Back in 1973, Liverpool & Bootle
Constabulary (who later became Merseyside Police) took delivery of a fleet of 27 MK1 two
door Ford Escort Mexico's. One of them, HKF 884L, is believed to be the sole survivor of
this batch and is today owned by Graham Carter. Here's his story.....
In July 2010, I was offerred HKF 884L from someone who had
discovered it in a garage in Manchester, where it had stood since 1991. It was in a poor
state. The engine was seized, there was little left of the interior and the body was not
good. It did, however, still retain it's calibrated speedo and
zipped roof lining (to gain access to the roof electrics) both of which
helped to substantiate it's background.
Initially I turned it down but being a fan of these cars
(and a retired Police Officer), naturally I was interested in its background. I contacted
Merseyside Police and spoke to Tony Roach, a retired advanced driving instructor who is
now a volunteer archivist for the force. He remembered the MK1 Mexico's with much
enthusiasm and confirmed that HKF 884L was one of the fleet of 27 Mexico's that the force
had bought to replace their Morris Marina's.
Escort Mexico Police vehicles lined up behind
the Land Rover
The Mexico's were urban traffic cars and, unlike the usual
Ford Escort panda cars, were driven only by advanced traffic officers. Interestingly
Tony's wife, who was a Police Traffic Officer at the time, actually drove HKF 884L and
this is documented in her notebook from 1973.
Anyway, based on my conversation with Tony I returned and
bought the car in August 2010 and so the rebuild began. It needed numerous new panels
including sills, inner front wings, front panel, rear panel, a new interior and full
This was completed and the car returned to the road in June
2012. Then it was a matter of trying to calculate the measurements of the roof box and
getting a copy made, together with sourcing the blue light and the 2 tone horns.
With the car now finished I've attended a few shows
throughout 2012 and 2013. In April 2013 I returned to Liverpool to a Police Traffic
Officers Reunion, where the officers who drove these cars back then were very pleased to
see a survivor from those days!
I would just like to thank Tony Roach for all his help with
this project and, without whom, I would probably not have gone ahead with this
restoration. Tony is trying to trace a couple of unmarked Escort Mexico's (GKA 146N and
GKA 147N) which were from the old Police driving school wing. They were both green in
colour and if anyone has any information it would be much appreciated.
Our thanks to Graham for providing this interesting
article. If anyone would like to contact either Graham or Tony, please email us and we will forward your message on.