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Ford Escort ZX2



  • 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.

  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    I would not personally want to restore one of those older sports cars. If it doesn't run, I'm leery of it. Also I am a bit more practical now, wanting heat and A/C in a car.

    Older cars will need some body repair work to replace rusted sheet metal parts. Those replacement parts are available and made by specialist companies. Then the seats, top, suspension. And the engine will definitely require some work.

    A friend of mine from NJ had a Triumph sitting in his garage for 5 years. I think he finally sold it off 'as is' after much nagging from his wife. He had put in a lot of money in to the engine, had not gotten around to body repair and paint yet.

    Although not in the same category, I had an old Renault 4L back in Manila which I intended to restore, but alas a couple of thousand dollars later had it towed away as I could no longer afford to keep sinking money into it.

    Probably better value as an everyday driver would be the Mercury Capri convertible. It would be cheap to drive and maintain. However, wouldn't expect it to be any kind of performance car as it was tested against the Miata by the car mags. It lost on all counts: acceleration, slalom, comfort, etc.

    It doesn't share much with the ZX2 beyond the chassis, but they're both based on the Mazda 323 platform.

    Oh yeah, my car's dark blue but nothing else to distinguish it. Can't remember exactly what Ford calls that color. I haven't modified the car at all, not even the wheels/tires. But I've seen lots of ZX2s around Loudoun, most of them driven by 30-something women.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    I know Ford aimed the Z at college age females, but I see mostly thirty something women driving them. I suspect most are second cars and the wife gets it. There are a few college males driving lightly modified Zs, but not many.. According to the local Ford dealers, they are all automatics. The dealers just don't want a 5 speed on the lot - hard enough to sell with an automatic. How old are the Gen X folks now? That's what the "X" in ZX2 supposedly stands for. I have forgotten who is included in Generation X, probably because I'm mch closer to Generation B. Floridian may be an A. : )
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Oh the joys of a failing DSL provider... Occasional drops in service, the hell of trying to get my E-mails, lost pages. Could life get any better?

    At any pardon my little bit of venting...
    I agree Rick the Fantasy of restoring an old car versus the Reality are two quite different things. As your friend and others have indirectly remarked here it takes quite a bit of dedication and commitment. Without question far more than I am likely to have.

    I suspect a more practical idea would be buy Camaro as my general sports car, grab up a high milieage used mini freighter, for the occasional Pc monitor. Then follow Ralex's example and start turning my ZX2 into an s/r. Now does that make sense? Damn I think I just spent about $40 Grand!!! I think I need to rethink this or get a $20 per hour raise. But then I could probably afford that two bedroom one den Townhouse.

    ah the insanity of it all!!!
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287

    Marry a girl with a Navigator and a house. Trade the ZX2 in on a Miata. Let her make the payments, and ... oh yes . . . .tell her you love her.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    The only problem is the Girl I am currently dating is too young for anything serious. She is in fact an East German (yes some still refer to that region by that name) is on a temporary visa and she has her eyes on my ZX2. The first time I took her out in it she was a buzz with all the techno facts about sports cars.

    I just wish it could last a little longer with this girl, but it all ends on August 28th when she goes back home for good. Ah well that body does make an older fellow smile and for a couple months at least I can be happy. She really is a charmer a looker, a brain, and sadly for me only barely an adult.

    It is interesting to hear though that the Miata and the ZX2 share a lineage with the Mazda 323 (also know as the GLC in it's first US incarnation). This is something I did not know. One of my first cars was a Mazda GLC. At one point just before I went back to England to join the services of the crown. I dated a West German girl on a similiar visa program to the one I am seeing now. Then as now I started seeing her just a few months before she went back. A bizzare coincidence or what? So hear again in my strange life I have gone the full circle. One of my first cars, a strange relationship with a German girl on a preset time limit... Flip forward 15 years later... An indirect relative of that car, a relationship with a German girl on a preset time limit.

    Whats next another tour of Beirut??? thanks no 3 tours was more than enough for me... Besides the 18 weeks of basic, and 36 weeks of regimental training I went through would probably kill me this time through. Which is of course what those sadistic $%$#% tried to do to me the first time around 15 years ago. An American Accented Brit in the British Army is a natural target.

