This Ford Escort Mk II Estate started its life when it was bought new from T.C. Harrison Ford in Rotherham by a Mr Swift. He bought the car for himself as a retirement present. It was used by him to go play bowls, visit friends and the garden centre etc. He drove this car until he was 92 when his daughter stopped him driving it. His daughter then took over the driving until 2009 when I bought it with tax and MOT for £1,500. The car has a full service history, all the old MOTs and tax discs along a box of old invoices etc. It had three sets of seat covers on it! The car was a little crusty in places but I thought it had some potential.
I live in Northamptonshire, so when I went to collect it, I had a friend take me to Rotherham in my everyday car. We checked everything, oil, water, lights, tyre pressures, and then set off south on the M1. We only got about 30 miles before she started misfiring so we pulled into the services to check the points and plug leads. I couldn’t find any problems so off we went again and this time I took her up to 60mph, all went well for about 5 miles and then “BANG”! I pulled onto hard shoulder expecting oil and bits of metal everywhere – but there was nothing. I started her up again but she was running on just three cylinders. I made a decision to carry on with my journey, as it was getting late and dark. No radio had ever been fitted to the Escort, so my singing came in handy as I limped home on three cylinders and with sealed beam candle headlights!
I got home safe, but very tired. The next day I checked over everything, but I still couldn’t find anything wrong. So I took off the cylinder head to find the No3 piston with a large hole in it. When I checked the head I found a water jacket hole completely filled with carbon, which had stopped all water to No3 piston preventing it from being cooled. On further inspection the engine was deemed scrap.
It’s now fitted with a rebuilt RS 2.0 Pinto engine, rebuilt type 9 gearbox, rebuilt RS rear axle, and a single piece propshaft. The Escort is now fitted with Capri front struts, RS 2″ lowered coils with gas inserts, new single leaf springs to the rear with 2″ lowering blocks and GAZ adjustable shockers and polyurethane bushes.
The car has been further upgraded with a quick steering rack, seam welded front cross member, RS 6.5″ wheels with 185x60x13 tyres.
A refurbished Lotus Cortina radiator, with a Kenlowe electric fan, was fitted. It now sports an Ashley 4 branch manifold and full exhaust system, electric fuel pump, top front strut brace, and an anti-dive kit fitted.
Inside its all RS with Recarro seats in the front, an RS 3 spoke wheel, RS clocks, RS glove box and upper clock etc. A flocked dash and quick shift kit were fitted.
Structurally the front floor panels were replaced along with the inner sills.
Externally a Mexico front spoiler was fitted along with quarter front bumpers with clear indicator lenses. The sealed beam units were swapped for H4 headlamps with Cibie Super Oscar spotlights added above a set of Cibie Oscar spotlights. There is still a little bit of work to do to her as with most classic cars it’s something of an ongoing project.