The XR Owners Club is one of the longest-running Ford clubs, but it’s always looking forward reckons Allen Patch.
When was the club founded, and why?
The club started back in 1983, originally as a way of getting a growing group of Escort XR3 owners together. Back then, the means of communication consisted of a photocopied A4 newsletter, but the club rapidly grew into to one of the biggest Ford clubs in the UK with 4500 members at its peak. How many members does the club currently have? Just over 500 from as far north as Thurso, the Isle of Man, to the far reaches of Cornwall — all paid-up and enthusiastic!
What does the club offer to new members?
Access to a huge amount of knowledge and advice on these cars, whether it’s restoration, maintenance, parts-hunting or model history. We pride ourselves on giving new members a warm welcome and go out of our why to avoid any cliques — your car is appreciated whatever the condition. If it’s an XR, it’s in.
We produce a quarterly club magazine, XTRA, that usually runs to 50 pages, and there’s exclusive member discount with established parts suppliers including Retro Ford International, as well as well-known classic car insurance companies including Footman James and Lancaster.
Is there a typical club member?
I’m generalising a little, but members are either those who have owned an XR since new or nearly-new, or those who had one back in the day and are now reliving their youth!
Do you have any members overseas?
Yes, we have members from Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and The Netherlands.
What models do you cover?
All of the global XR range from the Fiesta XR2 through to the Sierra XR4x4, plus the Fiesta XRV van, and the overseas models including the Sierra XR6 and XR8, as well as Fiesta Supersport through the Supersport Register which has always been part of the club. Oh, and we also support the Mk3 Escort 1.6i Cabriolet.
What’s the most popular model in the club?
The Escort XR3 and XR3i range has survived in the most numbers and so makes up a big proportion of the cars owned by our members, though the Fiesta XR2 is a close second!
What shows does the club have a presence at?
We’re always at the Classic Motor Show at the NEC in November, the Classic Car & Restoration Show there in March and the Classic Ford Show in June, too. We’re also attending more local shows than ever before.
Do you host your own show?
Not every year, but we held our 35th anniversary event last year, and will do again for the 40th in 2023. We’re also looking to run a series of regional events across the UK, too — watch this space!
What are the club’s goals for the future?
We’d like to keep on growing and attracting new members obviously, but the main thing is to help our members keep their cars on the road and ultimately the XR brand in the spotlight. We’re also currently looking into 3D printing parts or at least facilitating this. In the short term, the website is currently being revamped and should be ready by the end of the year, and we’re introducing a new range of clothing.
Membership costs: £26 per year (includes one-off £4.50 joining fee)
Phone: 0207 937 7595
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