British Invasion! 1958 Ford Escort Wagon


Todd FitchBy Todd Fitch

And now, for something completely different… When was the last time you saw one of these? If you call America home and answered “never,” don’t be embarrassed. This 1958 Ford Escort Estate (wagon), offered on eBay, came ashore as one of 33,472 English Fords imported that year, and the estate body style was not nearly as popular as two and four-door sedans. (Some details courtesy of Hemmings.)

This view may look more familiar, as the Escort is based on the more common Ford Anglia, which have been known to swallow American V8 engines and turn up at drag strips from time to time. Modified versions no doubt improved on the stock Escort’s 20 second 0 to 50 MPH acceleration.

On the up-side this Escort makes good use of its 142″ length with an efficient Estate (wagon) design. It’s about the size of a 6-passenger golf cart and, while it has fewer seats than said golf cart, the Escort offers superior protection from sudden rainstorms, or when you’re being attacked by the Hound of the Baskervilles. Assuming the original 1200 cc resides under the hood, this humble wagon would deliver about 30 MPG when driven with proper English reserve.

Bidders may range from blokes with fond memories of similar cars to the unavoidable motorhead who pictures every old car with a small block under the hood. Bidding has barely registered a pulse with two bargain-hunters driving the auction to $102.50. If you’re love-struck by this wagon and the seller’s 25-word description, simply click “Buy It Now,” and it’s yours for $5,000. What would you do with this utility vehicle from a simpler time?

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  1. Dave

    It Does seem to cry for a Hillborn-injected 327…

  2. Suttree

    With Ford being a worldwide company why would a late ’50s car look a lot like something a cat would drive in a 1930s cartoon?

  3. Andy R.

    There is one of these sitting in a field in eastern greater Rochester NY. That’s what my father called it when I asked him when I was a kid…

  4. whippeteer

    Rare doesn’t mean valuable… Currently at $590 with a day left. With a BIN of $5K, I don’t think the reserve will ever be met.

  5. Alex W

    Four pictures and essentially no description of it’s mechanical condition, but priced at 5k. Just because it is rare in the USA does not necessarily increase the value of a beat up British economy wagon. This car needs someone with a strong emotional attachment to this model to buy it, fix it up, and have a car that is still worth about the same, or a crazed motor head to strip it, tub it, reinforce the chassis, and drop in that SBC as Dave suggested.

  6. Patrick D.

    If the 1968 Ford Escort is known as a “Mk1”, does this mean this one is a “Mk0”?

  7. Bernie

    This same body style without the windows or seats was imported into Canada under the Thames brand. Giving away my age now, I worked for the British Ford dealer and remember probably about 50 of them going through our dealership in Vancouver BC. They were allright to drive in town but in my opinion,Remembering that I was young at the time they were very underpowered.

  8. Jesper

    They are very underpowered. 1200ccm. Flathead four. 3 speed. Like a 4 speed, where the3. Gear is kaput.
    When i was a youngster, 17-18 year, i fixt a two door sedan.
    Its a fun car, to be seen in, but no fun to drive. Rustbuckets.
    5000$…. In the afterlife maybe.

  9. Howard A Member

    The old man came home once with an Anglia, very similar, not a wagon. I just remember it being the most anemic thing I had ridden in. ( To be fair, this was the 60’s) Regular British cars, not sports cars, were non-existent in the midwest. We never saw cars like this, they just didn’t cut it on US roads at the time. Sure is a neat thing, I don’t think you have to go nuts with the sbc route, plenty of modern 4 cylinders would do the trick. A 4.3 V6 is about as much as I’d go for a driver. Great find, and the owner knows it. Gonna be turned into a gasser, for sure.

  10. jw454

    In the early seventies a classmate had one of these. We would delight in changing it’s location from where he had left it. Several of us would pick it up and carry it across the street, turn it around backwards, turn it perpendicular to the curb, set it in a yard, etc. He took it in good humor never getting upset.

    • KevinW

      Ha, that brings back memories of my senior year in high school(1979). There was a girl who drove a yellow Pinto, and after football practice, we’d pick it up and place it on top of the band room stairs. Hilarity would ensue when she had to drive it back down. Good times!

    • RJ

      Similar shenanigans ensued when I was in HS in the early 2000s. Except the car was a 1989 Dodge Daytona and it wasn’t moved by hand. The girl who drove it always left the keys in it. The guys would take it and park it behind a large dumpster, or a block or two away. This would happen weekly. The police were always called. I think she liked the attention.

