Showroom Condition! 1989 Ford Escort LX

Many will argue against a Ford Escort being considered a collector car but for those of us that feel an inexplicable fondness for these would be Civic rivals, this classic commuter located in Puyallup, Washington checks all of the right boxes.  Immaculate, one owner, original, non-smoker, no rust, and clean are some of the adjectives used by the seller to describe this ultra pristine ’89 Escort, available here on eBay.   Early bidding is at $1,025 with the reserve price not met, although the more anxious Escort aficionado, if he or she chooses, could own it today by simply plopping down the BIN price of $4,800.

You couldn’t go anywhere during the 1980s without seeing an Escort.  Ford sold a ton of them and they were everywhere.  To support my claim go ahead and throw on an 80s TV show or movie and if there’s a street scene, you’ll probably see an Escort parked curbside in the background or perhaps passing by as an extra.  Nowadays it amazes me how rare it is to see a first generation Escort on the road.  Is it because most were driven to death back in the day by corporate flunkies and grannies alike?  Or were they not made well enough to survive?  I’m sure the dreaded salt monster of the Northeast managed to consume a large portion of them in that part of the country.  This one owner garage-kept example is in truly astonishing condition.  The original black paint shines like new, the bumpers show no dents or dings, the glass is flawless, and the wheel covers still accent the car beautifully.  Are those factory issued splash guards?


If you love red velour then welcome to paradise!  Is it possible anyone has ever ridden in this car?  I see no stains, fading, rips or tears in its beautifully plush upholstery.  Although mileage is reported to be a low 42,000, the condition of the interior could easily pass for that of a car with half those miles, if not less.  This LX model also comes loaded with options such as power steering, cruise control, air conditioning, and AM/FM stereo with a cassette player for your Chicago tapes (I did my research and “Look Away” was the top song of 1989).  Everything is reported to be in perfectly good working order and the seller provides a ton of quality photos in the ad to highlight the amazing condition of the interior.  But if you aren’t a fan of run-on sentences then you might want to skip reading the seller’s description.  Two hundred eighty-six words and no punctuation whatsoever!  That’s got to be a record!

This is the only photo provided of the 1.9 liter 4-cylinder motor and it’s evident the seller maintained things underneath the hood with the same attention to detail given the rest of the car.  Paired with the LX’s optional 3-speed automatic transmission, the seller ambitiously claims this Escort is capable of pulling 36-39 mpg.  The U.S. Department of Energy, however, shows more conservative fuel mileage estimates.  The seller offers original paperwork and what appear to be service records with the sale as well.  The original MSRP of an ’89 Escort LX four-door hatch was in the ballpark of $8,000.  If the seller realizes his $4,800 BIN price, I’d say that’s a very good return on investment and encouraging if you’re someone who routinely washes and waxes that Ford Focus you bought a few years ago, but hardly ever drive.  Thirty years from now you might have a classic!


  1. Stevieg Member

    My aunt bought one new, a light blue 2 door. One of my cousins, as a 15 year old, “borrowed” it & the car ended up under water about 7 years later. Didn’t seem to bother the car but it sure bothered my aunt. She went & purchased a new Honda Civic & gave me the Escort for my birthday.
    I owned a small carpet cleaning business & with the back seat folded down, my equipment & chemicals all fit…barely. I delivered pizza at night (still do, a fun hobby that pays) and the pizza orders would fit on the front passenger seat & floor. Car smelled like a bizarre combo of industrial soap & Italian tomato sauce.
    Great car, reliable & economical. Boring as hell! Not a collector car but a great piece of transportation.

    Like 10
    • #SMJohnson717

      In 1990, my employer let me order my company car on a specified budget. I ended up choosing a graphite gray, 4-speed manual-equipped, 2-door 1990 Escort LX … leaving enough in the budget to have the dealer add a premium Kenwood stereo-amplifier-speakers upgrade. Between the audio upgrade and the manual transmission, it actually wasn’t all that boring!

