38K Mile Hatchback: 1990 Ford Escort LX

This 1990 Ford Escort LX is a seemingly well-preserved survivor that simply doesn’t exist in places like New England, as this one is listed for sale on the Worcester, Mass. craigslist. With Massachusetts’ second largest city a place I formerly called home, I’ve spent enough time there to know how rusty most daily drivers become in just a short while; that this one has survived without any body rot is incredible. Find it here on craigslist with 38K original miles for $3,800.

Not only that, but these were disposable cars when new. When it got rusty or maintenance bills started to pile up, you simply got rid of it. I’m assuming the Escort’s low mileage means it saw relatively low regular use (negating the first factor) and never got high enough in the miles to become needy (negating the latter). The paint still looks glossy, all four hubcaps remain affixed, and the rear bumper has seemingly spent next to no time being bashed in city parking. Glass looks clean and scratch-free.

The automatic transmission and seatbelts are downsides, but the well-preserved bucket seats, crack-free dash, and original Ford factory radio are all highlights. While it’s possible to not drive a car very far – thus limiting its mileage – you still have to work to keep the cosmetics up, especially for any vehicle not living in a bubble. The stain-free, rip-free, and burn-free seats would indicate to me the previous owner not only drove sparingly, but also didn’t drink a lot of coffee while doing so.

The backseat looks like it has never seen use. The evidence is strong that this Escort was the classic little-old-lady-owned example that only went out on essential errands and to church, and otherwise stayed parked in the garage. While they will never be immensely valuable, and the GT trim remains the enthusiasts’ choice, there’s still an audience that treasures well-preserved econoboxes like this. The price seems fair to me if you’re looking for the best Escort LX you can get – and really, how many are left?


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  1. SMJ_Indy

    My company car from 1990-1992 was an almost-identical two-door ’90 Escort LX; but with a 4-speed manual (!!!). It had the same Graphite exterior and gray interior. The manual transmission, two-door profile, LX features, handsome dark gray color, and an added Kenwood deck, amplifier, and speakers made for an enjoyable daily driver.

    Like 7
  2. 8banger Dave Mika Member

    Sunny summer day, hot polish w/stoneground from Home Depot, get in pass. side of Escort with it, auto seatbelt launches it onto my chest.

    Like 7
  3. Joe

    Auto isn’t always a down side. This was only meant to be an errand runner, not be on the drag strip.

    Like 14
  4. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    What this car needs is Dan Akroyd and Tom Hanks, aka Sgt. Joe Friday and Det. Bill Gannon….!

    Like 2
  5. Jeff

    I had one. Bought it brand new for $6400. OK car. absolutely nothing special. Traded it in 1995 for a stripper Ford F-150. Allowed me $2500 on the car. Now let’s get to the collectability. None. Who wants it? Some 40 something who rode in one when he was 10. But that generation isn’t collecting cars, at least not this one.

    Like 2
  6. Bakyrdhero

    My Mother has an 85 Escort wagon that never owed her a dime. I remember how much nicer these one looked with the new tail lights and flush headlights. I guess I have a soft spot for these cars..

    Like 5
  7. Coventrycat

    These were not “disposable” cars – when rust or maintenance gets to be too much for ANY car, you junk them. It’s done to high dollar “collectibles” all the time, and if it wasn’t for them, BF wouldn’t exist because every Jag, Porsche, BMW, Bentley / Rolls, Mercedes, Corvette, etc…would have been kept and lovingly maintained by the original owner. It’s a word like “patina” that is overused but not accurate.

    Like 6
  8. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Perfectly put, Coventrycat. Every tool lasts longer when it’s well looked after.

    Like 7
  9. H5mind

    I can report these do not fly well when launched over a 10 MPH RR overpass at 60 MPH. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to survive my teen years.

    Like 16
    • Susan McKee Member

      Discovered the same thing about a 1977 Caprice.

      Like 3
  10. mrgreenjeans

    Heads and head gasket fails ended many from seeing long lives….. then there was the occasional one getting 150,000 miles. This is a ‘sweetly preserved alternative’ to 99.8% of it’s brothers

    Like 4
  11. Paul

    I had the 1988.5 Escort when the body style was changed to look like this. Mine was Red, had stick shift but no AC. Sold it to a college student, she wanted this body style around 1991.

    Like 2
  12. Andrew Franks

    One of my Projects in the late 60s was producing a Rock Band called Savannah, very tasty Rock fronted by a heart stopping Lady with a great voice. Due to infantile behavior and constant arguing the band broke up and I moved on to adults. The Band had an Escort Wagon that it used to haul just about anything, the car ran like a train, I drove and rode in it a few times.
    It’s not disposable. The Escort I was exposed to gave no trouble, was reliable and certainly worthy. Someone buy this car. You won’t regret it.

    Like 2
  13. Greg M.

    I contacted the seller, he feels it’s a collector car!!! Guess everyone has their opinion, I offered $2500….he was a little offended

    Like 3
  14. w9bag

    A friend of mine had one as a trail car for long distance bicycle events. And his had a diesel that delivered 55 mpg. Known as a “world car”. Those crazy seat belts were really weird. No other manufacturer used them. Personally, I’d rather have a Pinto.

    Like 1

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