1989 Ford Escort XR3i Cabriolet


• Excellent original condition throughout
• Desirable Recaro interior trim
• Fast appreciating model in Ford circles

The Background 

By the late '80s and early '90s the choice of affordable convertibles was limited to the Golf, Astra, 205 and the XR3i and the one the critics praised for looking the best due to the already notched back boot design was the Ford XR3i.

It had that little extra boot which allowed the electrically folded hood to sit better to the body. The strengthened and therefore marginally heavier body was considered rigid enough to retain the same sporty suspension as the tin-top version. Both are still powered by the ubiquitous 105hp CVH OHC motor.

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The History 

The present owner has enjoyed the car for just 2 years and there are 8 previous owners. However the first owner was in fact a holiday company in Jersey and the car appears to have been used as a hire/courtesy car around the sunny island. Once in the UK the car has enjoyed a seemingly quiet life accumulating just 93000 to today. Although a service book is absent there is a large file of receipts demonstrating the amount of care of the car.

It has been kept ostensibly standard and original with the only obvious enhancement being the adoption of a set of RS Turbo seats front and rear, the fronts bearing the Recaro emblem. The hood has been replaced professionally and works perfectly. The present owner felt that the front suspension required a refresh so all bushes, rod ends and complete rack has been recently replaced.

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The Paperwork 

As already mentioned there is a substantial file available showing the maintenance of the car throughout its life in the UK, but there is the addition of every single MOT certificate being present which quantifies the mileage and shows exactly when the instrument panel was replaced some 23,000 miles ago.

Although an official stamped history is not available these receipts do instill confidence that the car has been cared for properly.

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The Interior 

The condition of the interior is good and the bolsters on the RS Turbo Recaros are not heavily worn and appear to be free from tears and burns. There is a little bit of visible wear on the steering wheel and glove box but by no means excessive for the age of the vehicle.

There’s a modern CD Player currently fitted but the owner possesses an age relevant Ford branded stereo radio and tape deck if required.

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The Mechanics 

The CVH engine in this particular XR must have been carefully maintained as the often common tappety top end is hush quiet. It is very clean revving and seemingly free of cold start smoke. There’s only two areas of repair, both of which are documented. One being a repair to the boot stay and the other under the battery tray, both apparently a common necessity.

The bodywork is still bright and has a good shine. The exterior is not without a minor touch-up here and there but it is worth note that the leading edge of the bonnet does need some attention to rectify a blister and a previous small repair.

Another area that would commonly succumb to damage and rust is around the fuel filler but again this car has coped well and this area is without problems. The alloy wheels are fully refurbished and all are free from kerb damage.

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The Appeal 

Open-air driving can be an expensive proposition but not with this car. The popularity of the standard cars have raised their prices considerably making the convertibles a great prospect and with the added roof-off ability the Cabriolet delivers a level of fun  normally reserved for cars that are much more expensive. There’s a huge spares network for the XRs and the easy to maintain CVH engine will offer a great return on some mild tuning. 

This car’s original and unrestored state represents an ideal opportunity to obtain an affordable classic to enjoy some economical summer driving or as a solid basis for a more ambitious project. This car represents great value, a great opportunity and a great deal of fun – after all, it's always fun to go topless.
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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1989
  • Make Ford
  • Model Escort Cabriolet
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 93,000 Miles
  • Engine size 1597
  • Location Derbyshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
16 bids
  • du•••• £7,340 18/01/22
  • ri•••• £7,250 18/01/22
  • du•••• £7,000 18/01/22
  • ri•••• £6,500 18/01/22
  • du•••• £6,250 18/01/22
  • an•••• £6,000 18/01/22
  • sa•••• £5,750 18/01/22
  • an•••• £5,500 18/01/22
  • sa•••• £5,000 18/01/22
  • pa•••• £4,600 17/01/22

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