Nick Heer - 1973 Ford Escort 1300e Mk1
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1973 Ford Escort 1300e Mk1
I stumbled on this car advertised at a very high price, Nick being Nick, felt he needed to go and see it, regardless of its price tag, the car was looking very sorry for itself having had a rough last 20 years, its original owner had died and the car was left to his daughter, the car was put into her driveway behind gates, and her son persuaded her to let him strip the car to restore it, well to say strip it to restore it, was quite accurate, as it was stripped, then left for some 18 plus years, at which time it was decided to put it up for sale as it was never going to be finished in their ownership.
Nick arrived to view the car and couldn't believe both his eyes or luck, although the owner died some 20 years beforehand, the car was still in his name, so he was looking at a one-owner car, still, on the original 1973 logbook, he was shown all he history and receipts for the yearly dinitrol protection, as well as its original one the engine was in pieces in the boot, and parts spread all about the house and attic, and the car was just a rolling shell, and all the gaps everywhere had been taped up, the lady's son had started a few parts but not much, but he had purchased some new panels, the car had new springs put on in 2006 as the originals had broken, but these were useless copies
so the negotiations began, and during the process he got a friend to look at it as well, he eventually bought the car for a sum considerably lower than the asking price, but more around what it was actually worth, he and his son loaded a van and he had a transporter pick up the shell, all went off to a friends workshop, and the next task began, knowing the DVLA weren't going to just issue a V5, the car had to be reassembled for photos to satisfy the DVLA of not only its existence but that it existed in its original form and complete, including the VIN no on the turret top, about 2 months later he had the V5 and work could start.
Nick already has another 1300E, but he had always wanted to replace the purple velvet one from when he was a teenager, and this was it while trying to keep the car looking and driving like a 1300E, he also wanted the RS look and some period mods, but the lowered stance was a must, not an easy task to lower a Mk1 escort and keep the ride quality of a 1300E though, but his friend who was tasked with the restoration was given the task
The car, by this time named Penelope, was stripped to a shell and the bare metalled shell sent to a professional welder to do his bit, like all old fords, it was chasing the tin worm a little, but on the whole, the shell was really good, and it still retains all of its original floors, she had new outer wings, entire front panel, inner wing tops, a few minor sill repairs and a new rear arch, from thereafter a little wait in the queue, she went off to the paint shop. all the time this was happening, all the component parts were being overhauled, Nick didn't like the tip forward seat, so set about sourcing a set of mk2 escort reclining seats, that he then had recovered in Aldridge Beta cloth to match the back seat, a new Newton commercial carpet was purchased as with the seat mod the original couldn't be re fitted, the engine was reconditioned by a local engine shop, and the gearbox and diff went to specialist re builders
Once the shell was back, the task of putting her back together began, after a few suspension issues, she was well underway, original escort rear springs were sourced. overhauled and decambered 2 inches, and the front struts stripped, shelf lowered an inch, and reassembled with new -3" 145LB springs, new std KYB inserts and roller top mounts, to give the car a nice smooth drive, a new vinyl roof, headlining and all-new glass was fitted
wheels, it sits on RS alloys, and the steering wheel is of the RS type, the switch panel sports a cd radio, but to the side has USB and power sockets, the front parcel shelves carry speakers pointing down with speakers in period keeping on the rear parcel shelf, and an amp and subwoofer in the boot what makes the car stand out though is the 2 up 2 down cibie spotlights, the upper being super cibies, with all the backs colour coded in purple, with 1/4 bumper bumpers to compliment, under the bonnet she's fairly standard apart from the colour coded air filter and colour coded brake and washer fluids
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