Wednesday September 13, 2017
Over the years I must have restored hundreds of cars, so many I’ve lost count and can’t remember. However, there’s one thing about restoration I always remember and it’s when you start putting the car back together; bolting or screwing on new shiny pieces to fresh paint makes you feel like you are on the production line and re-creating the car again from new. I think it’s an honour.
That’s where we are with the #ClassicRumble charity Ford Escort XR3i. This car has really been transformed from the sad neglected old scrapper with faded paint, a saggy interior and worn out parts into a car worthy of being placed back in a Ford Dealership in 1989. And it’s not even finished yet!
So where are we? Well, the engine has finally gone back in. Blokie has plugged her in, filled her throat and with the turn of the key by Cross Street Garage Owner Sat, she quickly burst into life and burbled to a calm idle. Amazing!
Cake was being supplied by the Oxford RS Owners Club and after late night calls from me, Blokie has started the cars final assembly. This car will be epic when she rolls across the block at the NEC in November and no doubt will raise not only eyebrows but tons of cash to support the Marie Crawford Boyd Foundation. Every penny raised goes to support that charity, and remember, to top that up every time you phone the fantastic Lancaster Insurance and ask for a classic car quote and use the tag #TEAMMIKE or #TEAMANT, they will donate more money to the cause. (T&C’s apply)
This project would never get done without the help and support of the following people who I’d like to thank from the bottom of my heart.
Martin Lewis from Oxford RSOC for repairing and painting the servo.
Save on Tyres in Swindon for supplying and fitting five Yokohama tyres.
DMB Graphics for supplying newly made custom number plates and for the car’s XR3i graphics.
Ian Cross from Witney Car Electrical and Security for cleaning up and re-taping the engine loom.
Gaz and John from Gaz Monkey Restorations for travelling down from Lancashire to bring parts for the project.
Chris and Steve at ICE Oxford for making the one off wheel centres #TeamMike manifold plate. And Chris you need to let Steve make some more custom parts for the project (wink, wink)
Dave Lee (RSOC) from Monster Motor Sport for the custom polished chassis plates.
Auto Windscreens for the new windscreen and seal and their technician Jason Jackson for doing such an excellent job in fitting it.
Graham Hall (RSOC) from Car Parts Express for the new fuel tank, wiper motor fitting kit, new rocker bolt fitting kit and new oil filler cap.
Also Sat Nijjar, owner of Cross Street Garage for allowing Blokie the time to do the project and putting up with Blokie's tantrums. And of course Mrs Blokie aka Maxine for lending me her hubby…
We’re not done yet but I can’t wait to see you all at the reveal at the NEC…
This #ClassicRumble is turning into a real scrap and like all good projects, the mind is sharpened by the impending deadline!
The clock is ticking and it’s only eight weeks to the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show in November! I must say, I’ve been a little concerned about the amount of labour the bodyshell has taken to get it perfect, but we’ve now passed a huge milestone in the project and the body buck is finished and finally painted in primer - phew!
#TeamAnt owes a huge debt of gratitude to Chris Hackett, my partner at Dowsetts Classic Cars, and Matt Lawson who has travelled four hours each way to volunteer his own time to get the bodywork done! The initial CAD drawings were done by Paul Cameron and he and I have been texting every day smiling at the pictures of the finished buck! Its been hard work to get to this stage but so so rewarding! I intend to introduce you to these legends at the NEC in November!
The completion of the buck means a mega stage can be started - the mould! Its heart breaking to think that the weeks and weeks of work to make the buck will end with it being thrown away as it is only a tool to create the mould on. But that’s what it takes to build a car from scratch - it’s what I signed up for! The mould process will actually be quite quick and should only take a week. Then another week to prepare the bodyshell. We have also started making small louvre tooling to create all the tiny detail the body needs to stand out. Its a truly exciting stage to be at!
I’ve had a bespoke set of gauges made for the build, machined by hand from brass, they are stunning, and a bespoke vintage steering wheel which has been wrapped in old string! After all, it’s the tiny details that will make this car stand out! Its just so exciting I cant wait to see the body join the chassis...
Not much has happened this month on the rolling chassis, but the gearbox is done and the engine is almost there, just waiting to drop her in. I am after a clutch and flywheel if anyone has any leads...?
I’ve kept half an eye on #TEAMMIKE’s build and I must say.... WOW! This is going to be a tough competition! The XR3i looks mega! No nut is being left unturned! And right now I can’t call it......
Thanks again to all the #TEAMANT and #ClassicRumble supporters. Don’t forget to quote #TeamAnt when you get an insurance quote from Lancaster Insurance and they will donate up to £5 to the charity pot (T&C’s apply). After the period has closed on 31st December 2017, the amount will be split 50/50 between my charity Harrison’s Fund and Mike’s charity The Marie Crawford Boyd Foundation! (T&C’s apply)
Mike and Ant’s projects will be auctioned at this year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show in November, through Silverstone Auctions, with all proceeds going to charity.
For more information or tickets please visit https://www.necclassicmotorshow.com/.