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1986 MK4 1.3 Ford Escort Popular Dilemma

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I'm new to this forum but was hoping I could get some advice from folk.
I have MK4 Escort Popular and have done since I was 17 (it was my grandad's), I'm 25 now and the time has come to decide whether to keep it or not. The reason I have come to this dilemma is because in December I put it through it's MOT which it failed. It failed on a number of reasons but the major issues require welding and the fuel tank has a leak too!

Following the MOT I took the Escort to a garage that does welding who after inspecting the car for about an hour or so he quoted me £1000.00 for all the work carrying out including a new MOT etc. He said that the cross bracing at the front of the car has totally corroded and just touching it made bits fall away. To repair this would mean cutting the full brace out and replacing it with a new one.

I told the mechanic that once I'd repaired the car I was going to sell it, to which he replied I was a fool to spend the money repairing it then selling it on and told me I should just sell it as it is. However talking to other people about this they tell me I will regret this decision 10 years down the line and should get the car repaired then keep it in a garage. So in short what do should I do?

I love this car but wouldn't say I'm an enthusiast that would spend his weekends tinkering on it and making it better, I haven't really done it once in the 8 years I've had it. Apart from the usual washing and waxing and basic up keep ( as you can see from the picture below).

The car itself is fantastic mechanically but it's just the bodywork and frame that needs some restoration. Just one other thing to note it has around 50,000 genuine miles on the clock, when I got hold of the car from my grandad in 2008 it had 4000 miles on it!

Anyway I look forward to hearing your thoughts.



Ford Escort.png

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3 hours ago, colbooth91 said:

I love this car but wouldn't say I'm an enthusiast that would spend his weekends tinkering on it

To keep a classic car, you either need to be wealthy enough to happily pay good mechanics to do all the time consuming jobs that will 100% certainly be needed, or you need to have the enthusiasm, time and facilities to do it yourself.

My father restored vintage motorcycles, and I have friends who keep classic cars, so I know a bit about it, though I am not really tempted down that road myself. Lack of facilities is one reason, a good double garage is almost essential.

If you try to keep it out of respect or love for your grandfather, but can not really manage, it will be a mistake, watching the car decay expensively. It is your choice, but take it with a clear mind.

Just looking at the bodywork, it looks great, but from what you say it is in vital need of a lot of TLC, from someone able to give it the care it needs to stay like that. Are you that someone? That is the hard question you have to answer.

If you are going to sell, I would do so now. An enthusiast could do a lot of those jobs themselves, not at overheaded garage rates.


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Hi Peter,

Thanks for your opinion, it is much appreciated. I think I always knew that selling it would be the answer, as my lack of facilities and resources to be able to restore the car. That coupled with my lack of mechanical skills and enthusiasm for restoring cars. It is just the thought that it will be something I regret later on in life, but you're right I need to accept that it is the correct thing to do.

Just a couple more questions if you don't mind. Where should I sell it? And based on the picture and what I said previously, how much would you value it? Baring in mind the picture was taken about a year and half a go, so keeping it outside in the Great British weather has unfortunately taken it's toll further on the bodywork some what. The mechanic I mentioned previously said I should put the car up for sale as it is and show potential buyers the most recent MOT. And finally should I get the fuel tank fixed even if I'm going to sell it.

Thanks again for your help,



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48 minutes ago, colbooth91 said:

Where should I sell it? And based on the picture and what I said previously, how much would you value it?

I can't really help there, I am afraid. Maybe others in the Escort section will be able to advise. Also look around the internet for sites selling similar cars, that look as if they are shifting items. I just typed Ford Escort Mk4 into Google and got a page load of sites straight up. Avoid sites with big upfront charges, ideally you want no sale, no fee. Ebay, Gumtree, maybe There are also older selling methods like local papers, that still work.

I assume the MoT has expired, and with the type of repairs you quote, the car is unroadworthy at the moment. If the tank can safely hold enough fuel to start and run the engine, then I would leave it. All you can do is clean up the bodywork to the fullest extent, and clean the interior, and try to make sure the engine starts and runs nicely. It will have to be taken away on a trailer.

I think a buyer will be looking for those essential items, bodywork & basic engine, then expecting to have to do a lot of work on the underbody to get it back working. But that is relatively cheap & easy for an enthusiastic restorer, while visible bodywork and major engine problems are expensive and difficult.

Look at other cars, but try not to overvalue it. Transferring the car to someone who is likely to care for it could be equally important.

The "regret in 10 years" is a bit of nonsense really. If you do not have the resources, time, enthusiasm and knowledge to fix it now, there will not be much left in 10 years!

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"and show potential buyers the most recent MOT". Does that mean the most recent MOT pass certificate or the failure?  If it had a proper MOT failure notice issued then everyone in the world can view that on DVLA website from the registration number. So if you try to hide the failure you will be caught out.

my thoughts are if you don't have good facilities to look after it and don't have the knowledge then best to sell, then someone who can look after it better can preserve it rather than it decay.

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