  11. Bruce

    Back in 1958 the Panel van was called the 400E Thames and the Escort was basically a Panel van with side windows rear seats possibly carpet in other words a station wagon. The Sedans were called 100E Anglia and Prefect, the Prefect being the upmarket version

  12. Benjamin

    Drop in one of those new fangled boosted 4 pots, and pounce some unsuspecting sports cars.

  13. Graywolf

    gasser,gasser, gasser!

  14. David G

    Great write-up Todd Fitch! I’ve no personal interest in this car at all but it’s a real treat to read a well-penned descriptive that kept me engaged long enough to learn something, which is what lots of us here do – become more educated on cars totally off-radar to us.
    That wouldn’t have otherwise happened with this feature but for the quality writing on this one..

    • Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

      Thank you David G! I appreciate your kind words. I enjoy learning about cars as well, even when they are not on my Top Ten List. Thanks again!

      • Howard A Member

        It’s why I’m here!!!

  15. Bapid Member

    My father had one of the anglias which had pneumatic windshield wipers. The faster you went the slower the wipers would go which was no fun in the English weather.

  16. TouringFordor

    In high school I drove a 1960 Anglia 105E. (The Harry Potter car) My dad gave $10 and a hydraulic floor jack for it. It had a bent tail shaft in the 4 speed manual tranny. I had a machine shop straighten it, then I spent hours with a knife file cleaning up the now wavy splines.

    Had a 1 litre OHV four pot with a super short stroke, and a little Solex carb. Wouldn’t fall out of bed unless you pushed it. I bored it out and put in a 3/4 grind cam (from J C Whitney, of course) and a carb from a Citroen. Made it a little more interesting.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi TF, a 3/4 race cam for a 1 liter British motor from J.C. Whitney, you say? Is there anything that place DIDN’T have???

  17. Nevis Beeman

    I clearly recall a Ford Escort like this, once served as the Taxi on the tiny Isle of Iona, West of Scotland, despite it being just 2 doors. Just getting it there needed considerable maritime ingenuity….and flat calm seas !

    On the British market there was a more de luxe version known as the Esquire !

    • Mark-A

      2 doors was plenty for a Taxi on the Western Isles, I mean its not like your Fare was going to do a runner when you stopped somewhere as I live in a Small Town in SW Scotland & everyone knows everyone’s business so even if someone did a runner you’d see them for the Fare later on? 😉

  18. Paul B

    My aunt had the next model up, a Consul, in a four door sedan. Looked just like the Anglia but with more trim and it had a few more horsepower. I recall it had semaphore turn signals that would thump as we drove around Princeton, New Jersey. We kids were always in the rear seat.

  19. Nevis Beeman

    Correction (with apologies)
    The more delux version of the Escort pictured here was named a
    “Squire”….. Not Esquire!

  20. Will Owen

    I know that Funny Money has become SOP in the world of old cars lately, but asking just south of $35K for a car whose twin (in everything but body color and trim – mine was a Squire) I bought off a dealer’s lot for $150 in 1971 is borderline ridiculous. Yes, it was a sweet little car in most ways, as long as the terrain being traveled was mostly horizontal; with a granny low and still low second and a direct-drive third, long uphill grades were no fun at all, though coming back down could almost compensate.

    The worst of it is that the supposedly tough side-valve engine is in fact rather fragile; the Classic & Sports Car article on these cars gave a rebuild interval of I think about 20-30K miles. Mine met its demise when its starter pinion hung up in the ring gear for the umpteenth time, and when I was using the starter handle to free it the crankshaft broke.

    This is not to say I wouldn’t like having one as a grocery-getter/Sunday Drive car, but never at that kind of money. Especially in this crusty condition.

  21. Will Owen

    My apologies for the misquote on pricing; I’d swear I saw $35K the first time around! $5K is more like it – still more than I’d pay unless it were quite close by.

    I would probably want a Kent OHV four-pot and 4-speed transplant, just because the chassis can easily stand a good bit more poo and I think deserves it. Longevity and economy would also improve a lot.

  22. Jack Murray

    Oh yes, I had one of these I bought for $150 in 1977. I blew-up the original engine driving it to the storage yard where I could work on it, as dad said no way it can be at home. Original engine had enough power to reach school crossing speed. Swapped in a 1980 toyota pickup drivetrain. Painted bright hemi orange, lowered with fender flares and ‘mag’ wheels. I haven’t seen one for sale since.


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