RESERVE LOWERED - 1990 Ford Escort Bonus

*** Interested parties should note, this vehicle was subject to a CAT C insurance write off in 10/2002 ***


・Three-door body style
・Full body respray in 2014
・Only 46,149 miles
・Two sets of keys
・Stainless steel exhaust
・Currently SORNed

The Background

The Ford Escort is a small family car manufactured from 1968 until 2000. The first use of the Ford Escort name was for the Ford Squire, a 1950s estate car version of the Ford Anglia 100E.

The Escort was frequently the best-selling car in Britain during the 1980s and 1990s. A total of more than 4.1 million Escorts of all generations and body styles were sold over a period of 33 years.

The fourth version of the Ford Escort was launched in March 1986, with only a small number of changes. Although regarded by most as Mark IV, internally within Ford it was regarded as a Mark III facelift and consequently carried the codename 'Erika-86'.

It was instantly recognisable as an updated version of the previous model, taking styling cues from the recently introduced Scorpio/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, although the check-light system for low fuel, low oil, low coolant, low screen wash, and worn out brake pads was dropped.

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. The main mechanical changes were the introduction of a 'lean-burn' 1.4-litre engine, which replaced the previous 1.3-litre unit. A new sub frame 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. 

The Bonus edition: In 1989, after a decade in production and as part of the run-out year of the ‘Erika-86’ platformed Escort, several notable special edition Escort models were created – one of which was the ‘Bonus’.

What made an Escort Bonus an Escort Bonus? In reality, very little - its primary purpose was really to give buyers an option almost as inexpensive as the poverty-spec Popular model, without the ignominy of having to tick that box on the order form. Thus, you got the basic 1.3-litre OHV four-cylinder with 59bhp and a choice of two colours (this car’s black or silver), that were extra cost options on the Popular at the time.

Other Bonus additions included white wheel trims, a tailgate washer/wiper and a two exterior decal stripes. However, Ford’s generosity did not extend to a cassette player to accompany the AM/FM mono radio.

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The History 

This 1990 Ford Escort Bonus was first registered on 29th June, 1990. It is currently SORNed.  It has been known by its current owner for many years through family friendship with its former and long-time keeper, ‘Margaret’. Margaret kept the car in very good condition, regularly servicing, maintaining and repairing it as and when required.

It received a full body respray in 2014, keeping the original black colour (see paperwork). The current owner acquired the car from Margaret in March, 2018 and stored it until only recently when it was recommissioned. At the time of taking the photographs, the car was jump-started, so the battery might need replacing or a good recharge. However, the car idled well and sounded as fit as a fiddle when repositioned for frontal images, although on one of the hottest days of the year, the lack of power steering was challenging in the extreme heat.

The reason for sale is that the current owner is unable to garage the car and hopes that the new owner will have the facility to do so, as befitting its condition.

The owner is, via Car & Classic, happy to receive enquiries or facilitate visits by interested parties should they wish for a day out on the lovely Isle of Wight.

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The Paperwork

There are a number of entries in the paperwork file, including the V5 certificate, routine servicing and maintenance invoices, plus the quotation for the 2014 respray.

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The Interior

The interior is in reasonably good condition and relative to the car’s 31 years of age. Due largely to the low mileage, the front reclining and sliding seats remain comfortable and supportive as does the rear bench and all seat belts are present – including a rear centre lap strap. There is a full set of carpets fitted, but the rear parcel shelf appears to have caught the Isle of Wight sun over the years. Beneath the boot floor carpet, the spacious boot houses a full-sized spare wheel.

Both door cards are in good original condition, as are the respective window winders and locks. However, there is a small cut in the driver’s side armrest (as pictured). All the switchgear and instruments appeared in working order, and the radio is the original factory-fitted Ford unit. However, the instrument cluster screen is a tad foggy so could do with a cleanse to its rear surface.

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The Exterior

Aside from the full-body respray in 2014, the car presents reasonably well for its 31 years. The paintwork is in good condition and the under-sills seem in good order, as do the lower edges of the door frames.

The left rear light cluster has a vertical crack and a few light scratches, while on the right one a vertical crack is visible on the corner of the amber lens. The original white wheel trims are no longer with the car but a new full set of handsome silver-coloured trims have been fitted, with a spare one stored in the boot.

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The Mechanics

The original 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine is paired to the equally-original four-speed manual gearbox. When taking these photographs, as the car had been standing for some time, the owner started the car via jump leads – after which it idled smoothly. A very brief pootle of some 100 yards revealed a sweet sounding engine and drivetrain, with the clutch and brakes both performing as they should.

Over the years, the car has received meticulous mechanical attention and maintenance as and when required, the many instances of which are supported by the accompanying paperwork. This includes the fitting of a new stainless steel exhaust which truly enhances the way the Escort sounds.

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The Appeal

Old and ageing Fords…gotta love them! To the purists, the Mk3 represented the beginning of the end for the Ford Escort. To Ford’s credit, it was the right car at the right time, with the Escort able to hold its own against the might of the Volkswagen Golf and other worthy rivals.

For all of its years at the seaside town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight, G751 XHY has aged rather gracefully and will make a delightful addition to the new owner’s driveway – even as a daily drive.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

See our Terms & Conditions here.

Vehicle specification
  • Year 1990
  • Make Ford
  • Model Escort
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 46,149 Miles
  • Engine size 1297
  • Location Isle of Wight
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
8 bids from 5 bidders
  • henry.h•••• £2,000 10/08/21
  • tf2000m•••• £1,800 10/08/21
  • henry.h•••• £1,600 10/08/21
  • tf2000m•••• £1,400 10/08/21
  • henry.h•••• £1,200 10/08/21
  • D9mien £1,000 06/08/21
  • jonny-1•••• £900 05/08/21
  • MenOfIr•••• £800 04/08/21

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