Project Update: MK2 Escort RS2000 X-Pack – It’s home!

It has been a long time since I’ve seen the Escort in our workshop, and its certainly helping to brighten up the place (especially with the grim weather that has arrived recently). The paintwork has now been completed and it has provided quite the transformation, which can be seen in the earlier posts about this car.

Now we’re going to start building the car back up, which includes plenty of decisions as to how we plan to modify this car just enough to make it stand out from the crowd. The progress from now might seem even slower, but all of the detail work will take time and most of what will go into this car won’t make as large a visual impact as having it painted has.

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Project Update: MK2 Escort RS2000 X-Pack

Progress on the Escort has finally been moving in the right direction and over the past few weeks I’ve been visiting the bodyshop to monitor progress and make a few decisions on detail items about the paintwork.

I had absolutely no hesitation in deciding that the car was to be repainted in Daytona Yellow. Not only am I a big fan of yellow cars, but I thought it would be much more interesting than the pretty horrendous green the car was previously painted with or its original colour of red. I wanted the car to stand out and I’m very pleased to have seen the car progress over recent weeks and I’ve also seen its character change dramatically.

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I managed to source an original RS2000 bonnet from a car that had just been broken for parts, and it was one that was the same colour as this car originally left the factory in (without the X-pack kit). The bonnet that came with the car when I bought it was fibreglass, which was slightly rippled as well has having NACA duct shaped holes cut in it, so choosing to replace it with a metal bonnet was an easy decision. The grille section of the kit had also been removed previously though fortunately the bodyshop were able to reattach it, and this made a huge step on the journey to making the car look like it should again. There was a lot of work undertaken to ensure the shut lines around the bonnet were correct and the top section of the kit had to be lifted and smoothed so that there wasn’t a large gap between the panels.

The car then underwent more bodywork before being spray filler-ed to achieve the best results for the fibreglass parts, and judging by the final finish this was a very worthy extra expenditure. The interior of the car, engine bay and boot were then painted, and it was nice to visit just after this point and take a couple more photos.  I’d seen the car just before any paint was applied and it was the first time that I had seen the car in one colour, but seeing it as it was in the photos above was even more exciting.

Last week an unexpected email arrived in my inbox and it contained these photos of the car in the paint booth, freshly painted and looking even better than I could have hoped. These photos were a confirmation that yellow was the right choice to make, as it will allow it to have a pleasant blend of originality and modification (along with my fascination for yellow cars).

Just yesterday I went to make the final decisions for the bumper and grille surround (which will be painted black). This was the first time I’ve seen the car with the doors, boot lid and bonnet back in place since it has been painted. The car is finally starting to look like a car again and match up expectations I have for it. Next week I should be able to provide photos with the detail work painted.

Projects: May Update

I thought it was time I posted an update on some of the projects we have in the workshop. Progress has been a little slow up until recently with other work taking priority over our own projects. A couple of new long term projects have also joined the queue in the past few weeks and that means that the Fiesta RS Turbo that we’ve had in storage will soon be going up for sale. It needs work to get it back to its best but it is very solid. We’re just reassembling it and making it run once again so that the new buyer knows exactly what they’re getting. If you’re interested then please email me or contact me through one of our social media channels.

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Our other fast Ford project is also making progress, as it was delivered to a paint shop yesterday, so I will be able to post updates shortly. The mk2 RS2000 X-pack has been waiting to be painted for a long time I can’t wait for it to be on the road (for the first time in many years!).

The most recent additions include two 3.6 manual XJ-S. These are fairly rare at this point and both need some work. One has been in our local area for the past twenty five years with the previous owner whose health has been suffering and the car is in something of a sorry state. I was pretty lucky to end up purchasing this one as the owner had had many calls and viewings, with all but one of them wanting to break the car for its gearbox – and one even wanted to convert it into a trike! Luckily the owner entrusted the car to me after I promised that it would remain intact and would be better than ever by the time I finished with it. The second manual XJ-S was in an auction the same weekend that included many car parts from a garage clearance. It was advertised as having been off the road since 2004 and had no keys and the photos showed wiring hanging out of the steering column. It was still something of a bargain and when it arrived I was mostly pleasantly surprised by the condition, as it appears to be fairly solid. As it turns out it does also run and drive, though it does have a misfire and the gearbox is fairly lax. This car won’t be staying standard either, and I’m looking forward to starting it.

