You might think everything’s been done to a 100E Pop until you’ve seen Jake Holmyard’s – even then it’ll take ages for you to clock the massive amount of subtlety. Just sit, stare and take it all in.
There’s a saying in the custom and hot rod world that goes, the more you look the more you see. This very much applies to Jake Holmyard’s 100E Pop because it is crammed full of trick stuff you wouldn’t notice unless you either know 100Es inside out, or you stand and stare at the thing for ever. And even then, it’ll take someone else to point out all the things that Jake’s done to the car.
Stuff like one-piece windows in the doors – garnished with chrome trim that’s also fitted to the back windows, and all adapted from Prefect pieces that have been carefully cut and adapted to fit. Naturally, once it has, it’s been rechromed too. Which neatly makes you notice the other bits of chrome, like the bumpers — noticed the lack of bolts? The bumpers have been superbly cleaned of all fittings and again rechromed. The mixture of rear lights, the Prefect grille, the shaved filler cap, no badges… sit and stare at this car and compare it to other 100Es and you’ll realise that Jake has done absolutely loads.
What’s even more astonishing is the that this is Jake’s first car. But then that’s no massive surprise when you’ve got an influential dad like Jake has. In the background of these photos you’ll see a silver Zephyr, which is equally gorgeous. Detailed to the max and powered by a killer small-block Ford V8, this is a car that will turn anyone into a big kid. It lays large black lines everywhere and puts a massive grin on your face. It’s no real wonder then that John Holmyard’s passion for cars has seriously rubbed off on son, Jake.
Yet Jake was almost forced into building this car. It’s been in the family for donkeys’ years, and originally belonged to John’s brother, Gary who owned it from the age of 17 and it shows how long ago that was because he was originally going to tune the sidevalve engine! But that was never seriously going to happen and it got the usual Escort front suspension conversion very early on using bits John pulled out of the scrappers – a practice that sadly stopped long ago.
The car never really got finished but it followed John around from move to move until Jake acquired it just before his 16th birthday — a mere five-years ago. By then, it had been in a garage for a decade and it certainly wasn’t driveable — Jake describes it as having flakey Ambassador Blue paint, while under the bonnet was just mess. “It was more of a garage find, really,” recalls Jake.
The original plan was just to fix it up and use it, but one thing leads to another and before you know where you are, you’re knee-deep in orbital sanding discs. The good thing is, despite several house moves, the Holmyards had looked after the shell well, and it was virtually rot-free. Apart from a couple of crusty bits around the bottoms of the wings, there wasn’t a massive amount that needed replacing. So Jake spent three years working on it on his Mum’s drive doing a lot of preparation work. We have to declare right now though, Dave Woodfield has had a rather large hand in doing a lot of the trick stuff on this car.
If you’re into Zephyrs, then you’ll know the name Dave Woodfield, because he’s a bit good when it comes to bodywork and paint, and since John’s into Zephyrs too, Dave was a natural choice to do some of the custom touches on Jake’s car. Dave did all of the smoothing out and any of the skilled fabrication and restoration, then handed the car back to Jake to prep it, getting it back to put on the top coat of BMW Mini Ice Blue paint.
Underneath, the mechanics were mostly done. “Well, they were in there,” grins Jake, “but it all needed finishing off and making work. My dad had done the Escort pedal box, column, and crossmember swap along with the legs but it’s now finished off properly and sorted out.”
However, there’s an area, which I’ll bet you haven’t clocked yet — the firewall. It’s necessary to cut the bulkhead and move it back as on the 107E to fit a Crossflow, but look again and you’ll see this one hasn’t. Yes, it’s tight but all they’ve done is fit a smooth panel over the original to clean it up and squeeze the engine in there — it looks right, doesn’t it?
The same can be said for the engine — a Ron Harris-built Crossflow that replaces the original sidevalve and again it’s not 100 per cent conventional. That’s because it’s not 711M based but the 691M engine from a Mk2 Cortina 1600E — and there’s no reason why not either, as with the right builder on the job, they can be an excellent performer.
As far as the Holmyard’s were concerned, Ron was the natural choice:
“My dad’s known Ron forever because of Zephyrs and we just happened to bump into him in Burton Power one day,” Jake recalls.
The encounter resulted in the typical Ron Harris reaction of, “of course I’ll build you an engine. It’ll be fast, but it won’t be Santa Pod fast…” Check the spec and you’ll see that despite the 1760cc capacity, it’s befitting someone in their formative years of hot rodding…
Take it in
You’ve probably got the gist that this car’s all about the details — and there’s a lot to take in. Knowing where to spend the money is one of the tricks — a decent interior makes a car, from the recovered-in-leather 100E front seats (“about the only ones that fit the car properly,” reckons Jake) to the Aldridge Trimming (01902 710805) door cards that you might note have no winders for the door glass – they’re electric.
Mini wipers, a trick dash panel holding the clocks, proper wiring, lovely carpets by John, yes, I could go and on. But when a car’s this good and from someone so young it’s definitely humbling, not to mention inspirational. I’ve got to say, I’m jealous as hell.
Words and Photos Jon Hill
See more photos and get the full spec on this 100E Pop in the December issue
Click here for more Classic Ford features