The Details

Ford Escort XR3




  • Mileage: 26,708
  • Year: 1982
  • MOT Expiry: March 2022
  • Exterior Colour: Strato Silver
  • Interior Colour: Blue & Black Laser Cloth
  • Top speed: 113
  • 0-60mph: 9.0
  • BHP: 96
  • Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
  • Engine Capacity: 1597cc
  • Engine Configuration: Inline 4

Model History

Codenamed “Erika”, the third generation Escort was launched in September 1980. The car, Ford Europe's second front-wheel drive model, was originally meant to be called the “Ford Erika” but ended up retaining the Escort name.

Unlike the Mark II, which had essentially been a reskin of the original 1968 platform, the Mark III was a completely new design, and was conceived as a hi-tech, high-efficiency vehicle which would compete with the Volkswagen Golf and Honda Civic – considered at the time the class benchmarks. The Mark III was therefore a major engineering and stylistic departure from the two previous models; the biggest changes being the adoption of front-wheel drive, the new hatchback body and the all-new CVH overhead camshaft engines. The suspension was fully independent all around, departing from the archaic leaf spring arrangement found on its predecessors and the bodyshell was on average, 75kg lighter than that of the Mk II, yet Ford claimed was stiffer than the outgoing car. Ford, however, was conscious that loyal customers of the previous generation Escorts may be deterred by the Mk III's advanced design, and hence the car was marketed in the United Kingdom with the strapline "Simple is Efficient".

To compete with Volkswagen's Golf GTI, a hot hatch version of the Mark III was developed – the XR3. Initially this featured a tuned version of the 1.6-litre CVH engine fitted with a twin-choke Weber carburettor, uprated suspension and numerous cosmetic alterations. Quite possibly the rarest model of this iconic “Fast Ford”, 5-speed non-fuel injection cars – such as this one – were only ever produced between February and October 1982 before the launch of the XR3i later that year.


Strato Silver Metallic paintwork, Reclining sports seats in blue Laser cloth, 5-Speed manual transmission, 14-inch Clover Leaf alloy wheels, Aerodynamic spoilers front and rear, Colour-keyed bumpers and door mirror casings, Glass sunroof with sunblind, Two-spoke sports steering wheel, Original Ford radio, Lockable glove box, Digital clock, Alloy spare wheel, Spare key, Original sales brochure.


The body of this XR3 really could be described as in timewarp condition, giving you the feel of viewing it in the Ford showroom back in 1983. The metallic silver paintwork presents exceptionally well with no signs of corrosion whatsoever and virtually no stone chips or any imperfections to note. All the plastic trims and rubber seals remain in remarkable condition with no signs of fading, scratches, or damage. All the lights are free from cracks, chips and moisture ingress.



Opening the driver’s door is sure to put a smile on your face as you’re presented with the interior of an XR3 that looks close to as new condition. The seats are perfect with zero wear, the carpets are pristine throughout and the dashboard remains in remarkable condition with no distortion or unsightly cracks. Everything feels factory fresh with no loose trim panels, damaged plastics or really any notable signs of use. At the rear of the car the boot carpet has no marks or stains and there are no scratches to any of the plastic trims; the correct clover leaf spare wheel and toolkit are still housed in the wheel well and the parcel shelf is free from any aftermarket speakers or sun fading.


The time-warp condition continues into the engine bay, which presents in amazingly original condition. Again, there are no signs of any corrosion, having clearly benefited in the past from a clear coat of wax protection. The car fires into life on the first turn of the key, the engine idling smoothly and pulling strongly through the gears. The current owner has a fantastic collection of cars, enjoys driving them all, and keeps them maintained to the highest standards - this is clearly evident here as the car is a joy to drive and feels as tight as a drum.


All five of the 14-inch clover leaf alloys are in immaculate condition. Benefiting from a recent refurbishment they are all shod in brand new Michelin tyres. All the brakes are in fine working condition and on test feel extremely positive with no judder, pulling the car up quickly and in a straight line.

History File

The original owner was in the RAF (hence the RAF plate included) and so only used the car sparingly. It was always stored at home in his garage or on base in the hanger so has been kept out of the sun and weather its whole life. More recently the car has been in the hands of two Ford collectors and it’s clearly been coveted as a museum piece. A limited amount of paperwork is with the car but the condition really speaks for itself.

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