    Damn it I am in a way too serious mood tonight (this morning). I guess it must be the Guiness (way too heavy for this heat).
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Just got back from a tour through Israel. About the only thing I missed from home was my car. It was my first time off this contenant and really cool. er- hot. Anyway cars are a fortune there so it really is a land of econo cars, but because of that there are some pretty funky ones on the roads, and some I'm sure would sell well over here, and maybe draw people away from the mighty cavalier.

    Anyway, photog, from what I understand the ZX2 was a pretty last minute design and there really isn't much in the way of concepts.

    For the convertable ZX2 - no thank you. Ever driven a sunfire convertable? I love the idea of a convertable, hence my almost impatient waiting for my miata next year, but I wouldn't want a cheap half [non-permissible content removed]ed one, which is exactly what it would end up being. From roof to stability I doubt they would be able to make it work right and still keep the price respectable. Maybe some T-tops though...

    One last thing, Ford owns the majority of Mazda but I believe mazda is still in charge of their little roadster. If I am wrong about this please don't tell me, I'd rather remain igorant ;-)
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    There was a time, when convertibles were heavier than coupes. The roof adds strength to a car and without it, extra cross members were added to the frame to eliminate twist. With unibody construction, I'm not sure how the strength is regained. Not sure I want to find out.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    I am hoping to get back to Isreal next year. My brother in fact lives there. Though I am not Jewish he married an Isreali and the rest as they say is history. Not surprisingly I know the region rather well..

    I agree a convertible ZX2 may not be practical; however it would be a neat car to see as a convertible. I have heard in the past that the best convertibles are those that are designed for the very same reasons Ralex described. The Miata despite it's strange shared lineage it has with the ZX2 and a car from my past; it was designed as a convertible from the ground up.

    Sorry Freddy and everyone else who read my last posting. After reading it just now I realized how inane it sounded. Blame it on the Stout, I was drinking one thing is for sure. Much as I love Stout in warm, even air conditioned weather it goes straight to my head. At least now people can see why I don't drink very much.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    My dear old Dad, went and got a Nissan Maxima. Not really a bad car actually. I took it for a drive around the block, and about the only gripe I could level against it was the softness of the ride. Personally I like to be able to feel the road rather than just glide over the road. The seats where fantastic though. They really held my body well. I also liked the logical instrumentation. Very easy to see where everything is. When I get my around to it I will shoot some shots of it and post them on my web pages.
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    photog: well, I did the "dirty deed" and bought a 2001 Tiburon. Being a diehard ZXer my son really got on my case (all in good fun you realize)and if it had not been father's day he probably would not have taken me to "Hooters" for lunch LOL ! Anyway, all is forgiven but I see a serious drag race up at Gainesville Raceway some friday nite between his ZX and my new "TIBBY" Stay tuned.

  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    I think the Maxima is a great car. My grandfather has the sport suspension package and i5 spd., it really has a nice feel to it, and great steering. If I were forced to get a mid sized sedan, the Maxima with the sport options would be it, though topped out in options it gets pretty pricey.

    floridian: wish your son good luck for me! ;-)
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    I had a customer in my shop today (yesterday) who claims he spent several thousand on his Spitfire 4. He also owns a Miata and the late great RX7. His only gripe with the Spitfire beyond the money he spent rebuilding is the obvious reliabilty. It truly was a lovely example of a terrific restoration.

    One thing that is kind of strange about my Dads new sedan is that in length it doesn't seem that much longer than my ZX2. Granted it obviously is however when they are parked side by side it sure doesn't look that much longer. I know he doesn't have the sports package on his and it does have cloth rather than leather seats. However it does seem pretty loaded with options.

