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Start the week as you mean to go on with some Transit crewcab and Escort four-door inspiration courtesy of Simon Coulson. Let’s do this!

transit crewcab

Let’s face it, Mk1 Transit crewcabs are pretty damn rare. And let’s also face it, that’s not going to stop us from going to town on this former French fancy (even the original colour is suitably Gallic!), which airbagged Mk1 Cortina Estate-owning contributor, Gavin Hutton first spotted for sale, and insisted Simon Coulson went to town on with his digital gas torch. While our body man goes over the crewcab’s shell, repairing any areas that need some tlc, we’re on the hunt for a cheap Jaguar XJ8 (once part of the Ford family, remember), to use as a donor. We’re then sending the Jag’s double wishbone front and rear suspension off to be fitted up to the Transit’s chassis, along with a right-hand-drive conversion and some of Ray’s finest airbags.

Once done, a full respray is in order, and straight off the Mk1 Transit paint charts, too — Monaco Red for the main panels, and Morocco Beige for the roof, grille and wheels. The wheels? They’re 18 inch whoppers from a Jaguar XF. The crewcab’s getting our Jag XJ8’s lovely 4-litre, supercharged V8, too, and on the inside we’ve using its interior — automotive recycling at its finest. Finally, the existing roofrack has been straightened and chromed. One to give the VW bus boys a run for their money.

Even though it clearly needs work, this Mk2 more-door has got to be something of a bargain if you’re handy with the welding torch. As not much of the Ghia is left with this one, we’ve resisted the temptation to restore it to street sleeper spec and instead put some of the good old US of A into this once-lofty Mk2 thanks to a heavy dose of ‘70s Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) race car styling cues — the patchy red, blue and white paintwork inspiring us to point of web browsers to images of Peter Brock’s awesome SCCA Datsun 510s (with a little of of Magnus Walker’s infamous ‘277’ Porsche 911 in there, too). So, once the bodywork has been restored and Mk1 Golf arches and a Mexico front bib added, we’ve gone to town with the spraygun and created this stunning livery, adding some suitably period Hoosier and SCCA decals and the race-style door mirrors.

Painting any chrome in satin black along with — note, detail fans — the back panel, finishes the bodywork off, then it’s simply a case of bolting up a set of 8×13 Revolution four-spokes, refinished in gold with polished rims. The 1600 Crossflow and Type-9 are staying put, perhaps with a pair of sidedraught carbs to give the requisite looks, while on the inside we’ve refitted the luxuriant Ghia black cloth interior. Who said pretend race cars can’t
be comfy?

Words Simon Woolley

Illustrations Simon Coulson

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