1978 Ford Escort Mk2 1.6 Ghia Auto
(Featured on 9th July 2013)
Model: Escort Mk2
Registration: CLN 680T
Sellers original description:
Certainly the lowest mileage best original condition 1978 Ford Escort MK II 1.6 Ghia available anywhere - worldwide.
Just 9,000 miles from new this top of the range example has the added benefit of rare and desirable factory option, automatic transmission.
Period dealer fitted extras from new include Ford rear window blind, rust proof treatment, and Lucas front driving lights.
Dry stored for almost 20 years, much of that time covered in protective wax, until recently extensively re-commissioned for use by Ford Specialist.
Remarkably rust free retaining all of its originally fitted panels & glass and all of its factory applied paint finish.
Absolutely exceptional in every way and presented in show winning condition.
By the mid sixties the designers at Ford had begun work on the replacement for the long running and successful Anglia.
The design for the small family saloon needed to be modern and striking to appeal to a broad range of buyers. It was!
The Escort made its show debut at the Brussels Motor show in January 1968. The designers had excelled in their objectives and the car was an instant success across Europe, but nowhere more so than in the UK.
In June 1974, less than six years after the car's UK introduction, Ford announced the completion of the two millionth Ford Escort, a milestone hitherto unmatched by any Ford model outside the USA. However despite its success the Mk I styling was becoming dated and a new model, the squarer-styled Mk II, was already on the drawing board. It was to be launched in December that year.
Unlike the first Escort (which was developed by Ford of Britain), the second generation was developed jointly between Ford UK and Ford of Germany.
Codenamed "Brenda" during its development the new range featured 2 and 4 door body styles. Starting with the basic 2 door Popular 1100cc through to the highly desired Top of the range 4 door 1.6 Ghia.
The Ghia gave a sporty performance with its 1600 OHV GT engine featuring a four branch manifold, twin choke weber, high lift cam and larger values. Only available in the 4 door version the Mk II 1.6 Ghia was undisputedly the car to have.
The Ghia was aimed at the thus far untapped but emerging small car luxury market, and step up to the mark it did indeed.
Standard Ghia features included wide Sports road wheels with chrome embellishers, bumper inserts with overridders, rectangular halogen headlights, side mouldings, black vinyl roof, and tinted glass with black window surrounds. Inside the luxurious trim put many a large executive car to shame with tachometer, colour keyed cut pile carpets that extended to the foot of the doors, crushed velour/Verona fabric seats, seat valances and headrests, armrests real wood veneer dash, centre consul with clock/radio, glove box, leather steering wheel - the list goes on. The ultimate luxury factory extra for your ultimate luxury small car was Automatic transmission - only available with the 1600 engine.
Today Mk II escorts have become immensely sought after.
The Mk II 1.6 Ghia which, as we say, was only made for the UK market with 4 doors are now very much in demand. Consequently if it is the highly desired 1.6 (as opposed to the 1.3) Ghia that you want, and many, many people do, - you will only get an original one with 4 doors.
33 years since the last Escort Mk II Ghia’s left the production line good examples are now rare.
The far more sought after 1.6 with the desirable automatic rarer still.
Most of the remaining examples are either visibly very rusty or have been very rusty and that rust is now hidden, for the time being, by restoration.
You would be hard pushed to find an un-restored car. If you can find one though it will almost certainly have, at the very least, have had considerable rectification to its paint work. Of course low mileage would be another plus and there are some around with mileages of fifty or sixty thousand - low but not incredibly low.
We suppose then if you could have a blank canvas to create the 'Holy Grail' of Mk II Escort Ghia's available today you would start with the more sort after 1.6. Then add factory automatic transmission. You would want a car that will last and not ever start to show signs of rust reappearing, you will want hold its price and indeed rise in value over the coming years - so you are defiantly not going to add 'restored' anywhere to that blank canvas but you will most certainly want to add original panels, paintwork and interior.