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Just when you may be thinking that I’ve taken on too many XJ-S projects (and considering that my own 4.0 is still having work done), another arrives! Today I collected this XJ-SC V12 which is currently a non runner. I’ve never been a fan of the cabriolet XJ-S as I find its looks challenging, but this one may be an exception to the rule. It is another car that has been sat due to the owner’s poor health (though I will say he has done everything possible to look after it). It should be back on the road soon and will be going up for sale, ready to be enjoyed all summer long!

New Arrival – 1986 Rover 3500 Vitesse 4.6l

Last week my pre-Christmas purchase finally arrived, though it was only held up due to the festivities and luckily the previous owner was as relaxed about it as I was. I’d been had forewarned by the owner that he hadn’t been able to get it running a week before I was due to collect (and pay for) it, though he had been using it previously so I was expecting it when the day finally came (even if my bid had been for a running and driving car), and he was a nice chap to deal with. Sadly no real paperwork came with the car which is a shame especially since it’s modified and I feel it has something of a story to tell – so if anyone knows this car or anything about it please don’t hesitate to drop me a message. I’m going to be digging into more about the engine as it is one of the reasons I bought the car and you don’t see 4.6 litre Rovers all that often. The car was also a rare twin plenum car originally apparently (one of which has been on my list to purchase for a while), though obviously that is something of a moot point now as the original engine is long gone. It’s a little sad that the car didn’t remain a twin plenum car, but at the same time it has ended up as something interesting and thats good enough for me.

The car was described as being solid but the paint being thin in places, and thats accurate though I’ll admit I was hoping for it not to be quite so thin on hard edges that you can see through it, and dull everywhere else. I have little doubt that a good polish will help it look a whole lot better and the other paintwork can be done in time, though it isn’t too much of a worry as this car will be used and not a garage queen. The door cards aren’t fitted and there is no headlining, so those will be on the shortlist to complete to make the car useable, and it could also use a good deep clean inside and out, along with an inspection, service and whatever else we find along the way that needs fixing.

We got around to getting it running a couple of days after the car arrived and I walked into the workshop just in time to see it spitting flames from the exhaust (after hearing the racket from outside). It isn’t the greatest sign for the engine but it did entertain me and as it was the first time I saw the car running I felt it was something of an introduction to what will surely be a big character among our cars. I caught the flames on video and you can see them below along with a few extra images from the original listing and a few I have taken since it arrived.

Specs:

  • 1986 Rover Vitesse Twin Plenum
  • 4.6 litre Serpentine engine
  • T5 gearbox
  • Revolution RFXs
  • Rimmer’s stainless steel exhaust and manifolds
  • Gaz adjustable shocks

 

Renault 17 Gordini – running at last!

Its now been 13 months since I updated this page and the little Renault has been in storage for all of that time and not been touched while other projects have been completed. Since the old man picked up a new Alpine for himself he’s been reinvigorated to get this project started and so the car was brought out of storage early this week. Everything has been gone through and checked to make the starting process as painless as possible, just so we would know how well the car runs and what sort of condition the engine is in.

As it turns out the engine is actually quite sweet and sounds fairly throaty! Looking forward to getting this car back on the road and having a drive, and happy that we’ve finally started it too!

1974 Jaguar XJ6 Manual

Monday 12th March 2018

So our Jaguar XJ6 has just arrived, sight unseen and I was pretty excited personally, this is a rare manual car and also a one owner car with only 46,000 miles on it. It certainly sounds like a winner and the arrival was a pleasant surprise as the car is solid after all those years in dry storage and also in good condition throughout too, though it needs a good wash. This car has been lightly recommissioned by the previous owner though we’re expecting some work and won’t know exactly what until we’ve had it up in the air.