      I left that employer in 1993 (just months after upgrading, slightly, to a new company car – a 5-speed manual-equipped, 2-door 1992 Mercury Topaz (also with upgraded after-market audio, and a factory pop-up sunroof – for what it was, it was also a reasonably enjoyable car to drive) and started my own business. During the lean and slow first months of my business, I delivered pizzas in my own business’s “company car” — a brown 1985 Olds Cutlass Cruiser wagon with woodgrain side panels and a gazillion miles; but a peppy EFI 2.8L V6 and nice ride. It served my family and my business well for at least 7 or 8 years; but it never lost the Papa John’s aroma from those first few months of “moonlighting” …

      Like 2
  2. Superdessucke

    If this was a GT I’d be on a plane to the PNW now. Wow.

    Like 5
  3. Patrick_D

    The interior has more red velour than a New Orleans whorehouse!

    Like 3
  4. Paul Hudson

    We had several 88 and 89 Escort Wagons at the company I worked for in the 1980’s and 1990’s They were great little cars, did well in the snow, had plenty of room for computer equipment and got great gas mileage. I think both wagons made it to 300K miles. They did have timing belts that needed replacement but were overall very reliable. Those Interiors were very durable.

    Like 3
  5. JAYP

    Had an 85 Pony, right after I sold my 88 Mustang GT…wanna talk about down grading! But I will admit, that thing was a beast. 4 speed, 1.9 I think? I literally filled that thing up for a little over $10 and got 500 miles on a full, tank!
    Only issue I ever had with it? It was my first car I learned a stick with…so naturally, I fried the clutch. But it was dam dependable, great in the Michigan winter. I would have driven it anywhere! I sold it for exactly what I bought for, $500!
    These were great economic cars in those days.

    Like 3
  6. Kenneth Carney

    Wow! What a museum piece! I’d be
    somewhat afraid to drive it on the streets
    today due to all the crazy drivers we have
    here in Florida. Had an ’86 wagon my wife really liked, but to me it was a real
    lemon. Tranny troubles, engine issues,
    that car had ’em and a whole lot more.
    Our local Ford dealer wasn’t much help
    as his mechanics were poorly trained
    and many of them absolutely refused
    to work on them because they were FWD,
    and far too complicated for a mechanic
    in Polk County Florida to repair properly
    if at all. Wound up turning it back into
    the bank after I blew through our savings
    taking the car to Tampa EVERY time it
    needed to be serviced. That happened
    after the owner of the Winter Haven
    dealership was indicted on fraud, drug,
    and racketeering charges and the dealership was closed by Ford’s corparate headquarters in 1989. Yeah,
    the ’86 left a bad taste in my mouth but
    this car, and other ’80’s and ’90’s cars should
    be preserved in a museum environment
    for future generations while prices are
    low enough to pull it off. Dunno what
    you’d call it, but it sounds like a great
    idea to me.

    Like 3
    • Bob

      Don’t forget the thieving pos Chevy dealer in Lakeland who went to prison for taking trade-ins but NOT PAYING THEM OFF.

      Like 3
      • Ralph

        That happened at the place I used to work at in Miami too……

  7. Bakyrdhero

    Mom had an 851/2 wagon. Great little car. The head gasket blew at 62k, but it took her 11 years to get that far so the car never owned her a dime. There was also the time the rear window defroster shattered the glass…
    This one here looks awesome and that red interior is something you just don’t see anymore! I’m glad this thing is still around.

    Like 2
  8. gtyates

    My wife and I had an ’89 LX 4 door very similar to this one. Ours was a dark blue with grey interior, and had a 5 speed manual. Decent car actually. Other than maintenance I only recall 1 warranty repair. Kept it about 2 years before I let it go and bought me a Ford Ranger pick-up.

    Like 1
  9. grant

    There’s still a few around here, most of them run ragged but still plodding along. Not many as nice as this one though. The ex wife had one for a bit, it was a crap can but I’ll give it credit, it ran with a crack in the head for probably a year before it died.

    Like 1
  10. Jim G.

    I have a hard time forgetting what a nuisance the automatic retracting seat belts are in these things. Memories,

    Like 3
  11. H5mind

    For about 20 years my parents only bought Ford. First the big guzzling wagons, then a forgettable Fairmont, a Probe (Dad’s favorite) and finally a series of his-and-hers Escorts. And for decades, there was always a rusty F-150 for dump runs. They finally jumped ship for the imports and currently sport two Hyundai sedans (AKA, Koreans Escorts).

