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Ford Escort ZX2



  • ja_1959ja_1959 Posts: 6
    I agree that the ZX2 missed the boat at the price Ford wanted to sell them at. It was taregeted at college kids originally, but that isn't exactly a cash-laden group.

    With the current rebates, it is selling to folks who just want cheap, reliable transportation. I live where there is good public transit and hadn't owned a car for a while, and just wanted something inexpensive. But interestingly enough, I think the ZX2 is the best handling car I test drove while shopping, even with the crummy goodyear's that come standard. I also drove a Focus sedan, Nissan Sentra, Chevy cavalier, Neon, Saturn SL1, Toyota Corolla, and Honda Civic. But I suppose that's a subjective thing.


  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    After doing a major system recover on my Pc I am back. No thanks to some great networking advice I ended up crashing both of my systems. At any one Pc is up and I am awaiting some new recovery disks for the second Pc. Not that this has anything to do with the ZX2 Forum of course but...


    Check out my web page at For a list of the cars that I considered during my new car search.

    Thanks for the reassurance Floridian. Speaking for myself, if I had the cash I would gladly spring for a Luxury SUV. However it would be a second car to my ZX2. OF course though if could afford a luxury SUV I would probably turn around and drop the money into an econo SUV. Then spend the rest on a Jaguar or similiar high performance sports car. One must keep ones driving priorities in order after all.

    I will visit the Ford websight and see if I can find any refs to the 2002 ZX2. Once I get FrontPAge reloaded I will again be updating my pages. In anticipation of this I signed for another 100megs of space on my server and . Not bad for only $4.00.


    Did you get the Tib with a Sunroof? That was my single greatest gripe with that car...

  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    photog0264: No, no sun roof. I had a sun roof on the SC2 and found I rarely used it. Kinda pricy for something that really is not used that much. Florida is so blasted hot (hotter than the hinges on the gates of of Hades) in the summer that the only time you can really enjoy it is before sunup and after sundown, same goes for convertables too.

    I am not a "sun person" anymore after having a big hunk of "meat" sliced out of my arm a few years back. The word "melanoma" kinda gets your attention LOL.

    Regards, Floridian
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Photog, not a luxury SUV. C'mon man, that's blasphemy. Those boats should be illegal. They serve no purpose and are an unnecessary depletion of resources that could be better used building Austin Healey replicas. : )

    I'm an old 4WD guy from 30 years ago and believe me, this crap they're selling people today is mostly dangerous junk. The goal is to beat you out of 30K. Designing a good 4 wheeler doesn't enter into the picture at all and safety is certainly shuffled to the back burner as well. Remember when Suzuki was selling too many Samurai and somebody slipped Consumer Reports some money to do a hatchet job on them. Well the Samurai was no more dangerous than the Explorer. It's all money. If you need 4WD get a Jeep with the optional suspension and learn how to drive it. Can't stress that enough. Knowing how to drive a car doesn't have anything to do with driving somerthing like a high cg off roader or SUV. Can you tell I'm really down on SUVs today?
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    I don't know... Much as love the low to the ground little sports coupe; the biggest weaknesses are the lack of space, and though I haven't experinced it in the ZX2; Deep Snow... In both of these situations I fondly remember my 4wd Toyota pick up truck. In heavy snow nothing could stop it. Of course on ice it's stablemate the Tercel had an advantage. Not that anything is realy has an advantage on Ice of course. But the truck was next to useless.

    Another thing I kind of like about the luxury SUVs is the comfort levels some of them obtain. Granted they are little more than living rooms on wheels than cars. However for cruising and tuning out the rest of the world, little can compare. My gripes with SUVs run along the lines of somthing you commented upon Ralex; "knowing how to drive the car". How many tales do we all have of imbeciles driving these luxury equipped SAPCs (Small Armoured Personel Carriers) doing something stupid? Such as trying to drive at normal speed in snow or ice. Or the arrogant presumption that just because someone is driving an SUV they are untouchable, and to hell with all the other cars on the road.

    IF it where me creating the licensing laws. I would create a special category for drivers licenses involving SUVS. Sort of like what most states do for larger trucks, and motorcyles. Of course in reality it is far too late to bring about such a change. Even then I seriously doubt that it would change peoples attitudes very much. However when the police catch someone in an SUV driving like an idiot they could then double the penalties. Given the level of damage that an SUV can cause even in a low speed impact. I would increase the severity of the crime.

