1982 Ford Escort L MkIII

Wonderfully unmolested 'Billy-Basic' L-spec 1.3CVH 4-speed example from a private collection; former magazine ran project feature car showing just 84,798 miles

This seems to be one of those cars that immediately causes (mostly) men of a certain age to get all gleeful, approaching the car with wide eyes and obvious pangs of nostalgia who exclaim “now that’s a proper classic” or “I used to have one of those” or “corr you don’t see many of these anymore” – and that’s what is marvellous about this little 1981 Ford Escort MkIII, here in 1.3 L ‘Billy Basic’ spec.

Finished in period Celtic Bronze and sitting upon its original steel wheels, the car looks wonderfully period and unmolested offering great visibility from its thin A, B and C pillars (and what would have originally been a sole wing mirror) - there is a lovely sense of airiness to the cabin lacking in modern cars with overtly thick pillars and dark trim.

Bought in August 2019 by Kelsey Media as a project car for their popular magazine Classics Monthly, there are various videos online on YouTube and articles online following their ownership as they attend to various bits on the car for the pleasure of their readers.

Inside the cabin, we find beige cloth trim, carpets and door panels and note the car was simply optioned with only cushioned head rests and single speaker radio with MW and LW options only - without even a cassette, but that’s part of the appeal surely?

Under the bonnet, we find the 1.3 litre inline four-cylinder CVH variable venturi carburettor engine developing a hefty 69bhp driving the front wheels via four-speed manual transmission. Stopping power comes via servo-assisted brakes and independent suspension all-round giving a good, supple ride.

The early inspection of the car discovered it to be sound with very little corrosion and solid underneath which was impressive given their reputation for rot, thus the journos were happy.  The car went on to feature in various follow on articles and online features before being sold in 2021 to our vendor, a Ford enthusiast and collector who has maintained the car in a similarly unmolested condition, preferring to retain the car’s originality, although the car has evidently seen some paint at some point in the past as pictured.

The history file includes the V5C revealing just three former keepers, owner’s manuals, two copies of Classics Monthly, three old MOTs, current MOT valid until April 2023 with no advisories and selection of bills in support of some recent works which include a full service at 84,700 miles (currently showing 84,798 miles), replacement brake shoes, pads and discs, new alternator and belt, re-gas of the tailgate strut and refurbished wheels.

Starting and running well, the car is a joy of period simplicity with the added bonus of being well known from its magazine feature debut.  One to use and enjoy.

Links to YouTube videos -

Ford Escort Mk3 Buying Guide - A Classic Ford Investment - YouTube

Ford Escort Mk3 - The Next Big Thing? (1981 1.3L Road Test) - YouTube

For more information contact - will.daniels@brightwells.com

Reg No: SAP492X
Chassis Number: SFAXXBBAACL75753
Engine Number: CL75753
Engine Size: 1296
Docs: V5C; owners's manuals; invoices; 2x magazines; 3 old MOTs; current MOT April 2023 with no advisories

Sale Section & Buyers Premium (ex VAT): Car 12%, Minimum £150

Estimate: £4,000-6,000

Lot 61

Lot ended

Thursday 12/05/2022

Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)

£3,416
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