Run To The Coast>> Sun, Sea & Fords

It’s funny how people become so involved with a brand. The world over, people have dedicated their allegiance to one manufacturer’s brand or another. More often than not, the brand in question has never really done anything in return for that person’s loyalty. Certainly not enough to reward years and years of said person handing over their hard earned …

Yet a lot of us are guilty of selling our souls to one manufacturer or another. I know I most certainly am.

The best case in point that I can associate with this hypothesis, is one that’s also close to my heart – Ford Motor Company.

Before I go on, let me point out that this isn’t a subtle rub at any particular automotive community or manufacturer. It’s more me thinking out loud than anything else.

I was raised with the Blue Oval. My father had Escorts and Capris, my father’s brother rallied a MKII Escort whilst his other brother has a collection of Fords that leaves most people speechless. There’s a ’74 Escort sitting in the garage of my family home. Needless to say I come from a Ford family.

For one reason or another, Ireland is full of families like us. Perhaps it’s down to Henry Ford’s Irish heritage (his grandfather and father emigrated from Cork to the USA in the mid-1800s). Maybe it’s because of Ford’s manufacturing plant which opened in Cork and employed over 7,000 people in the 1930s (when Cork City’s population was around 80,000).

But maybe it’s neither of these. Maybe it’s the memories and experiences that these cars have provided to generations over the years.

Although I’m too young to have been party to the glory days of the Escorts, I can still relish in those experiences through the stories told to me by my father and uncles.

Hell, it seems like everyone from the generation before me has a story to tell involving a Ford of the era.

It’s hard not to appreciate the appeal of the Classic Fords. Sure, they have their downsides (every car does to be fair) but they’re genuinely interesting cars.

One of the main reasons they’re so interesting is because they’re so simple. Front engine, (mostly) rear wheel drive and no driving aids combined in a lightweight package.

Surely this is the ultimate recipe for the perfect car?

Ford’s illustrious history in motorsport has done no harm to the reputation of these cars. With success in rallying, F1, touring cars, IndyCar etc. this comes as little surprise.

Last weekend gone, I had the pleasure once more of joining up with the Irish Escort Club for another run around the west coast of Ireland.

On a hazy Saturday morning, forty seven cars showed up – Escorts, Cortinas, an Anglia and even a stray Opel Manta – to explore the tarmac of the County Clare roads.

A route of around 155KM in length (approximately 100 miles) which incorporated some of the best scenery this small island has to offer.

To put it in the most simplest of terms – it was pure automotive bliss.

With the weather playing its part and some great company, this was one of those special moments that we as petrolheads live for.

In a roundabout sort of way, I guess I have my own stories to tell now.

Although something tells me that I might experience the next one better behind the wheel of a blue oval …

Paddy McGrath

A special thanks to the crew at Classic Ford magazine for organising our coverage and to Gerry Crowley and his family for arranging another incredible event.

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Absaloutley amazing write up Paddy. Beautiful photography also. The point you made about why Fords are so popular here, I think we can all agree it was the memories and experiences they have left us with.

"But maybe it's neither of these. Maybe it's the memories and experiences that these cars have provided to generations over the years." - Paddy McGrath


John O'Leary - 18

Co. Wexford.


Raging that i missed this!! Live down the road for gods sake!!


Nice post. I wish these were sold in the US.


Wooow! I want desktops right away. Astonishing photos!


sentimental Paddy! but i think you've hit the nail on the head! - i am old enough to remember the 'out and out' glory days of Ford and the impact its had on my life and those around me.. for once i think us UK residents got some of the most iconic cars in the form of the Blue Ovals best - as shown in this post - Thanks

6 many escorts it!


Euro Ford is so much better than U.S. Ford! We got screwed!


I just love that old escorts <3


I love RS Fords. I vote for desktops also!


Beautiful photography of beautiful scenery!


This...this makes me want to get into the Ford game.


Belfast Represent!


great article and great photos


cool coverage. can someone please explain the mexico decals on some of the cars please?


these cars look sooo sick!!! shame that they dont make them like this anymore!


More pics of that green MK1 1300GT please!


Lovely write up Paddy, for a truly fantastic meet!! I remember these cars with great fondness from my teenage years but alas the Escort variant of the blue oval evaded my grasp. Thanks for sharing such great pictures.


desktops please


Love the escorts! The colors are beautiful.


Rad. I have to agree w/ Corey to some degree... How is it that these Fords would have not done well in the US?! I'd love to have one, if they weren't so rare over here!


The reasons why you love FORD are the reasons why I can never forgive them for NEVER BRINGING THE BEST CARS TO THE U.S!!!!!


I have a rather different allegiance (Skyline GT-R), but there's a lot in this I can identify with.


Beautiful shots!

Did anyone else read the title to the tune of Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills"?


speechless, thanks for a sweet post paddy


This should be flagged as porn


wow... hmm i might have to go over there and import one of these babies over here to canada

desktops please


Enjoyed reading that. And great photos! Ford sure has a following, not just in the US, but even in my side of the world. Ironically, I also shot our local Ford Club gathering just a few days ago. The scenery wasn't as beautiful as yours though. But I guess I compensated by featuring the models? Haha!


Great stuff. The MK1's are particularly gorgeous.


I would kill to have a mk 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


some desktops please!


Nice write-up Paddy! I love all cars, but luckily get to own one of my dream machines which so happens to be a Ford, but of the Cobra variety. The near hour drive to work is always interesting! Really wish we didn't have speed limits here when roads are empty, because that drive time would be significantly decreased!


Im a Japanese car kinda guy but if there was one car that i wish coulda been sold in the US the RWD escorts are it.


You make me wish I still had my MkII Cortina...


Cool cars, nice colours also. Irish people have really a nice heritage


Europe got all the best Fords.

Escorts, Cossies, Sierras...Yanks only got the mustang. Over and over and over...

Shame that.


Some of us can only dream about owning a Mk1 or a Mk2, but hopefully that dream comes true one day. Great article. I bet they sounded great when they all fired up together.

d_Rav: The Mexico decals refer to limited edition Escorts. They had uprated engines and suspension, as far as I'm aware. Perhaps someone with more knowledge can go into more detail. Easiest way to describe it, it was like having an M badge on a BMW... more exclusive, more power, more fun.


you still got the beemer Paddy


If you do desktops can you do 1 of the yellow PI reg mk2 rs2000 above? Its my dads car

Cracking pics and it was a brill weekend, your bmw looked amazing too paddy


@D-Rav......trhe Mexico decals refer to special versions of the Mk1 Escort that was launched to celebrate its win in the London-Mexico Rally. Its name lived on in Mexico versions of the Mk2 Escort.

Really fab photos Paddy well done to all, and to the owners for presenting their cars so well and for USING them.


I spy a manta 400 in there too, any pics of that?


Another great post, thank you! I wish these escorts were brought to America. We got stuck with the Pinto!


awesome post... Right on point with the brand loyalty..


The scenery is very charming.


Liking this!


And This!


I used to roam the streets of Kuala Lumpur in my 1978 Escort MkII 1300GT, 1982 Ford Laser S 1.5, 1990 Ford Laser 1.6 Hatchback. Your post brings back fond memories of the Blue Oval I've owned.


I've got to say that I'm thrilled with the response you guys have given towards our Run to the


More pictures of that green MK1 Escort, wish we had cars like that over here really cool.


great post with terrific pictures!