Ford Authority

1986 Ford Escort L Hatchback Is The Latest Improbable Survivor

These days, it isn’t just the more desirable, highly valuable collector cars that are generating interest at online auctions and for sale sites. In recent months, we’ve seen low-mile examples of less-desirable vehicles popping up for sale all over the internet, including a 1990 Ford Aerostar, a 1984 Lincoln Continental with a BMW-derived diesel, an S197 Ford Mustang GT convertible, and a 2004 Ford Taurus. Now, that growing list includes another cool but unloved-by-collectors Blue Oval model – this 1986 Ford Escort L hatchback up for grabs at Cars & Bids.

The Ford Escort has long held a soft spot in the hearts of FoMoCo fans, and this particular example is in simply exceptional condition with just 49,200 miles on the clock, though actual mileage is unknown and is likely more like 149,200 miles. Regardless, the Regatta Blue beauty could very well be the nicest 1986 Ford Escort L hatchback left in existence, in fact, and as an added bonus, it’s fitted with a four-speed manual gearbox.

Of course, no one would dare call this an enthusiast-friendly machine, thanks to its 1.9L I-4 that was originally rated to produce a mere 86 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque. Regardless, it is a nicely equipped example with air conditioning, which is a huge bonus. And besides, cars like this were designed to be fuel-efficient people movers, not track dominating performance machines.

In the provided pictures, the Escort certainly looks stellar, but there are a few flaws as one would expect from a 35-year-old vehicle. That includes some fading on the plastic trim pieces, a couple of paint chips and scratches, cracked trim, bubbling paint, a dent, and a little bit of rust. The good news is, these cars are known to run forever, and this one would be a fantastic driver for anyone who’s nostalgic about Fords built in the 1980s.

We’ll have more cool auction finds like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Escort news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Jean-Francois Rivard

    Just from looking at the seats, the shift boot, and the steering wheel it really does look like 49,200 miles and not 149,200, unless they have been redone (But who would do that on a 35 year old Escort?) . That vintage seats (In any car) did not “Stay new looking” very long before starting to show wear. Especially the velour types that would flatten and loose fibers in the wear areas.

    Same with the steering wheel, the shift boot might be torn too, if the car had been driven over 100K miles.

    Kind of cool though. If the price is reasonable it’s an interesting time capsule.

  2. Gary.

    There were people i new that loved there Escorts. My mother had one may God bless. Have a friend in Pa. that referred them as appliance cars back then. But people put alot of miles on them. Thought they had a 1.6?

  3. Monte wutzke

    I have been enjoying an 87 diesel escort for years. 50 mpg. Most dependable vehicle I have ever owned.

  4. Chip

    The hardest timing belt change I ever did was on one of those. Zero room between the timing cover and shock tower.

    After doing it for one friend, two others got word that I could do it and of course, came to me. I grew a great distaste for these cars after that.


      Come on, as a Ford mechanic and an escort owner I can honestly say I have done scores of them it’s a piece of cake compared to some other cars. Audi for example where the entire bumper etc has to come off just expose the front of the engine !!!

      1. The Gentle Grizzly

        A fine example of Superior German Engineering (Reg. U.S. Pat Off)

  5. Chris

    Yup my Grandparents had one of these. They viewed cars as “transportation” only. No frills. It got you from point A to point B. That was it. Their Escort had no A/C and no radio. They put alot of miles on that thing and ran great. What was it 75HP or something like that?


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