Well the good thing is it's the last year of the 1st generation, so all of the bugs were worked out. The bad thing is that the gen 2 cars are nicer. You have a small engine with very little horsepower. It is supposed to be slow, and with high milage and improper maintenance, it's going to be even slower. You could get some seafoam and clean the engine out really well, then give it a really good tune up. You could even add a cone intake, and try to boost it a little that way. The GT is the top of the line Escort with the leather steering wheels, all the bells & whistles, and more performance parts. They have different engines, and the Gen 2 GTs have a Mazda engine instead of a Ford. They also have more stuff to break too, so it depends on how you look at it really.