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The best classic Ford-based projects, restorations, shows, books and more — it’s time for the 2021 Classic Ford Awards!

The classic Ford scene is in an incredibly healthy state right now and a lot of that is down to the positive contributions that everyone has made this year — whether it’s hosting a charity event, or even something as simple as supporting a local show — we salute your efforts. Of course, at the forefront are the incredible cars that continue to be rebuilt and restored — at a level that we could only dream of a decade ago, and over the following pages we reveal some of the best of the year, as well as the coveted 2021 Classic Ford Awards: Classic Ford Of The Year award, voted for by you. Here’s to an even brighter 2022.

2021 classic ford awards

Best wheels

Tom Jackson’s Sierra Estate

Featured: August 2021

What is it about steel wheels that keep us all coming back for more? Creating a steel wheel that more than looks the part is an art that Tom Jackson has nailed time and time again, with the now 9 inch wide Mk7 Fiesta steels on his ST170-powered Mk1 Estate arguably his finest look yet. Clothed in 195-section rubber, with just the right amount of dish, adorned with extra-long wheel studs, and sat perfectly under and just proud of the Sierra’s arches, it’s a look that’s hard to beat.

Most-anticipated project

Supervan returns

Featured: September 2021

Out of sight for three decades and presumed by many to have been scrapped, we’d heard rumours that the original and iconic Transit Supervan had survived and were pleased to have this confirmed in 2021 when ace classic Ford restorer and mastermind behind the Saxon Cortina recreation, Colin Ginn revealed he and his small team were restoring the van for longtime owner, Andy Browne. With the van shell sat over a 1960s F1 chassis, this is no mean feat, but when we visited Colin’s workshop  the van was being prepped for paint and we’re looking forward to seeing — and hearing — the V8-powered Transit back in action in 2022.

2021 classic ford awards

Best engine bay

Mark Taylor’s Escort XR3

Featured: July 2021

Like all good engine swaps, the most successful are those that look like they’re meant to be there. Mark’s XR3 is the perfect example of this, with the I4 RS2000 engine that now sits in the engine bay looking like a factory conversion (with some choice mods). The project was started by Mark’s late brother, Paul and when Mark took the car on, he knew he had to do the work Paul had started justice. The result is a fantastic conversion that’s not only different, but looks like one the Ford engineers at SVE would have put together in their downtime.

Restoration of the year

The Sweeney Consul GT

Featured: November 2020

The long-awaited reappearance of the Consul GT from the cult 1970s British cop show, The Sweeney was a much needed tonic to end 2020 on a positive note. The result of a mammoth restoration, largely at the hands of specialists, Mid Beds Vehicle Restorations (MBVR), this was a lesson in perseverance — the seriously rotten shell tricky to restore correctly thanks to the complete absence of available body panels. MBVR rose to the challenge though, meaning the Consul is able to roam the city streets again. 

Motorsport car of the year

Chris Spooner’s works RS1600 tribute

Featured: January 2021

When your Dad’s celebrated a motorsport engineer and former Ford Motorsport mechanic responsible for building Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm’s World Cup Rally-winning Mk1, it’s not really a surprise that you’ll follow in his footsteps. Yet Chris decided to take things a step further and recreate a works Escort RS1600, naturally getting his dad, Gordon in on the act, too. The result is a superb tribute to the glory days of Boreham, with Chris using all of his industry contacts to help find all the unique parts that made these cars so special. Even better, Chris has now completed a matching Transit service barge to take the Escort to and from events — a pairing that’s guaranteed to raise a smile.

Club of the year

XR Owners’ Club

To say that the long-running XR club has had something of a resurgence in recent years would be an understatement. Buoyed by the increased interest in Ford’s ’80s and ’90s sporty output in recent years, the club has embraced this fully, taking a 360 degree approach to getting the message out there. So while the traditional forms of communication remain (including an excellent club magazine) the XROC has fully adopted social media, using its positive benefits to the max. Add to this an increased presence at shows, some inventive use of 3D printing to reproduce those hard-to-find plastic trim parts for ’80s Fords and a fresh approach to raising money for worthy causes, and you can see why they’re our Club Of The Year.

Best body and paint

Minder Capri

Featured: July 2021

Badly damaged by an engine bay fire, owner and Minder obsessive, Tony Page tasked Classic Car Restorations with the tricky task of bringing Minder’s Capri 2.0S back to life. While the finished result is perfect, it’s the metalwork where the Capri really shines — CCR going to great lengths to recreate the fit of a factory-assembled Capri, topped off with the correct shade of Diamond White.

2021 classic ford awards

Best interior

Wayne Champion’s Cortina 3.0S

Featured: January 2021

Wayne is no stranger to building a show-stopping classic Ford, but he really pulled out all the stops with this South African import Mk4 and the interior is definitely his finest hour — swapping the front seats for  fishnet Recaros before sending the whole lot off to A&R Pound for a retrim in suitably period and eye-popping green Carla check. The overall look and level of finish is sublime.

Product of the year

Reverse-eye leaf spring kit

Retro Ford continue to surprise us with their output of newly-developed products for including this reverse-eye leaf spring kit for early Cortinas that does away with the need to decamber the existing leaf springs if you want to go very low. The kit allows the springs to retain the correct camber as well as full travel meaning your Mk1 or Mk2 Cortina still corners like Ford intended.

Best book

Secret Fords Volume One

Steve Saxty

Former Ford marketing guru, Steve called in all his favours to produce this book — including gaining access to the off-limits Ghia archives. The result is a fascinating look at Ford’s most important models of the 1970s and 1980s came about, with hundreds of never seen before images of prototypes and concepts, backed up with interviews with some of the key players in Ford. Big, exhaustive and better for it.

Click here for our 2021 Classic Ford Awards Photos O The Year

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