    I don't mind the Tib so much as I can't get comfortable in the damned things. In most every regard the Tib is superior to our beloved ZX2s. However the dash didn't seem logical, and for the life of me I couldn't get me head clear of the sunroof. I also wasnt too crazy about the visibilty. To be fair though this may have been caused by the funny angle the seat was in to clear the sun roof lip. On the positives for the tib, better tires smoother Acceleration, a few more HPs, better suspension and marginaly better seats. There is also far more useable space in the design than the ZX2. By the way don't be surprised if your Tiberion thrashes the ZX2. THey measurable faster cars, off the mark. PArtly due to the tires and in part due to the engine.
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    photog: My Tib "feels" faster to me but it's hard to tell as #1 has tweeked his ZX a little in the form of a cat-back exhaust, hot pack coil, K&N type intake and a some sort of air flow sensor modification. The Tib has more HP in stock form but is heavier. His ZX is A/T so that's probably a wash between the two. I think the difference will be in the drivers ability to get off the line quickest. Reaction time will be in his favor as "old dad" is not the "boy racer" he once was LOL. We'll see . Mom , by the way thinks we both are nuts !! LOL

  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    tib is markedly faster? It certainly didn't feel it, even in the 5 spd, and from 0-60 times I've read up on it is typically slower. In a stoplight race I would confidently take on a tib.

    I've absolutely got to disagree with that whole statement. These cars are extremely close and comparible. In the tib, the seats and driving position are better, and the brakes are a bit better and not nearly as mushy, and like every other car the engine is smoother then the Z - In what sense is the suspension better? how else would you say it's superior? I'm just curious because I guess the tib never impressed me like that.

    I won't go into the material quality of the tib.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    I'm with Freddy on this one Photog. The Z is a hair quicker 0 -60. The Tibs extra weight (only 200 lb or less) seems to eat up the extra 20 ponies. I wonder if the Tib has a taller gear ratio? Probably does. Floridian's estimation that it will be very close is probably very accurate, but my money is on the Z. I think Hyundai stole, or borrowed the Tib's suspension geometry from Lotus or Jag and it is quite good on paper. The Z is better than you think - held back by junk tires. Let's all get toghether at the Grill for a burger and then go race 'em. : )
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    I said the Tib "feels" faster. Only the timing lights will tell for sure. For instance, after a couple of days driving my Sonoma 4 cyl A/T ANYTHING feels like a rocket! LOL. It'll be a couple weeks before we can duke it out @ Gainesville. If I don't beat the #1 son at least once I'll never hear the end of it for sure.

  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    I was under the impression that the Tib was markedly faster. As it seems I maybe under some paper illusions. I am thinking now I might run over to Manassas Hyundai some time soon, and test drive one again (only without the Sunroof). It's obvious I will have to do some more research before I glue my foot to my mouth again. Given how quick everyone has been to correct me...

    The suspension on the one AND ONLY ONE I drove did feel more "reactive". I do know the ergonimics left me cold, in fact that was one of things that I remember most clearly. THe visibilty was also somewhat troubling to me...

    In other worlds, I have heard the engine performance is no where near as efficient as our beloved ZX2s. In particular it's inabilty to get the most of it's higher HP.

    I will keep mute on the Tibs specs until I can again test drive and check out the specs again.

    Well at least I woke everyone up...
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    off subject a little but I have been meaning to ask you if while in the British Army if it was a ranger outfit ? On a trip to Gibralter from Morocco across the straits while stationed there we saw a British Ranger brigade go thru some close order drill, very impressive !! Also have you ever seen the British demo team that takes down the gun carrages, carries them over obstacles and reassembles them again in VERY short order. I think they were Navy. They also put on rat line climbing, hoisting sails demos etc. I think they used to travel all around the world putting on these shows but I've never seen them in the States.

  • eweygrineweygrin Posts: 33
    My mother in law is giving some serious thought about buying an 01 ZX2. SHe does not have much money and is on a limited budget.m I went with her to dealer this weekend. It seems like you get a lot for the money withthese cars. THere is a 1,500 rebate right now. Are these cars going to be discontinued soon? Salesperson claims they will be around for 2002. Please enlighten me.

    Anyone have a regret about these cars. She is also looking at Focus but costs 3,000 more.
  • tsulltsull Posts: 1
    I'm considering purchasing a ZX2. Would appreciate any information on reliability as well as safety. Crash test ratings are missing for frontal crash and side rating is mixed. Any further infomation? Thanks.
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