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They may be ’80s classic Fords, but you can still give them the right looks — here are two Escort Mk3 project ideas courtesy of Simon Coulson.

They might not be particularly useful for tail-out excitement, but Ford’s first front-driver to carry the Escort name deserves classic recognition, on age grounds at least. The earliest Mk3s celebrated their 30th birthday last year and while the hot versions such as the RS Turbo, XR3 and RS1600i have had their followers for years, the lesser models have had a rougher time, relegated to runabout or RS replica status too often. This month we take two unsporty models and make them cool.

Starting with the estate, the look we’ve chosen is pretty retro with a late-’80s, early-’90s feel. Peppermint paint personifies the era and the pastel heartbeat graphics wouldn’t look out of place on an ’80s teenager’s bedspread… pure class. Naturally the stance is low (some things never go out of fashion) creating a tucked look up front contrasting with flush rims out back — you might employ some spacers for fine tuning. You’ll recognise the wheels: a set of colour-matched RS Turbo rims should be cost-effective and period-perfect. Under the bonnet you’ll find a peppermint-painted, boosted CVH – just enough for a cruise down to the Southend seafront for some late night posing.

escort mk3 project

The first thing most of you will notice on our second version is the lack of rear window — you’ll probably have to custom order a hood in brown anyway so asking them to neglect rear vision for you shouldn’t be a problem. The brown is echoed in the wheel centres on a set of widened Ghia five-slot rims – steel wheels don’t get much more stylish than those! 

The ‘poke’ of those rims should be counterbalanced with a bit of tyre stretching which combined with a sump-scaring suspension setting creates a wide ‘n’ low look that will take some beating. The brown theme continues on the inside where some brown velour trim will give a luxury feel and no doubt help you meet the ladies too, cruising with the roof down in your beige cabrio? You’ll be flippin’ irresistible.

Words and illustrations Simon Coulson

Click here for more of Simon’s project ideas

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