Mileage - well as we say fifty or sixty thousand is low for the year but at the time that these cars were current it would have been considered high. So let's say 30,000 or 20,000 actually still too high - after all we did say you had a blank canvas. Why not go the whole hog and make the mileage just a four figure sum, so under 10,000 miles. Oh and just for good measure why not add the very best colour combination of Stratos Silver with a black vinyl roof and the best trim colour -beige!
So then on your blank canvas, you have created the perfect Mk II 1.6 Escort Ghia, but surely though - over 3 decades since they were last made your expectations are just unrealistic as such a car could not possibly still exist.....
.... actually it does!
On the 15th August 1978 the first owner of CLN 680T, A retired Lady, travelled the six or so miles from her home in Ruislip to Ford dealer Godfrey Davis in Alperton West London. The purpose of her visit was to collect her new car, A Mark II Ford Escort 1.6 Ghia.
The owner had waited until August to take advantage of the new 'T reg' before taking delivery of the car that she hoped would see her through the remainder of her driving days. With that in mind she took the wise precaution of having a rust proof treatment carried out prior to the car being used on the road.
The owner did not intend to use her new car a great deal at all. However being retired and living in London she decided that for ease of use it would be well worth the extra cost of factory option, automatic transmission. With stop start London traffic she most certainly would prefer not to have all that bother with a clutch and gears – thank you very much!
In addition to the rust proof treatment she ordered a few dealer fitted genuine Ford extras. A second rear fog light, mud flaps and Ford rear window blinds. Lucas front driving lamps were fitted, wired to main beam.
Godfrey Davis rear window sticker, number plates and key fobs on both original sets of keys remain.
From the offset CLN 680T was used very infrequently for most of the time it was garaged and cherished by its elderly owner. This is unmistakeably a car that has always been loved, cared for and well maintained.
In 1986 when CLN 680T was 8 years old and having covered just a few thousand miles ownership transferred to a Gentleman who lived a couple of streets away from the first owner and was, presumably, known to her.
CLN 680T stayed in the care of its second owner, who never actually used it but kept it under cover in the garage attached to his house. In 1991 CLN 680T was MOT'ed possibly for the first time ever. The MOT is in the history file and the mileage is recorded at 6,680.
In 1992 CLN 680T was acquired by its third owner who lived locally to the second. The third owner, who was again elderly, continued to cherish the car in the same way that it had always had been. Again most of its time was spent garaged. The 1992 MOT shows 7,503 miles, the 1993 8,701 and the 1994 MOT shows 9,157 miles.
The day after its 1994 MOT CLN 680T was acquired by its final recorded keeper, another lady. It was driven from south London to her home near Ashford Kent where it was put straight into her garage.
The new owner used the car over the next few months but only covered a couple of hundred miles before she gave up driving it. CLN 680T was once again confined to a garage where it stayed for over 5 years. In 2000 CLN 680T was taken for an MOT as the owner was hopeful that she would once again drive it. Sadly it was not to be the case and the car was returned to its garage.
This time the owner knew that she was not going to ever drive CLN 680T again but rather than part with it she decided that she would keep it in dry storage. She had the whole of the outside of the car covered in clear protective waxoyl in order to preserve it and once again parked it up in her garage. There it stayed for the next twelve years or so.
Today CLN 680T has covered a genuine 9,500 miles from new. It has led a charmed life and the vast majority of it has been spent in storage out of the elements and its mind blowing condition very much reflects this.
After such little use it was important that the car was correctly re-commissioned for use. Undertaken by a ford specialist at a cost of over £1,100.
In addition to service items the brakes have been fully overhauled with new front Discs, callipers and pads and rear hydraulic cylinders and shoes.
All the engine core plugs have been changed, as one was leaking a new rear oil seal was fitted at the same time.
The bodywork and paintwork is outstanding and it would seem that all of the paint finish is totally original and that applied in the factory 35 years ago.
If you have seen our cars in the past you will be aware that we have bought some of the very best original cars to the market. It is rare though that we can say that we cannot find any traces of paint rectification whatsoever on a car that is over a third of a century old. In the days before robot spraying many had faults rectified by the supplying dealer when new. If this was the case here we certainly can't see any obvious signs of it!
