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What’s a 1981 Ford Escort worth?

Please supply valuation of Ford escort 1600 GL

Joshua , you want an evaluation of a 37 year old vehicle . There may be only 2 left on the road . Explain why you are asking please.

I saw one for sale, and I would like to buy it

No one over the internet can evaluate this car sight unseen. I wouldn’t buy this car with your money let alone mine. But if you are interested, take the car to a mechanic and pay them the cost of a serious evaluation. While he is looking it over, you should search for the availability of ordinary maintenance parts. If you have any trouble finding brake pads, timing belts or chains, water pump, or starters, I’d give it a pass.


Does that mean you have not seen this thing in person ? I think it has been at least 5 years since I have even seen one. Is this an Ebay listing ?

Take the price of junk cars in your area and add about $300 if it runs nice. There might have been a worse car made in 1981-but not much worse. You know the trunk floor in this car is just a trunk mat sitting on the gas tank. If you are rear ended you will become part of the world’s largest Molotov cocktail.

$900 according to Nada guide, $1,400 on the high side. Depends on the condition of the car.

How much change do you have burried in the couch cushions?

1/3 or less of what ever the seller is asking.

That was the Pinto, not the Escort.

Actually, it was the Falcon and the early Mustang whose gas tank’s upper surface was used as the floor panel of the trunk.

The problem with the Pinto was the likelihood of the tank being forced into the differential’s bolts upon impact. The suggestion of an extremely cheap plastic shield was rejected in order to save a few cents on each car.

All the posters here are US based (I think), not sure where the OP is living but the Euro version of the '81 Escort is not the lump WE got in the US. It was a much better car and may have more love in the UK, for instance, than the US. And the value may reflect that.


How much gas is in the tank?

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In Russia, the ongoing joke about Lada automobiles is:
How do you double the value of your Lada?
By filling the gas tank!

A 37 year old Escort is probably worth about the same amount as a 10 year old Lada, although I wouldn’t want either one–at any price.

early? i had a 66 mustang. and i dont recall this as fact.

@Mustangman is correct. The Euro spec Escort of that era is a much, much different car than what we got in the states. It’s rear wheel drive and has a pretty big following with the rallying crowd and is considered something of a classic. If the car in question has the 1600cc Cosworth engine, it’s going to be worth more than the 1600cc Kent engine. As for the car’s actual value, i’ts impossible to say, no further description of the car (condition, mileage, whether it’s been restored or not, condition, etc.) was given.

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Oh, it’s a fact. I replaced my 1965’s tank (same car) after my brother backed over a steel post. Went to junkyard, got tank, opened trunk, done in 30 minutes.

For an Escort MK1 or 2 ( both rwd), you’ll have to pay north of 2 grand for a basketcase. For a MK3 or higher (all fwd) - most likely you’ll get payed 50 bucks to haul it away, even in good condition.
If you have a MK1 or 2 with a fine Cosworth engine for sale - retirement time.

In the mid 1970s the Los Angeles auto show had a Mercury Capri Rally car on display. So much different in a very good way from the re-bodied Pinto we got. The Ford Escort suffered the same fate. This reminds of the Chevrolet Cosworth Vega. As far as I know there were no engine problems. I rebuilt a 1962 Triumph TR4 transmission for my nephew at a cost of $150. He paid with his 1971 Vega 4 speed M/T. It had less than 20,000 miles but was on it’s second factory recall engine. The car was near showroom new and I actually enjoyed driving it. Less than 4,000 miles later it broke a 3/8ths inch X4 inch piece out of the cylinder wall while cruising at 55mph. I ended up selling the otherwise excellent condition car for $100. I sold it for $100 to someone interested in a Vega V8 conversion. I considered 4,000 miles use for $50 a win. I think it was about 1974 when Chevrolet iron sleeved the Vega cylinders but it was far to late to save it regarding sales.

Did that Vega have the GM Mark of Excellence badge on its fender?
It’s amazing that the Federal Trade Commission didn’t prosecute GM for violating the Truth in Advertising regulations.