On this day in auto history - January 18th

Mon 18th Jan 2021

It was on this day in 1968 that Ford officially unveiled its new Escort model at the Brussels Motor Show.

Replacing the long-running Anglia in Ford’s line-up, the Escort was a small, affordable family car which was produced at the Halewood plant in Merseyside and was marketed under an advertising strap-line of ’the small car that isn’t.’

Though commercially successful throughout western Europe, the Escort was particularly popular in the UK. Having sold strongly throughout the 1970’s, it reached its sales zenith in the early 1980’s when the introduction of ‘sportier’ models such as the XR3i saw it overtake its ageing Ford stablemate, the Cortina, to enjoy an eight-year run as Britain’s best-selling car.

Six generations of the Ford Escort were produced in all and, by the time it was eventually discontinued and replaced by the Ford Focus in 1998, it was officially Britain’s best selling car ever with over 4 million units sold - a title it would eventually surrender to it’s stablemate the Fiesta in 2014.