With CLN 680T however not only can we say that we can find no traces of past paint rectification we can also say that has not been a need for us to carry any out to the external paintwork now.
Even the sills have their semi gloss factory applied finish – they have never seen the nozzle of an aerosol can!
CLN 680T is remarkably rust free due no doubt to that additional rust proofing, which was carried out from new and involved sealant being injected into box sections and cavities. It also involved spraying black underseal to the underside of the car, the underside of the bonnet (which also doubled as additional sound deadening) and to some areas of the engine bay. Whereas this has done a fantastic job as intended it looked a little unsightly so we had our body shop overspray the black on the bonnet in silver thus leaving the underseal in place to carry on its good work but looking much more pleasing.
We removed the underseal from inner wing tops which caused some light scratching to the paint surface which our bodyshop has made good.
Other than a couple of minute stone chips and very light tiny surface scratches which have been carefully touched in with a touch up brush the paintwork is unmarked and retains a fantastic lustre.
There are not dings dents or other blemishes.
Door, boot and bonnet shuts are excellent.
The underside is superb and of course no welding has ever been carried out and none is, or should ever be if correctly kept, required.
Chromework is in fantastic original condition.
Correct sports wheels that are original and have not been refurbished with bright rim embellishers which are slightly marked in places.
Unmarked, and correct for year, black vinyl roof.
Even items so often requiring replacement like the window and windscreen rubbers have not deteriorated.
There are four brand new Dunlop SP tyres.
The Ford Ghia interior was the envy of its competitors - and we can see why!
Being garaged for most of its time has meant that the interior has not suffered from effects of day/sun light normally found on cars of this age.
CLN 680T's interior is exemplary in every way, totally original and the best we have ever seen. It is a truly lovely place to be.
The crushed velour seats have not sagged and have no marks tears, stains or faults. The material has not crumpled, as is so often the case, and remains completely taut. The valances still have their build stickers.
The rear seats look as though they may have never even been used.
The carpets are not worn, damaged, stained or faded the pile remains as it should be. The heel mat shows no sign of wear.
The headlining and sun visors are unmarked.
The wood to the dash is first-rate and there is no fading or cracks to the vinyl.
Door cards and rear parcel shelf have never been cut and have no damage.
Standard Ford push button Radio.
Ford rear window blinds function as they should and are not damaged.
CLN 680T has covered just 9,500 miles from new and is 35 years old, in here though it is easy to believe that you are in a car a few months old.
UNDER THE BONNET:
Exceptionally clean with original stickers and presenting only as such a low mileage example could.
As we have said the underside of the bonnet had had black waxoyl applied as part of the rust proofing treatment and whilst doing its job did not look to attractive so we got our bodyshop we to put it in body colour and attend to some scratches caused by removal of the black waxoyl on the inner wing tops and slam panel.
No corrosion around strut tops of course and the chassis number clearly visible in its correct place.
IN THE BOOT:
Spare wheel with original tyre.
Black waxoyl was applied to the spare wheel well, a notorious rust trap, from new so it remains, as does the rest of the bodywork, rust free.
The one piece floor mat and spare wheel cover and the wheel arch covers are as new. In fact so much so that it looks as though nothing has ever been carried in here at all!
The paint below the unmarked carpet is as new. Let us have an email address for pictures.
Original build stickers on inside of boot lid.
ON THE ROAD:
Starts on the button with manual choke.
CLN 680T is an absolute pleasure to drive. The automatic Ford box, which also can be used as a clutchless manual, is wonderful. If Ford still made Escort Ghia's today automatic would no doubt be standard for the top of the range model - instead of being an expensive extra as it was back in the seventies.
Everything feels tight and it is immediately apparent that this is an exceptionally low mileage well cared for car.
It is responsive, quick, comfortable and handles well.
Everything checked worked, the automatic gears changed up and down just as they should and we found no faults at all.
An absolute joy to drive – delightful!