Video : Ford Escort Mk2 promotional film

Keith Adams

Ford Escort video

Britain loved the Ford Escort Mk2. It was consistently the second best selling car in the UK (behind the Cortina) for its entire five-year production run. It was cheap, simple to service, there was a dealer on every corner, and generally they were good to drive – even the basic 1.1-litre Popular models.

Codenamed Brenda during development, the 1975 Escort Mk2 gained a number of new variations and trim options as well new styling. Although little more than a facelift of the old Coke bottle car, the ’75 Escort was considered new in the eyes of most of its customers, and ended up sitting atop its sector in the UK sales charts during its production run. It did well in Europe, too, selling almost a million in five years.

When it first made an appearance in 1975, Ford put out this highly amusing promotional film to extol the virtues of its latest challenger. And in the 21st century, who can’t appreciate the charms of this wonderfully dated film.


Keith Adams


  1. I seem to recall the Mk2 popular apart from having very short lived sills and wings, poor brakes had cross ply tyres ?

  2. The Popular had cross ply tyres, drum brakes all round, leaf springs and yet is considered by its followers to be a ‘superior’ car to the Allegro…

  3. @2 – On paper, the Allegro is indeed a more advanced car. Did it do what a small family car should better than an Escort though? I suspect any mid 70s punter stepping from an Allegro with its knitting needle in a bag of marbles gear change, its heavy low geard steering and bouncy, roly-poly handling into an Escort with its industry leading, even by todays standards, gear change, light direct steering and generally snappy controls would and indeed did come to a different conclusion.

  4. Wonderful archive film! I nearly bought a MK1 Escort in 1976 but instead got a Viva HC. Two friend’s of mine had an Escort MK2 1.1 Pop and a 1.6 Ghia… Obviously the Ghia was a much nicer/plusher car.

    While the MK2 was an improvement on the original, I still have a soft spot for the MK1 1300E.

  5. My first car was a MK.2 1.3 popular. Weird squinty driving position, and rot in the sills, inner wings, headlamp surrounds etc. Footwells filled with water when it rained. Stalled for the first couple of miles when cold regardless of where the choke was.
    Sold it after a year and got a MK2 Granada. At least the seats didn’t collapse when you sat in them in that motor.

  6. Loved my Mk2 1300 Sport. Used to run really well on SuperPlus Unleaded. Sounded great scooting along winding country lanes. No rot. Well looked after. £500 well spent on a solid, comfortable, reliable motor.

  7. The car in the video has chrome surrounds on the rear lamp clusters. Never seen an Escort with those. Not even a Ghia.

  8. As a buyer for a large Co-operative Group I had a series of Mk 2 Escort Estates. My boss had a Marina Estate – that’s how the status thing worked in the late 70’s.
    We both had offices in different towns and would literally ‘race’ along the back roads between them. (Pre me being involved in advanced driving obviously!)
    The Ford was definitely superior on road holding and handling – I could always catch him up but he could never catch me!
    I am not a Ford man really but have to admit this car was pretty unbeatable for practicality, huge load area, driving position, dynamics, gearbox, handling and road holding. It was so easy to kick the back out – so predictable and so safe – it was a delight.
    Guess what! I later got promoted and got a couple of Marinas in succession. One was a dog but the other was quite good and with a bit more hard work could be made to move very respectably.
    I did have to have serious words with the hierarchy though when they promoted me again and gave me an Allegro Estate!
    Lovely shape, good old A Series engine, good load space………but as for driving fun……not even on the radar! (I do apologise as I am a real BMC/BLMH/Rover whatever, chap).
    I still have nightmares about that gearbox (not really)……but it was dire.

  9. I’ve owned (and still own) Mk2 Escorts and Allegros and pound for pound the Allegeo is better engineered, just as fast in 1300cc guise and more spacious inside. Also at speed the Allegro is more stable as my old 1300cc Linnet and 1600 Ghia due to the Escorts almost brick shaped front end. Not to say the Mk2 Escort is not a good car, all have a lovely weight distribution and are easy to drive, easy to work on and most spares are easy (if pricey) to find.

  10. The popular’s brakes were almost non existent in reverse.You could brake to a halt uphill keep your foot down and occasionally it would roll backwards.One comment on the pop was that you had to row it along with the gear lever.