    If I had a large chunk of cash for nothing but Automotive and had to restict myself to two cars with that cash. I have a feeling that I would spring for an econo SUV and a high performance sports car. Much as I give credit for the Luxury SUV apart from space, most of the positives can be found in a higher end sports coupe.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    floridian... Despite being a blonde haired white skinned Brit. I do rather like a sunroof. In a previous car I had one, and I again have one in my ZX2. I can see why though you would be unimpressed by a sun roof given your episode with skin cancer. Also given that you are driving the Tib now, which has probably the worst desgined sunroof in the automotive world.

    Thank whatever skin gods there are I don't burn very badly these days. Except of course at an airshow where I come back red as the proverbial lobster, with strange lighter square shadow on my face (caused by the presence of a camera aimed skyward). Even then my skin turns back to it's normal ghost complexion with in a couple days. A doctor once said I have remarkable healing properties in my skin. He made this comment after seeing me with a severe sunburn but on a visit for something totaly unrelated. About a week later on a follow visit, he was amazed at how quickly the burn had passed without any peeling.

    This is not say I can be burned but I do seem to heel rather quickly. The only things special I do are take 2000mgs of Vitamin C everyday, and when I have been playing in the sun, coat my skin in aloe vera very liberaly. I then keep coating it for a couple days, until the burn is gone. Whatever my good fortune maybe caused by it seems to be working.
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    photog: my heritage is British as well. All ancestors from 'Ole Blighty and Ireland/Scotland too. I guess we have "genetically solar deprived" epidermis LOL. On a recent visit to to the "isles", never saw the sun and rained everyday. The "green" in Ireland was blindingly beautiful.

    Funny thing about the melanoma tho. I have driven constantly in my job for the past 40 years or so and my left arm (hanging out the window, weather permitting) would be the one most exposed to the sun but the problem was on my right,go figure. The surgery was over 5 yeras ago and no further problems so I guess I dodged the bullet so to speak.

    By the way, my son is putting on a "cat back" system on his ZX this week end. "ole Dad" will probably have to go over there and show him how to do it properly LOL.

  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Aren't those melanoma more related to the severe sunburns of your childhood days than exposure as an adult? I used to get really fried on family outings as a child. No problems yet, but watching closely. I'm a result of the meeting of the Irish and the American Indians and there was a Dutchman in there somewhere as well.

    How does Ireland produce so much clorophyl with so little sunlight? Must be a government subsidy. I remember being stunned by the "greenness" of some islands in the Pacific, but the sun shines every day there.

    I had one car with a sun roof and for the most part it was just a source of heat. I will never have another. Give me a roadster or a coupe, but no half steps, thank you. I tried to autocross that car and I have to tell you, a sun roof leaves no room for a helmet at all. Had to lean over sideways.
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    ralex2: sunburn at a early age does seem to be the culprit according to my dermatologist. As I recall, like most kids, I surely did get a few bad ones and remember "peeling" as well. I guess it is just the luck of the draw as far as any of this cancer stuff is concerned. A friend of mine has a son that has terminal throat cancer. Twenty four years old, never smoked, does not drink and never worked with any hazardous materials, go figure.

    Very interesting most peoples backgrounds. My wife is into the geneology thing and has researched her mom's side of the family back to the early 1700's in Germany. Plus after they got to America a lot of intermarrage between native Americans, Afro-Americans and a few Asians all go to make up a real hodgpoge of ancestry. That's why predjudice and racial bias is so goofy. most likely you'll end up being biased against your own ancestors LOL.

    The "greeness" in Ireland comes from all the rain they get along with not too cold temps, tho it does get pretty raw in the winter but how many "frost" days they get i don't know. It really is beautiful tho.

  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    For my part I guess I have been lucky then when it comes to sunburn. Though I have had a few beauties in my day, again all was right shortly afterwards.

    Funny observation... This little diversion got me wondering about sunroofs. So on the way into work on Saturday I started trying to count the mumber of cars with sunroofs. I got up to around 30 before heavier traffic caused me to shift my attention more to the road (this figure is not an exact and I probably confused a couple luggage racks in there with the sunroofs). At any rate OF the 30 or so I believe I noticed I think 8 or 9 where where open. I am not too sure what the numbers indicate but it has me wondering if there is any statistic out there regarding sunroofs.

    Speaking for myself I truly enjoy my sunroof. Though I need to see about getting one of those tinted wind dams for it. I know when I was at the beach a few weeks ago it was great. On a bright sunny day with a pleasent breeze it can't be beaten. IT is also great for Airshows, where there is often something flying before the gates open.

    Skin Cancer...
    Though I am hardly a doctor, it is my understanding that anyone can get skin cancer. Granted in bright sunny enviroments those of us who are lighter in skin tone, have a greater chance. There are a couple things though that don't make to me though. How can a person who never takes his shirt off end up with it on their back? I guess it must have someting to do with genetics.

