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Portugal MK 2 Escort Strut plates

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I am looking to buy a LHD M2 Escort from Portugal, it's only an 1100cc model, but it has the extra strut strengthening plates on the top of the inner wings, and the chassis number is stamped along the edge that faces the engine bay. The plate is spot welded in place and doesn't look as if its been fitted later, it looks an original part of the Escort. I have looked at several Escorts from Portugal and they all seem to have this exact modification, all spot welded in place and the chassis number in the same place. The small engine German and British Escorts don't have this plate, the strut tops bolt directly to the inner wing with no plate. The plate on the Portugal Escorts is the same on as per the RS 2000's. Does anyone have any idea why this was done and if it's standard for Escorts from Portugal, could it be that they were made like this because the roads were a lot worse?



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