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Rough Start: Classic Fuel Economy Machine? This 1990 Ford Escort GT Is Clean Enough For A Look!

Rough Start: Classic Fuel Economy Machine? This 1990 Ford Escort GT Is Clean Enough For A Look!

When I was twelve, I was asked what I wanted for a first car. My answer: 1974-77 Chevrolet Camaro. And I got that car…a rusted rot-box whose one other redeeming quality, besides being exactly what I asked for, was that third pedal. When I bought my first car, I chose a 1987 Chevy Monte Carlo SS, a car that had miles and wear on it, but was fun and handsome. When I tried to buy my first brand-new, off the lot car…well, I got the shaft seven ways from Sunday after driving the car for a week. And when I bought my first four-cylinder, and my first MPG-designed selection, I went late-model hoping that I wouldn’t have to mess with it. Spoiler alert: I had to mess with it.

When we picked up the Chevrolet Cruze that got the nod, I didn’t give much though to choosing a nice, older vehicle that was designed to meet the same goal. In hindsight, that was a bit short-sighted. I’ll admit that I find a lot of the later 1980s-early 1990s designs good looking, and some of them are decent at the pump as well. Finding one not driven into the ground might be a challenge, but sometimes they pop up, and usually at a reasonable price. Take this 1990 Ford Escort GT. If you had offered this up to 16-year-0ld me, the only redeeming factor I would’ve found is that it was relatively late-model. Now, I’m seeing a nice, older, analog car that seats two well enough that you don’t see much of on the road anymore. These things used to be everywhere, too.

Pound for pound, this Escort should compare with the Cruze well enough: small four cylinder, manual transmission. The power difference is met with the weight difference. Would this Escort make a good daily driver? You tell me…I don’t have experience with the second-gen cars, only one early version and the later 1990s cars made by Mazda. I’d like to think that this would be a light, peppy little thing. I’d like to think that it’s a form of saving an older car without huge investments, and a great return. Am I wrong?

Facebook Marketplace link: 1990 Ford Escort GT

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8 thoughts on “Rough Start: Classic Fuel Economy Machine? This 1990 Ford Escort GT Is Clean Enough For A Look!

  1. Brian Cooper

    I had a 1988 Escort GT in college. It had about 50k miles on it when I got it. It was in very good shape, very clean. It got okay mileage, but I don’t remember it being incredible. I do remember that it was very like Finnegan’s Rotsun; it never failed to fail. I carried a spare starter solenoid at all times. It would break for no reason at all. I was driving on a 55 mph road doing maybe 65, and when I went to downshift to 4th to climb a hill the shifter assembly broke and I had zero gears to choose from. The rear drum brakes literally fell apart inside the drum one day in town when I was doing about 35. It locked the rear wheel and spun the car in heavy traffic. It was a bucket of garbage that began my love of hating Ford.

  2. Realdeal

    I had 1 one of the best cars I’ve ever owned the only thing I didn’t like was the automatic seat belts

  3. MGBChuck

    Had a ’92 base LX, 75,000 mi when bought (cheap), ran great for about 50,000 more miles then every little thing that could go wrong did, left on the side of the road the day it refused to move!

  4. skinanbones

    we had a 86 Escort gt when i was in my late teens. Even though it was only 10 years old, it was full of rust everywhere. The whole floor pan had seperated from the body in the year we drove it.
    But it was a blast to drive for a teen, it had torque steer in first and second. Made for a fun time pretending to be a ralley driver on all the gravel roads.

  5. Matt B

    Recaro seats and Marchel fog lights. If you couldn’t get a Mustang GT back in the day, it was an Escort GT and an imagination.

  6. Kory

    Had a 86 GT in about 94 or 95. I had bought and flipped 3 or 4 standard 80’s garbage escorts before it. The GT was black with a 5 speed and the 1.9 HO. It handled pretty well, wasn’t “fast” but did ok, got 30 mpg or so hwy. I remember my good friend and part time mortal enemy giving me crap when I said “But Mike, it’s a COOL Escort”. Who laughing now Mike?

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