    Peoples backgrounds...
    I am 100% British as in born there, and though I grew in the states I did return for a few extended stints. One of which was with the British Army. Hence my knowledge of hand to hand, weapons, and the various english cars I have driven. Ranging from a Vauxhall to a mini metro and several flavours of Rover. I have also ridden in anything from an RAF c-130 to a 70 ton Chieften Battle Tank (A true SUV killer).

    In Ireland, parts of England and Wales the feeling of cold come from the dampness. In parts of Wales for instance the frozen layers of earth only extend down a few inches. Below that there is often times mud. In the American winters you can freeze to death in only a few hours if you are not carefull. On the other hand "in Isles" as floridian called them. You are more likely to die from the effects of exposure in a couple days. Usually in the form of trench foot, frost bite, and gangrene. Just to be fair though if you are caught in a blizzard you can freeze to death just as quickly over there, as you could in one over here.

    Random chance with death and bad luck. Yesterday I was told an Independant Sales Rep who sold us several lines of photo gear died of heart attack in New York. Needless to say all of us behind the counter are in mourning as he was very popular fellow and unversally loved by all. He was only young and by all account in good health, I would guess in his age in the forties. Where is this going? Proof that bad things to good people even when they don't deserve it. Funny thing is after we where all told the bad news, all of us seemed to be trying just a little bit harder to sell his products.

    Now then to bring it back to the Zx2 world...
    Forgive my ignorance floridian.. But what does it mean "putting on a cat back system"?
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    photog: Don't feel bad. These new "rice burner" machines have a language all their own (and a dress code as well I might add LOL)A "cat back" system is a performance exhaust system that replaces the stock factory one from the catalytic converter back, thus "cat-back", imagine that LOL. Since it is illegal to run on the street sans the converter the imissions control component must reamain. Tho I doubt if any of these guys really give a rat's behind if they are legal or not just as long as they make PLENTY of
    noise. You can hear one coming 1/2 mile away as it sounds like a BIG commercial logger's chainsaw running @ full song next to one's ear--OUCH !!

    On a different note when I was in the USAF I served with a fellow that had been in the British Army and was wounded in the Suez action. I doubt if many Yanks of this generation even know what that was as they don't really teach any important history here in the States anymore. At any rate we were all in awe of him and his "war stories" and how he was wounded. He joined the USAF ( this was in 1964) and the last I heard from him he became a US citizen and was living in Bermuda. The best of both worlds I guess.

    Regards Floridian
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    hey photog! speaking of UK cars.
    I drove a Vauxhall Victor too, used to be my mom's. This was in the Philippines, and I think it was a model 62 or maybe 64.
    My older brother had a 66 Cortina, and before
    that a Midget. I only have good memories now, but I know those cars spent a lot of time in the repair shop. The Vauxhall wasn't too bad though, fairly reliable.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Rick, when were you in the Philippines? Which island? My first exposure to Toyota was in Cagayan del Oro in the 60's. Cab drivers there did their best to destroy those Toyotas and couldn't do it.

    Sun Roof thought. Someday when I'm bored I think I will tell a car salesmen I'm worried about skin cancer and I'm not sure sun roofs are safe. Might be interesting to hear him make up stories about his cars new and improved UV filtering. It's hard to find a cheap show as good as a car salesman's routine, especially if you prod them a bit.

    Cat back. There isn't a lot to be gained tinkering with exhuast systems these days; the converter is so damned restrictive. Not only that, but modern engines are set up to operate with a lot of back pressure and if you reduce it significanltly you lose torque. It's a real can of worms and you just can't accomplish much without big bucks and major mods. If only noise produced speed : ) I'd wager that 9 of the 10 horses that the S/R has over the standard Z come from the chip and the modified exhuast and intake are largely eye candy. Personally, when I drove an s/r, I couldn't find the extra hp.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314

    I know of a Royal Marine who did exactly the same thing only he joined the US Marines. Last I had heard he was honourable discharged about 5 or 6 years ago, and was living somewhere south of your play ground; down near the Keys I think. I know when I was left the CIS, the first job offers I got when I came back to the states was from the US Army and a couple police departments. It seems some recruiting officer had gotten wind of my background. It really was rather flattering all the different inducements they where trying on me. Sponsorship (I grew in the states and didn't need it), waiving the $250 application fee for a green card, retention with transfer of rank, all sorts of stupid crap. The only thing is I left for a reason, and as is typical of my heritage and personality; I am stubborn as the proverbial bull dog which beyond physical resemblances Brits are of course noted for.

