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Purveyor of fine classic Ford parts, and owner of multiple cars and projects, Graeme Worthington gives us the lowdown on his Blue Oval addiction

How did you get into cars?

Through my family, probably. My Grandad had a Mk1 Escort and my Dad had various Fords, that I took a liking to. He used to do his own servicing but never really messed around with them, so I guess I took it to another level.

What was your first Ford? 

A five-door Mk3 Escort 1.3GL passed down from my Dad. I wanted a Mk2 but wasn’t allowed one because he reckoned they’d be too rusty! This was in 1988 and I did the usual things to it — lowered it, RS Turbo wheels, RS1600i spoiler. 

I had that car for three years then wrote it off, replacing it with a three-door Mk3, which ended up with a 1600 CVH and an XR2 carb. I would always do my own work on cars, everything apart from welding and paint back in those days.

When did it start to get serious?

Once I bought my own house. My Mum only ever let me have one car at home but as soon as I moved into my own place, that was it. I was 25 or 26 and started collecting Mk1s and Mk2s, three-door Cosworths… I was a plant fitter in those days. It didn’t pay very well, so I used to fix up mates’ Fords at weekends to help pay for all the cars. My everyday car back then was a Daytona Yellow Mexico that I bought off Ian Harwood. Of course, I then ended up buying the business off him…

What’s been your favourite road-going classic Ford you’ve owned?

My silver Mk1 RS2000 that I still have. I bought it eight years ago, and it’s never been messed with so it drives so well. I don’t think even the interior has ever been out of it. It’s next in line for some restoration work.

Talking of restoration work, GS Escorts has changed quite a bit in recent years, hasn’t it?

Yes, we’re doing a lot more rebuilds and restorations alongside supplying all the parts that we’re probably best-known for. 

I’ve got four classic Fords in for rebuilds of varying levels at the moment and we’re booked up until the end of the year. We’ve just finished a Rothmans replica and are about to start on an original four-speed 2.8i Capri.

What’s been your most embarrassing classic Ford-related moment so far?

I few years ago I built a green Mk2 Escort Estate with an XE in it. I was doing doughnuts in the yard and got a bit close to an RS1600i, and clipped the front. I didn’t make a mess of it, but…

You’ve got £10,000 to buy and build a classic Ford. What would you do?

I’d restore a Fiesta Supersport back to standard, only lowered and with a 1700 Crossflow to make it a bit more user-friendly.

And money no object?

An RS1800 — whatever I could get, though I’d rather restore it myself.

Finally, what’s your favourite event?

The Lakes Tour. I try and do it every year, not for work, for a bit of fun with my mates. It’s a good crack and a weekend away with the lads.

Photo Michael Whitestone

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