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When Classic Ford launched, some of the cars featured weren’t even considered classics. Ade Brannan picks his 20 favourite spots from his days as a ’90s teen.

Cars and photography have been in my blood from day one. The love of cars may have came from nowhere, but my Dad is a photographer, and I grew up around photoshoots, the darkroom and playing with camera gear. In 1993 at the age of 14 I decided to get my own 35 mm compact camera and start snapping any interesting cars I saw. Pocket money was spent of film and processing, and school increasingly avoided, so I could wander the streets of my hometown, East Kilbride and nearby Glasgow. I wasn’t interested in seeking out supercars, instead older everyday cars were more my thing. 

There’s a unique nostalgia attached to seeing cars which are today regarded as bona-fide classics in this way. There’s the added twist of it’s seeing them in the context of being used daily without a care for originality, resale or anything but getting from A to B.

So, armed with a scanner I’ve digitised 20 of my photos from the early ‘90s which give an insight into a rarely-recorded slice of the daily life of classic Fords before they became classics.

classic ford spotting

This scene with a Mk1 Capri and the Brutalist Savoy Centre could have been taken in 1968 instead of 1993. But this also could have been today, as the shopping centre is still there.

classic ford spotting

In 1993 this 10-year-old Mk2 Granada Ghia was king of the road in Glasgow’s Bath Street. Back then a life of classic shows and banger fears would only be starting to emerge for these cars!

My first holiday with an SLR was a revelation. I could now play with shutter speeds to control motion blur. I was on the start of the long road to becoming as chilled-out and confident behind the camera as this dude was in his double-striped and spoilered Mk1 Sierra.

This tidy RS2000 is still on the road today! I was even contacted by an Ayrshire garage who were currently looking after it, and sent over current photos which show it looking near identical — with even the same period sticker in the rear window.

classic ford spotting

Just down the hill from my school was East Kilbride’s main council building. Often many an oddball and ancient car would be parked up as a tenant dropped in to pay their rent.

On this holiday I was blown away by the variety of old cars in Menorca, especially this ex-pat Granada which seemed to have lived on the island since 1986 going by the tax records!

My interest in new cars dropped off drastically in the ‘90s, but in 1993 I was still putting on a brave face. Plus, I was also excited to see the Sierra’s replacement pictured here in the gloriously ‘90s Citrine Yellow launch colour!

This Zephyr was spotted around East Kilbride throughout the ‘90s. Someone who in later years became a friend owned it at the time, and it was running a big-block Pontiac V8!

In 1993 this Mk2 would have been treated just like an old banger. Evidence enough being that it only lived on two years after according to the DVLA’s records. 

The fully blended over-bumper kit on this poor Cortina screams the very worst of ’90s modifying!

I can vividly remember pressing my Miranda camera up to the coach’s window during a school trip and wishing that bargain of a £395 Escort was mine!

It’s a long time since spotting a Cortina covered in patches of grey primer was a normal sight. A set of 7x13s wouldn’t cause much of a stir now, but back then I was loving it!

I’m glad that I recently imported a properly solid Granada which had missed out on several decades of UK weather and salt, because even 24 years ago the average Mk2 looked like this!

This owner had done the common trick of shoehorning on Mk4 bumpers on a Mk3, plus an RS accessory airdam, Hella grille, light guards, wiper boots, rear door vents and more.

Look closer and you’ll see this is a left-hand-drive car on Belgian plates. Who knows why this was visiting East Kilbride!

When was the last time you saw a used-and-abused Mk3 Cortina on the road? I bet it was at least 20 years ago!

This Prefect complete was regularly spotted at my local Safeway in East Kilbride.

Buying a Praktica SLR opened a whole new world of adjustability and the possibility to fit different lenses — and blow my 14-year-old mind! 

Two tone paint job, huge XR2 graphics, Cossie whaletail and some seriously decaying bodywork — all framed by the interior of my Dad’s Sierra (complete with his Aviators!).

classic ford spotting

Towards the mid ’90s, the focus of my photography took a noticeable shift. I was doing less wandering, instead mastering the SLR had become my mission. And my subject was often my Dad’s 1.8 1988 Sapphire. What I learnt led me towards working for the likes of Classic Ford, and often shooting cars very similar to those I did in 1993. Déjà vu, just with a lot less rust!

This classic Ford spotting 1990s-style feature first appeared in the September 2017 issue

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