Monday 19th March 2018

We’ve finally gotten round to giving the XJ6 a wash and gotten it back into the workshop for a quick look, and we’ll have it up in the air tomorrow. The paint isn’t in the greatest of condition as we expected, and the brightwork will need rechroming too. We’ve had the car running as you can see in the video below and its fair to say she isn’t running at her best – yet.

 

Our Week: 6th – 12th November

Its been something of a hectic week here, with new cars arriving, others being painted and our lovely MK1 Escort Mexico replica being sold.

First up is our Sunbeam Alpine, which is now being built back up after being repainted, and I was a little wowed when I saw it come out after being painted, as it really does help to complete the car, which is sure to be a head turner. I can’t wait to get out for a drive in it and share the end result with anyone who is happy to read my ramblings.

Also in the workshop is our very low mileage Pre HE Jaguar XJS which I’ve nicknamed ‘The Penguin’ (I’m sure you can appreciate why). The car was in long term storage with its original owner (which is how it accounts for the low mileage) before being sold and the new owner ‘recommissioned’ the car to a fairly low standard before we bought it. There were a lot of imperfections in the bodywork and paintwork which are now being corrected. This is going to be a fantastic car and they engine bay is receiving the same treatment, as well some much needed attention to help cure a misfire.

We finally pulled the Renault Alpine GTA out of storage to send it off to paint only to find out that no one wants to touch the glass work or even the rubber seals, as they are impossible to find for these cars, so the project has been delayed somewhat. If you know of anyone who specialises in Renault Alpines then please let me know.

I was very excited by the arrival of three (long awaited) American pick-up trucks, who are to be sold on behalf of a long time family friend. The last time I saw these trucks was when they were bought around five years ago, and I know that they haven’t done much since. All three vary greatly and to me, that is a fantastic thing. I’ve only managed to drive one of them so far but it surprised me by how well it drove. That truck is the 1935 Dodge KC 1/2 ton pick up that is fitted with a later Slant-6 engine and even NOS! The other two trucks are also special, with the hot-rodded Chevrolet 3100 Stepside catching the eye – and ear – very easily, I can’t wait to take it out for a drive. The final truck is a rat-rod International Harvester that is also very modified. A full description for each truck can be found on our current stock page.

 

There are also three other new listings on our website. An MG B convertible project that is very solid and should be going for an MOT at some point in the near future, it needs attention to its paint and bodywork but runs and has a good interior. Also listed is a rather fun MG B V8 ‘track car’ that is road legal and will also be MOTd before being sold, it looks pretty special too, so its worth having a look at the photos. Finally we have my favourite of the listings in the form of this stunning 1970 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe, it is a fantastic little car and drives just as beautifully as it looks.

I managed to spend a day at the NEC at the Lancaster Classic Car Show yesterday which proved to be even more enjoyable than expected, even if most areas were rammed to the rafters. There were some simply fantastic cars on display and it was great to be able to catch up with our friends at The Market (www.themarket.co.uk) and I even managed to chat with the man who looks after George Harrison’s old Mercedes 500 SEL.

To cap off what has been a pretty great week our MK1 Ford Escort Mexico replica has just left for its new home, and more importantly it is going to the right home where it will be loved and enjoyed. I’ll certainly miss this car and plenty of my colleagues will too. I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend!

 

The Renault 17 Gordini

Now you may not recognise this car, and I would be willing to bet that you probably haven’t ever seen one in the flesh either (I certainly hadn’t). I saw this car come up for auction with CCA (Classic Car Auctions) when they were at the NEC in Birmingham and decided it was worth a look due to the rarity and that fact my Dad is a big Renault fan. Continue reading “The Renault 17 Gordini”