The North American Ford Escort was launched in 1981 and primarily served as a drab compact of choice for folks who didn't realize where the Escort name originated. The real Escort was introduced to Ford's European customer base back in 1968. It was still a fairly drab looking compact... but it had a couple of powertrain options that made it far more exciting than any Escort we got Stateside.
The early Mark I Escorts were offered with a Lotus-sourced 1.6-liter twin cam engine that helped turn the car into a rally favorite. In 1975, the Mark II Escort was developed and a 1.8-liter Cosworth BDA unit was placed under the hood. Burnt-rubber aficionado Ken Block got his hands on an example from 1978 and filmed some serious hoonage through the forests of upstate New York.
The clip, which can be viewed after the jump, is focused on glorious noises and sideways dirt action. Though Block drives a modern Fiesta and Focus in his various motorsports activities, we've gotta say we find his work in the Mark II Escort far more interesting.