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Mk1 Mexico – 1970 to 1974

Feb 01,2006 Julian

The Escort Mexico was announced in 1970, taking its name from the London to Mexico rally, however, as a ‘product’ the concept went back as far as 1968 and was in essence, much of the reasoning behind the new AVO plant - in short, the idea was to provide a mass produced sporting Escort that would be cheaper, easier to maintain, and easier to insure than the RS1600.

The early Mexico was pretty much the same as the RS1600, utilising the same Type 49 shell and fittings, however, the engine was the cheaper (due to mass production) 1598cc X-Flow. This allowed the RS Dealerships to market the car at around twenty percent under the asking price of the current RS1600, so it’s clear to see why it was such an instant hit with customers.

The styling also proved a big hit. The standard option was to have the Mexico stripe down the side of the car and bootlid, finished with GT Badging on the front wings and Mexico badge on the boot, however, the car could also be specified without the stripes which meant the Mexico badges were fitted all round. The car also featured improved seats over the RS1600.

Although technically released in late1970, only a handful of Mexico’s came off the production line in that year, as the new AVO plant had a glut of RS1600 units to fulfil before Mexico numbers increased in 1971. Production of the Mexico continued at the AVO plant until its closure in 1974, brought about, in part, from the continuing fuel crisis which hit the industry quite hard. 

The Mk1 Mexico lived most of its life without major change, apart from servo and engine bay changes in 1972, which also saw the battery re-installed under the bonnet and a trim upgrade at around the same time. The car also had the same floorpan switch as the RS1600 in 1973.

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