  11. Rot, rot, rot. The “Popular” model was the ultimate in poverty spec. I know this because my cousin had one. The even deleted the passenger side parcel shelf and fitted a piece of painted metal which was totally hollow underneath! would not have cost a more to fit a shelf instead but Ford really made you know you had the base model — especially tasty motor in medium turd brown — which hid the rust until you failed the MOT because the sills were rotten.

    The 1.3L was tolerable but rusted just as badly. Yes, they were a good drive (except the base drum braked model), yes they were easy to fix (except for the inevitable welding) but unless you had at least a 1.3GL they were pretty naff inside and out.

  12. In my late teens I frequently chaffeured an elderly neighbour in his immaculate 1.3L – he was getting on a bit too much to confidently tackle some of the longer distances he had to travel. It was a simple, pleasant little car that was quite comfortable to drive. It felt very much like the little brother to the Cortina that it was, and I remember it fondly.

  13. @17 The Grill badge FORD changed to the oval badge around the S reg mark, roughly T reg onwards L trim and above got the Square Headlights, also around this time was the option of the 1.6 engine on the L trim level, which for its time was quite the Q car, especially with the innocent exterior and jazzy Saw-tooth seats.

    Strange how times have changed as in the early 1990s you struggled to get shot of a mk2 Escort, Mk1s were even more sad as everyone wanted The front wheel drive Mk3s, remember when even basic models had the XR3 Wheels !

    But current prices have shot up and that Sport model looks cool, I still have fond memories of my mk2, shame I ploughed through a Famers Gate with it.

  14. Thanks @dontbuybluemotion

    The mk2 always had a cult following all over Ireland due to the rallying scene.
    Even today you can see them mixing it up with ex-works Imprezas and Evos on local rally stages.

  15. If only I had a time machine to go back to the early 90’s and buy a load of two door mk2 escorts for no money to stick in a barn and then sell them for silly money now to be made into rally cars…..

  16. I remember back in 1995 drooling over a totally standard and low milage Escort TC in a local classic garage. They wanted £8500 for it, far too much for a 17 year old like my self back then.

    I saw that same car for sale last year for £65,000.

    Far too much for a 35 year old like my self today!

  17. I had a courtesy car; Escort Mk2 in pea green with dog tooth cloth trim, whilst my Dolomite was being repaired after a small collision. I know which one I preferred. It was in BRG!

  18. My family had a T reg 1.3 GL in metallic gold with vinyl roof in 1987. Also it still had the original Ford radio, which made it authentic. It was structurally sound, with only some rust on the wings, always started, went quite well and dirt cheap to get through its MOT, but we found it quite thirsty around town, barely getting more than 32 mpg, so it went after eight months.
    Replacement was a 1981 Vauxhall Astra 1300 GL which averaged 40 mpg and had a bit more poke on the motorway, but it seemed a little bland compared to the Escort with its distinctly seventies style.

  19. Hats off to the great days of the MK2 Escort rally cars.

    What mad person would buy an Allegro when you could buy and RS 2000.

  20. Steve @ 27, there’s an immaculate black W reg RS 2000 in Whitehaven. I know the owner, who has owned it since

  21. contd, 1984 and won’t part with it. It is a very old fashioned car, with its four speed gearbox and carburated engine, yet reminds me of an era when cars were cars, not people carriers and SUVs.

  22. To Glenn @ 29.
    I agree. Four speeder live rear end and a country lane flat out when I was 18 following the RAC Rally. Just love the character of old Fords. A mate of mine had about four or five Mk2 RS 2’s back in late 80’s early 90’s when they was cheap. Great fun. I had a Capri that couldn’t keep up. Miss those days.

  23. Steve @29, I’m a big fan of seventies Fords, as everything they made looked cool and sophisticated. Yet this sophistication didn’t mean Citroen style complication as the engineering underneath was simple and cheap to maintain. Particular favourite for me is the Granada coupe.

  24. Looking back would a mk2 Escort that made use of mk2 Cortina parts as on the RWD Hyundai Pony have been a step forward over a reskin of the mk1 Escort?

  25. Surely the Mk2 Mexico and Rs2000 were essentially what you describe, but using Mk3 Cortina engine and gearbox.

    Add in the Capri 3-litre derived Atlas axle and ventilated M16 front discs, and you have a nice fast and nimble everyday driver.

    The Mk1 RS2000 was kinda fun, I had a two year old Mk1 1100 which soon gained a 2 litre Pinto lump, 2000E gearbox, and a bastardized 4.11 English axle final drive along with other go faster bits. Great fun as a student living in Mid Wales at the time. A friend who had a Midget had no hope of keeping up.

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