    Like 1
  12. Jwzg

    That “Porno Red” interior.

    Like 3
  13. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Had an uncle in the LA area with a ‘55 two door wagon he bought new (not a Nomad); it ran very well (3 spd o/d manual v8), was in very clean condition and had 44,000 miles when he died in 1992. Unbeknownst to the rest of us my elderly surviving uncle and aunt traded it in on an Escort wagon automatic. The jackball young salesman at the renowned Ford dealership gave them $200 and convinced them he was doing them a favor..
    That Escort was a POS going over the Sierras-had to turn the A/C off to make the speed limit (as did the slant 6 powered 90hp [CA edition] Volare patrol cars the local PD had in ‘82, but that’s another tale for another time…)

    Like 2
    • dweezilaz

      Learned AC off as another driving skill running Iron Dukes, Nevada.

      Like 1
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Where about, dweezilaz,to/from ‘Vegas or some other summertime fun trip? Had to be a real joy with an econobox in the desert!!

  14. DON

    The reason the you don’t see many first generation 80’s Escorts is because the heads always developed cracks between the valves , and at the time, it wasn’t worth putting a new expensive head on a cheap car. Most seemed to go about 50,000 miles and the cracks developed. We had so many of Escorts and Lynx’s in the junkyard I worked at that we started charging people to pick them up ! We would usually have 20-30 of them each time the crushers would come in and we would flatten them all just to see the yard fill up again. I remember people would call looking for a good cyl. head and the owner would always send our yard guys to look for one even though they told him they already pulled the heads off all of them and they all were cracked . I quit the yard in 1986 , so none of the cars were particularly “old” ; they were just disposable . The 1985 1/2 and newer Escorts were much better cars and didn’t seem to have the problems the early ones did . The saying they had was “if the Escort has sealed beam lights its junk, if it has the plastic flush lights its good “

  15. nycbjr Member

    Too bad it’s not a stick or as mentioned GT. Always liked these.. my great grandma had a 87 4 speed.. kind of fun!

  16. Kenneth Nace

    Oh yes Michael Holly Chevrolet, he was also great at bait and switch, do you guys remember Lakeland Nissan, Kia and Suzuki. That was another real winner of a dealership

  17. Bobinott

    I had a 1981 Escort SS 3-door and a 1985 1/2 Mercury Lynx 5-door hatch. They were fun to drive with the manual gearbox, and generally pretty reliable. EGRs were a problem, but then they were a problem for a lot of cars back then. My next step was a 1995 Escort Wagon, and that was a better car in just about every way, but retained the 1.9 and the same 5-speed. Timing belts were a 100,000 km item (60,000 miles) but I also learned that age should be considered too. Luckily these were non-interference engines, so no big deal when they one broke. After the string of Escorts, I continued to follow the fold and began running first-gen Focuses (Foci?). With my wife and son, we have had five so far (all 5-speeds), but the supply is running low up here in the Rust Belt. I do plan to keep my current 2007 Focus Wagon going for a long time, so who knows, maybe it will appear here on BarnFinds in 2039, as Jay suggests!

    Like 1
  18. Jumping bean

    Just curious, what kind of drugs the seller is on. Nice car, but it’s a non gt, auto , mass produced escort. It isn’t a collector car, sure it’s kinda cool, in a vintage I used to own one way, but it’s no where near worth anywhere his asking price. I have one sitting in my driveway w a hair over 50k, nearly as mint garage find, I can’t give away for 1200$.

  19. Jennifer

    Did this car get sold

    Like 2
    • Heath Davis

      I still have the car!

      Like 2
      • Heath Davis

        I am the owner of this car, and yes I still have it. Changed couple things to make it look sportier. Still in mint condition. Would sell for $3295

  20. AJ Grey

    where is this car located at?

    • JAYP

      You mean where “was” it? This thing is long gone

  21. JAYP

    You mean where “was” it? This thing is long gone

    Like 1
  22. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    It’s always fun when someone comments on a two year old Barn Find. I remember this car’s red interior and I can’t believe it’s been two cars since it popped up!

    Like 1
  23. Heath

    I Just sold it $2800. Now it’s in Auburn Washington. Same exact car. I bought it from someone in Puyallup, Washington for $2600 couple years ago

    Like 1

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