(Technically it's Escort #3, since it is the third Escort I've ever owned. I had a 1991 Escort LX, too, but calling 'em "Thing 2" and "Thing 3" would require far too much explanation. So it'll remain "Escort #2"; it's just easier for all of us.)
Here they are, side-by-side:
It's hard to get used to. Even though the green Escort hasn't been mobile in months, I'm still used to seeing that shape in GREEN when I look outside, not RED. So when I look outside and see the red one sitting there, it takes me a moment to comprehend it. There's this instant of "WTF?" and then I realize, yeah, that's right; I bought a red one yesterday."
In some ways it's a shame I'm going to disassemble it. The body is in really nice shape, considering. But the previous owner titled it in December and sold it 6 months later? Just because of a bad starter? I noticed today that the voltage regulator, on the alternator, was cleaned off--perhaps it also has a bad alternator? I don't have any real way to tell.
I will--just to be thorough--put a starter and a battery in it, to see if it runs, and how well; but I just can't stomach the idea of junking my green escort and driving this one all the time. Instead I expect I'll pull the engine and trans (if they are any good), rebuild the engine, install a new clutch, and then "pickle" it and keep it on hand as a replacement. I'll also pull a few other bits and pieces which I can reasonably expect to need, and the rest will go to the junk yard.
I'm still doubting that I got a really good drivable car (needing only starter and battery) for $400, especially since there is only one tiny spot of visible rust on the body. (Most 95 Escorts have, by now, rust over the right rear wheel arch. Dirt accumulates there and causes rust-through.) The body is really solid on this car, and except for a little bit of light damage to the left-front corner I can't find any evidence of collision damage, either.
Considering that market price for a drivable Escort in this condition hovers near $1500, I'm betting the engine is shot; and if it's not, then I got a nice bonus out of the deal.
The one-day, in-town rental fee for a tow dolly from U-haul turned out to be $39.95, tax included. Not a bad deal.
Overall, I'll still need to hit the boneyards for a left-front fender, a hood, and a left headlight assembly; but everything else (including the air bags!) are present and accounted for, so I'm well pleased.
Now all I have to do is get all that bent sheetmetal on the green one straightened....