The Details

Ford Escort XR3i Cabriolet




  • Mileage: 32,908
  • Year: 1987
  • MOT Expiry: November 2023
  • Exterior Colour: Azure Blue Metallic
  • Interior Colour: Grey Daytona Cloth
  • Top speed: 118
  • 0-60mph: 9.5
  • BHP: 105
  • Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
  • Engine Capacity: 1597cc
  • Engine Configuration: Inline 4

Model History

The fourth generation Escort was launched in March 1986. It was instantly recognisable as an updated version of the previous model, taking styling cues from the recently introduced Scorpio and Granada III - with a smooth style nose and the straked rear lamp clusters smoothed over. Internally the car had a revised interior with new door cards, a completely new dashboard, switchgear, and instrumentation. Optional new features included a mechanical anti-lock braking system (standard on RS Turbo models), a fuel computer on fuel-injected models, and a heated windscreen. A new subframe for mounting the powertrain was introduced to combat earlier criticisms of drivetrain refinement of the original car, as well as more tweaking to the suspension settings to address the long-standing issues with the Escort's damping and handling characteristics.

In its day the open top XR3i was arguably the best front-wheel-drive, mass-produced four/five-seater cabriolet in the world. Uwe Bahnsen’s design team came up with the ‘bustleback’ look while Special Vehicle Engineering in Dunton did the sheet metal, adding a pair of longitudinal rails under the floor and various extra stiffening around the suspension towers, bulkhead, and a roll-over hoop. Some 80% of the Escort Cabriolet’s panels were new or modified and inevitably all that extra weight reduced performance, but only slightly. And nobody really minded because by the spring of 1990, global Escort Cabriolet sales had hit 100,000 units.


Azure Blue Metallic paintwork, Grey velour upholstery, 14-inch alloy wheels, Black folding soft-top with heated glass rear window, 5-speed manual transmission, Power steering, Tonneau cover in grey, Front spoiler, Body-coloured bumpers with protective inserts, Body-coloured door mirrors, Driving lamps, Ford cassette radio, Electric aerial, Quartz digital clock, Rear mud flaps, Rubber Ford overmats, Supplying dealer registration plates.


Finished in sublime Azure Blue this super low mileage ‘87 XR3i looks fantastic against our studio backdrop, especially with the top down. The lustrous metallic paintwork is exceptionally well presented throughout with a deep and even shine to report across every panel. As to be expected with such an original example there is a dusting of light frontal stone chips and a couple of discreetly touched in marks, but certainly nothing to detract from the car’s overall highly impressive finish. All the windows are factory fitment and retain their original stickers, and the light clusters are genuine Carello. The black vinyl soft-top is also immaculate and can be neatly stowed beneath the tonneau cover when folded down. All the panels are original with visible date stamps, and the underside is free from excessive underseal allowing easy inspection and revealing excellent structural integrity. The original supplying dealer number plates are also still fitted.



The car’s outstanding unmolested condition extends to the airy cabin where open top motoring can be enjoyed by up to five people. Upholstered in spotless Daytona velour the sports seats present to an excellent standard, including commonly worn areas such as the driver’s bolster. The carpets are also immaculate having been protected from new by genuine Ford overmats. Glancing across the dash there are no unsightly cracks or sun damaged areas – a testament to the car’s careful storage since new – and the switchgear is all fully operational. The original Ford cassette player is pleasingly still fitted having never been swapped with an aftermarket unit, and there is little or no wear to both the steering wheel and gear knob. Over and above the Escort’s standard equipment this one additionally boasts power-assisted steering, as fitted when the car was brand new.


Lifting the bonnet reveals an exquisite original engine bay. Barely run-in with a mere 32k miles under its belt the car is a real joy to drive, with everything still feeling tight and precise. Producing 105hp, the fuel-injected 1.6-litre CVH engine is as zingy and free-revving as its reputation suggests, and the 5-speed manual gearbox makes for an engaging and thrilling drive.


The Escort sits on lovely 14-inch alloy wheels, all in perfect unmarked condition. Brand new Dunlop tyres were fitted in November 2021 at 32,282 miles. Lifting the boot carpet you’ll find the original spare wheel still shod in its factory-fitted Dunlop tyre. New pads and discs were also fitted all round in November 2021.

History File

Originally supplied by Hooley’s Garage of Nottingham in November 1987, this stunning XR3i has now driven only 32k miles from new. Factory-specified with metallic paint and alloy wheels, the car was additionally fitted with power steering (at a cost of £990+VAT) immediately following delivery. The low mileage is well documented within the accompanying history file that comprises main dealer service invoices, receipts, and virtually all MOT certificates until 2008 when the car was tucked away in a prestigious collection. All the handbooks are present along with the original maintenance book containing 7 stamps. The last service, which included a cambelt change and brake overhaul, was carried out in November 2021 little over 600 miles ago. The MOT is valid until November 2023.

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