Member

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    Why do we do this? Where do we come from? I have been questioning lately why I nearly torture myself by continuously buying and driving old Ford Escorts, especially with my latest adventures, in which I wish I could document as they happen but I just feel too busy all the time. I feel like 15 years ago it made economical sense at least, for at the time an 88 Escort was still like the cheap easy "beater" car. But as time marches on that beater is now a 2002 Focus say... But I am kinda an old-schooler, (at 34 years old now) I just cant drag myself into the new millennium with cars, I need a car that doesn't honk obnoxiously three time when I lock it, or one where the headlights can't turn off, I love being able to blackout the whole dash on occasion.
    But now in 2020 we are past the stage where they are easy to come by, rare but not sought after, we have achieved Fresh Cherry status with model cars, and almost a classic.
    At work I am known to always have a Ford Escort or trencher story ( I bought and fixed an old Vermeer Trencher machine) And any time I mention one or more of my 4 Escorts, I nearly apologize for it, like "I know its weird, but I like Ford Escorts"
    Well I am going to stop feeling apologetic, and just own it, I had a moment of weakness and almost bought an 02 Focus, but I am back on my bull shit, have a few solid cars, they just need some solid work done to the engine to match. I have an 88 2 door, with a rebuilt 1.9 HO carbureted, but found it to be so structurally rusty that I am going to part it out and feed it to the pack, most of its parts will go to my 81 Escort pickup, yes you read that right! then I have my 87 4 door, which has super low miles but after tune up, head gasket, timing belt, distributor, master cylinder, brake lines (Nickel Copper Alloy) front brakes, and fuel pump/gas tank, the car started to knock badly right when I pulled it off the ramps! I may end up putting the S.H.O. engine in that one. So now my stock is in my nicely kept, 1984 low miles, 4 door GL which has it's share of issues I need to work out, but has some promise! I just really don't want to drive my Dually all winter! I want to post some pics on these cars but I also don't want to tease all the people with a cool project then you don't hear any progress for years, not fair to the people! Thanks to anyone who read my ramblings,

    Cheers.

    Alex
    ricksgt, zzyzzx, 1982 EXPert and 2 others like this.
  2. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    From what I understand us first gens folks all have a few missing nuts in our heads to keep coming back to them. I know I have fare share of missing nuts and bolts.

    Joking aside everyone I meet that's into frist gens all seem to have the same view point, they're old simple cheap transportation that doesn't have all the modem car crap, isn't super boring like a focus or prius and they aren't hard to fix up.
    I'm a little different than most first gen folks I come across, I like the GT and EXP models. I'm into 80s ecno sports cars like the GTI, fiero, glh and so on so it's no wonder why I like the GT and exp.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
  3. 1982 EXPert

    1982 EXPert FEOA Member

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    I'm not too into Escorts/Lynxes but EXPs/LN7s are my life.

    Escorts are the Taurus of small cars, they run a LONG time and serve families across 2-3 generations before being retired. But yeah that makes many "beaters" for those needing daily transportation until rust is too bad or repairs exceed the $250 mark.

    With the EXPs and GTs you have more hope of them sticking around because they're more recreationals than daily dependables, people are more apt to keep them because they're purely fun cars that you, the kids, or someone willing to pay may want to restore someday while normal Escorts in need bring to light the realization to most that "It's never going to run again, and who's going to pay money for a 30+ year old Escort of all things? It's just a car, get it gone."

    I see many of each car up for sale every now and then in mint condition under 50k miles but no matter the condition it's a devotion regardless. No one would have thought any of these cars would become as rare as they are now, and now the World Car can't even get rear shocks anymore! Gone are the times of cheap entry into a hobby and cheap & easy climb to restored glory, now it's becoming more of an uphill battle as parts become as hard to source as OEM AMCs..... And yeah these aren't really even "collectible" yet, sure there's people collecting them but in all honestly unless Jay Leno or anyone else of serious fame has one then they're not really collectibles because they don't draw alure from the rich or famous keeping demand awfully low and frankly they come off as hipster bait because they have more "cult" following than that of the general public and can be had for less than what most consider reasonably affordably.

