Whats so bad about them? assuming the engine is ok (will make sure) and the body work is rust free
I would get it and do an rs2000 conversion for the power 400 quid
chris please take some more frendly advise , having worked for ford you will be dissapointed mate , most the escorts suffer from major Tin worm the metal used in them is a shocking quality , im not talking surface rust im on about bulkheads , fire walls and battery trays for starters , most of which will have been bodged with body filler and expada foam , ive never seen a cab that the roof dosent leak badly and the floor pans are normaly as crispy as toast .Also putting a RS2000 lump is a good upgrade but you will need bigger brakes and a uprated gearbox , unless the 2000 engine is complete with gearbox . Gearbox's also suffer from diff bearings and abs pick up wheels are common as muck , antiroll bars bushes and lower arms are made of chocolate and as for electrics well there basic enough to re wire but dont expect to much from them . If it was a 1 owner from new and garaged every night and had less than 25k on the clock well it might be worth a look .
But mate its your choice but you will be dissapointed with the escort . Make sure you spend some serious time looking over the car because your cougar is 3 times the car