    As for Suez, I will let the history books, or at least those that mention it deal with the facts (many of which are dead wrong by the way). I am in fact quite familiar with middle eastern affairs in away that few could ever imagine. Without going into detail I would strongly discourage anyone planing a visit to the Holy Land any time soon. There is excellent potencial for things to get many times hotter than they have ever been before.

    Now to shift gears (no pun intended) away for Middle Eastern Geo Political Affairs. About a half hour after I posted the question about "cat-Back". The thought went through my mind "I wonder if he was talking about the converter?" Sometimes I am a little slow with these things.

    Ralex, you are echoing similiar if slightly more techinical versions of my own thoughts regarding the S/R. The sound is quite a bit different and those tires grabbed hold of the road like nothing else. However for speed, and off the mark acceleration I couldn't feel much of difference. Granted I only test drove the red one at Tedd Britt twice, and at the time I was still in shell shock after the loss of my black ZX2. Funny thing is despite the colour I realy wish I had tried for that S/R now. Though I am sure I would have picked up a speeding ticket in the damned thing. Still... Perhaps in a couple years I will see if I can find one used somewhere.

    The Super S/R for 2001.

    I am stil trying to find information regarding that limited and select clientel version of the S/r that I was told of by a Ford Exec.. No one seems to know much of aything regarding it. A couple people within Ford have acknowledged that it exists, but they don't have any details. Even then I am not sure if they are being polite with me, or really have heard about it. I did have one strange E-mail from someone who one seemed to know a few of the details. That fellow though seemed to be more interested in the creature comforts, and talked mostly about the seats and some of the lesser interior details. With nary a word regarding the performance numbers. When I went to try and E-mail him back it was returned as a dead address. On the whimsical side there was also a well meaning kid who swore there was a ZX2 Convertable that routinely parked on his street. In the interests of being fair I offered to send him a camera to keep, and some film to take some photos for me. He never did give me his address despite several E-mails to him. My conclusion was that he was confusing the either a Cavalier convertable or a Sunfire. So in the end does the Super S/R 2001 ZX2 exist? I am starting to think it maybe like the legend of Big Foot. Odds are good there maybe something, but no one can seem to be able to offer any concrete proof.

    Other European Fords...

    I do remember the Ford Cortina and I also seem to remember some adverts for it when I was very young. Beyond the Escort though the car that stands out most in mind was Anglia. If you visit my web pages you can see a photo of one sent to me by brother. It's on the rivals page .

    Speaking of which now that I have FrontPage back up. I will be taking down the that temporary gallery I established with the MG photos later this week. If you would like to visit it before it vanishes the address is There is an antique car show this weekend, and I will probably shoot a roll or two of film at it. I am hoping to aquire enough quality images to set up a True Automotive gallery in the near future.

    Whew this has been a posting hasn't it?

  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    My appointment with the body shop was this morning. They were going to alter the inner lip on my rear fenders to give me adequate clearance for the 205x55 tires. Last week, when I made the appointment it was supposed to be a simple job. This morning the guy admitted they had no tool designed for the job, the paint might crack, and the outer skin might wrinkle. He said they would fix the paint if they cracked it, but that would be another 75 bucks or so. I got in the car and left. Needless to say I was disappointed.

    I was explaining the body shops reservations to my tire man and he told me to take a baseball bat and roll it between the tire and fender well until the lip bent into position. I have also seen this recommended on a few websites. Anybody heard of it? Any success stories? Any failure stories?

    The best solution would be to use a Ford S/R rim, but it scares me to think what Ford would charge for one of those butt ugly swiss cheese wheels. Finding a wrecked S/R would probably be extremely difficult. I guess I should have kept the swirlies ..... ughhhhh.
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    sorry to be off topic here, but since old fogeys tend to reminisce...
    Yup, first Toyota I saw was something horrible called the Toyopet which was superseded a couple years later by the Crown, their first 'real' car.
    Then came their Coronas which were pretty indestructible, as were their Land Cruisers (at the time, cheap imitations of Land Rovers).
    I was born in Manila, Phil. and lived there till 84 (visited Cagayan de Oro just once) when I started moving around. First to Saudi Arabia, then Germany and then Hong Kong.
    Ended up in Virginia USA in 92.
    Have also travelled for work or pleasure to Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, etc. I've seen a lot of cars weird and wonderful in my travels.

    One of them was a Maserati Quattroporte that my coworker in Riyadh bought off a Saudi prince for a song (about $2000) cause it was pinging badly and blowing black smoke out the exhaust.
    Turned out to be one bad piston. He fixed it, even had it sent back to Italy for repairs and it worked fine afterwards.