    But what makes us buy these up and keep them?
    Well some people have an itch for buying cars, I know hundreds of people that ONLY get a thrill from buying cars so when they see an affordable car/motorcycle they haven't seen before or in many years they buy it no matter what lurks within it then sell it months later to buy either a totally different car or an identical one to fill that hole in their life until they get bored again then repeat the cycle.
    Those of us who keep them on the road and care for them under years/decades of loved ownership are the real car guys, not posers literally buying their way into the car world via quantity over quality. Most of us keep them because we have many memories in or with these cars.

    My parents had 3 EXPs for most of my life, I have very fond memories riding in them and playing around them when they were temporarily retired for 12 years. It was a simpler time of my life, one I wish I could enjoy forever, and when I look at mine and ride in it I get to relive those times. The process of restoring my Blue '82, acquiring my other EXPs, restoring my EXPs, and meeting hundreds of people who used to own (or know someone who owned) EXPs I've never had a bad moment regarding these cars. Working on them is easy as can be, driving them is as fun as can be, and the people you meet are the friendliest you'll ever see! So I guess you could say I keep my old 3 EXPs for the best memories I've had and I'm working hard to restore the others to make new memories I'll look back on forever :)

    But I do everything I can to keep these on the road, share my passion of these cars with people who feel the same way about theirs no matter what the road ahead brings.
    ricksgt, Pyoro, zzyzzx and 2 others like this.
  4. nineteeneightyeight

    nineteeneightyeight FEOA Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to write these, makes me feel accompanied, soon I want to detail my story on why I have the itch as well, and where it came from.
    ricksgt likes this.
  5. RyanVee

    RyanVee New Member

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    Bringing this back from the recently deceased (12/17)

    I bought am 88 EXP yesterday. I have no idea how to tell whether it's the Base, Luxury or Sport. It came with no booklets and there are no badges to tell me...but it has A/C and the 5 speed.

    My dad bought an 88 Escort Pony brand new. It was his first brand new car. I grew up going everywhere in that car with my dad. My mom drove it as well. He sold it to someone who let it sit in their garage for 3 years, bought it back from them, drove it some more and then gave it to me when I got my driver's license and he went and bought another car.

    I went everywhere with it. Storm Spotting for the ham radio club, tooling around on old logging and iron ore mining trails... It got 48mpg regularly. One day, with 244k the fuel pump died and I sold the car for 300 bucks. Went to a guy who fixed it and drove it for 2 more years before letting it return to the earth on his back property.

    That was more than half my life ago (Also 34! Woo old guys!)... I've had 20 other cars since then. I daily drive a 97 Tahoe 4 door these days.

    For easily 10 years now I look for an Escort now and again. My rules were it had to be a 2 door and a stick and it had to be first gen. They're nearly impossible to find in the midwest because none of them survived...and when I do happen upon one it's like, super low mile and out of my price range, or it's a literal pile of garbage.

    That is until a few days ago when I spotted an ad for an 88 EXP. I had NO idea these even existed...I've only ever known about the GT's til now.

    I bought it for my daughter. She's gonna need a first car here in 3 years and after looking for one for so many years I wasn't about to let this one slide past me... It has very little rust, 91k actual miles, a very nice interior (the dash is trash but what's new it's a 1st gen Escort) and that sweet little 5 speed.

    It doesn't run. The guy I bought it from had it running rough and did a bunch of work...I think he'd tried to start it without cleaning out the fuel system the first time and gummed up the injector. So even after putting in a new fuel pump and filter (him, not me) it wasn't running anymore.

    Sooooooo yeah. I'm super pumped. She's going to have an incredible classic first car, same year as the one I drove, she can't drive anyone other than her sister so she won't be as distracted (plus, clutch...) and it'll get phenomenal gas mileage!

    I love these cars. I've missed mine since the day I sold it. Seeing this one in my garage (I just got it yesterday) makes my heart happy. As for my daughter...she's 12 1/2 now so she's not over the moon but I think she'll come around.
  6. ricksgt

    ricksgt MY 1989 Ford Escort Terlingua GT .

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    My Comment is No comment ,,I know I'm crazy . :D

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