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Rare Ford Escort Mexico four-door prototype sells for £32,000

by Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
26 January 2023 2 min read
Rare Ford Escort Mexico four-door prototype sells for £32,000
Photos: Bidding Classics

A rare Ford Escort Mexico with four doors has sold for £32,000. It’s one of only six factory-built prototypes, four of which were sent to Jersey to be used as police cars.

The Mexico was built to celebrate Ford’s win in the gruelling 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally, in which an Escort 1850 GT piloted by Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm finished ahead of the chasing pack. Ford dominated the 16,000-mile race, with the Escort accounting for five of the cars in the top eight.

Launched in October 1970 and built at Ford’s AVO (Advanced Vehicle Operations) factory in Essex, the Escort Mexico had the styling, brakes and instruments from the sportier RS1600, but with power sourced from an 86bhp 1.6-litre Kent crossflow engine. The performance figures were more than respectable, with the Mexico able to reach a top speed of 99mph, after hitting 60mph in 10.7 seconds.

As we said in our Ford Escort Mk1 and Mk2 buying guide, the Mexico’s “balance of power, handling and price” makes it the pick of the sporting Mk1 models. Prices reflect this, with the Hagerty Valuation Tool quoting figures of £19,900 to £45,900 for a 1972 Escort Mexico, depending on the condition. That’s for the production two-door model; it’s rare for a four-door prototype to come to market.

According to Bidding Classics, the car has been “subjected to a sympathetic restoration by its current owner and boasts a recent exterior respray in its original Tawny colour and a full engine rebuild.” The crossflow motor has covered 37,000 miles and is connected to a four-speed gearbox.

Ford also experimented with van and estate versions of the Escort Mexico, but only the three-door progressed to full production. It became one of the must-have cars of the 1970s, helped by a bargain price of £1150 (in 1970). That’s the equivalent of around £14,500 in today’s money.

When bidding closed, the Mexico had reached an impressive price of £32,000. Bidding Classics’ managing director, Neil Atkinson, said: “It has been particularly pleasing to have been entrusted with the sale of such a rare vehicle and to have helped find the Escort a new home – a fantastic start to 2023.” 

Read more

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Buying guide: Ford Escort Mk1 and Mk2
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Comments

  • R.D.+(Sigi)+Herring says:

    Am I being pedantic here, or are there only 2 doors on a regular Mexico, and not three.?

  • David Finlay says:

    A regular Mexico has two doors.

  • David Finlay says:

    Even though this four door is a very rare model it just doesn’t have that sporty look of any two door.

  • Steve says:

    What a fantastic car in that decade, you could make vehicle look how you wanted, with great handling and power from the Ford engine, knowing that Ford were putting all the development into its racing, thanks to everyone. Steve.

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