I had always wanted an Escort since I first read about detector tests in Car and Diverin the 1970's. It was always the best whenever it was compared to detector in other magazines.

Ufortunalely, I did not keep up with radar detectors after the 1970's when I was a real 'car nut'.

So I did not know about the Valentine 1.

I received a large sum of money and used some to buy an Escort 8500 that was sold at a speciality store in Dallas, Texas. I had thought that they were only sold via the mail and now the Internet.

This was Jnauary 2001. About February or March, Escort brought out the 'improved' verson. The X-50 and has since incorporated some new features in it after its debut but not changed the name.

I liked the Escort though it ticked me that right after I paid $300.00 for a radar detector, Escort brings out an inproved verson . But Escort offered me the chance where I could spend about $70.00 more to 'upgrade'. No way.

This should have been done as a courtesy since my detector was registered with Escort and it was only about 6 weeks old.

One reason I do not like Escort.

Here is the reason I bought the Valentine.

I was in a hurry to get to my doctor's office for an emergency in 2003 and I was driving like a bat out of hell . I had the detector on I was also driving in one of the few times I used it to help me speed. Normally I use is to help me drive responsibly.

There were two cops in plain site along the freeway that 'painted' my car with a laser gun. The Escort never went off.

So this is not about whether I was wrong in speeding , the upgrade, etc.

The Escort just did not WORK.

And he painted me head on.

After I bought my Escort, I began reading about the Valentine 1 and wished that I had bought it. But the 30 days had passed to return it. So I was stuck with it.

I want the best and an extra $100 (and I paid the extra for the part that sits on top of the power plug). But if you are going to buy a high end detector, within reason, money is not an object.

I never trusted the Escort after that and finally after 4 years, I was able to buy the new Valentine with POP. And while POP may be reare, I remember reading that laser guns were rare at the time too. And their cost was too high to ever have wide spread use. As everyone knows, electronics usually get a lot cheaper over time. Now they are common.

I think that there is no perfect radar detector and I think it stupid for cops to contiually buy the latest to defeat detectors since only a few buy $300-$400 detectors and in the Dallas area, catching a speeder is like shooting fish in a barel. It's like a race track here and the reason why I bought the Escort. I want to obey the speed limits but unfortunately, most drivers do not and it is not unusualy to be passed routinely while I am driving the speed limit and be passed like I am standing still at 60-70 mph. The average highway speed in Dallas is probably around 80 -100 mph. I do not have actual figures escept for the speed I am passed at.

This seems NOT to be a problem in other areas of the country. This excessive speeding. Even LA has better drivers (another story).

But while each detector will have its defenders, I like the fact that Valintine does not plan for obsolence. And in Texas, it is HOT. And I like the metal construction better than plastic.

And the rear detector.

There are false reports on the Valentine but less than the Escort.

And Mike Valentine does seem to make his product a labor of love. Escort seems run by a committee. Kind of like buying a hand made sports car vs a Corvette.

Just my observations.

And I think Escort is the SECOND best detector.

And I love those arrows on the Valentine.

And while this is off the subject, I do have a full black bra on my Civic for rock chip protection. I think I have read on this site that it helps defeat cetain radar. Am I right?