    That's also where I first saw a Mercedes 1000 which I think was a local model only. It had a 12 cyl engine like a 600, but also had gold ornaments and gold plating everywhere, real wood of course, had a TV inside and I think a refrigerator.

    There was something called a Pontiac Firefly which I had not seen anywhere else. Turned out to be a Suzuki inside which had been badge engineered.

    At the time, there were no Fords in Saudi Arabia. They were banned, since Ford did business with Israel. Things are not so strict anymore now, and I think Fords now exist in Riyadh.

    Your MG gallery is cool, and has some real good looking cars there.
    If you have the time and inclination, there's a used car dealer on Route 50 West that specializes in British cars.
    He's got a lot of Jags, MGs and Triumphs on his lot. I don't know if any of them run, as many of them look pretty battered.
    I think he also has a small shop that sells Jaffa cakes, shortcake cookies, etc to homesick Brits.
    From Rt. 7 or from Dulles Toll Rd, go rt. 28 south, then take rt. 50 west. It will be on your left after the So. Riding entrance.
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    Photog: yes, they DO exhist !! A custom convertable mfg. in High Springs, Florida (of all places) does convertable conversions. They will turn anything into a convert for a price. They have done a lot of engineering for Toyota over the years. I think their last project was for the Pesaeo or the last series of the Celica. They usually do vehicles like Eldorados & Lincoln MK VIII's etc. I think their name is Convertable Concepts. American Sunroof out in California does a lot of this too. Very nifty the pix I saw of one @ a local Ford dealer in Lake City, Fl. afew years ago. They did a lot of Mustangs back before the "new" style Mustangs were available from Ford.

  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Perils of using a failing DSL connection. I have tried to post several times over the past 2 nights. However when I get connected "poof" I can't do anything. At any rate here we try again...

    I know the place on 50... To be honest I was trying to remember where it was. You are quite right about an MG grave yard. If memory serves me there was quite a few older Mgs over there. In truth it is not very far from as live within sight of Dulles Towncenter. By the way what colour is your ZX2?

    Now there would be an interesting kit car to get my hands. Grab an old MG cheap, and blow out my limited entertainment funds restoring it. Of course it wouldn't be a very practical to do, given that I live in an apartment building and don't even have a garage. However perhaps in the not too distant future if I could scrap together enough cash for a small house with a garage... Maybe a nice green Triumph convertable. IT would certainly be an eye catcher. There again at the moment I can barely afford my current hobbies and despite everyones words of advise against. I am still hanging on to the fantasy of getting a second car. Somehow I think a Classic sports car would not be very practical.

    I have heard of Creative mods where they turn normal cars in to convertables. THere are in fact several ZX2 in this area that I have seen with modified sunroofs. On my first ZX2 I spent quite a bit of time moaning over how it didn't have one. I even went so far as to contact several companies regarding sunroofs. Several offered up some interesting different variations on the normal roof. Most notable where several designs that where both slimmer and larger.

    However I think this kid who talked about the convertable ZX2 was almost certainly confusing the ZX2 with another similiar OTHER sports coupe. Like I said I even offered to send him a camera if would only shoot some pictures of it for me. Sort of ashame though because though I am not a convertable fan, the ZX2 would look pretty cool as a roadster. There again I think Ford already has a roadster don't they? I believe it's called the Miata.

    Which reminds me wasn't the old Escort GT available as two seater?

    The mystery car to me though is the ultra limited Super ZX2 S/R 2001. The one that was mentioned to me by a Ford Exec. at an airshow last year. On the two or three occasions I questioned Ford about it they have politely confirmed for me that such a car does exist, only they have not had any details regarding it immediatly available. To date the only independant information I have about it came from a phantom E-mail with a dead address. So again the question raises it's head, does it exist?
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Sorry I was in utter amazement that my posting went through...

    While we are on the subject of older cars.. Does anybody know of any books covering the history and lineage of Fords?

    Also does anybody have any refs to the Concept car that became the ZX2?
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    photog: yes, you are correct. The first Escort line-up did include a two seater (Mercury had a version also)These are fairly rare and seldom seen. These were the "hot ticket" at the time for conversion to a neat little convertable,kind of like a "do it yourself Mercury Capri". I used to see a lot of these running around Boca Raton, Fl. It seemed that all the rich college kids had one of those. I suspect some local "converter" was sawing tops off these cars and thus a convert. I looked @ one close up and it was a very professional job, nice folding top hardware etc. The more I think about it a ZX2 convertable would be as cute as heck.

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