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Since turning his passion for old Fords into a day job, Rich of Bishop’s Bespoke Builds hasn’t looked back — apart from his current obsession with pre-War trucks…

How did you get into cars?

Through my Dad. He had Minis and Mk1 Escorts back when they were cheap and cheerful, and I’d help him look after them.

First Ford?

A Mk1 Fiesta when I was 16. It cost me £250 and it wasn’t too bad at all. I put a 1300 Crossflow in it, bodykit, XR2 suspension and gearbox. 

What happened to it? 

I crashed it three times, and the last time wrote it off properly.

How did Bishop’s Bespoke Builds come about?

I was made redundant from my job as a panelbeater in 2017. I’d always wanted to do my own thing, and I thought, it’s now or never. I do restoration and fabrication and we’ve been going for almost a year now. It seems to be working well!

What are you working on at the moment?

All sorts. I’ve just finished a 24-valve engine conversion on a Mk2 Transit panelvan, I’m putting a YB in a Mk1 Escort, building the Mk2 Granada drift car which you featured in the June 2018 issue, plus a few other non-Ford projects.

What do you most enjoy doing?

Putting modern engines and gearboxes into old cars, repairing damaged shells, and some of the custom chassis work we do. It’s hard work but it can be really satisfying.

And your own projects?

I’ve still got my blue Mk1 Escort two-door track car I bought when I was 19. I’d cut off the front end and started to spaceframe it, but I’ve got most of the panels I need now to put the shell back to original. It’ll be Duratec-powered, and hopefully back on the road in time for my 40th next year — I’ll have been running Trig’s Track Days at Castle Combe for 10 years then, so I’m planning a big one as a good day out with my mates. There’s also my Mk1 Zodiac and the Mk1 Escort Estate drift car, which really needs some love, but work has to come first.

You’ve got £12,000 to buy and build a classic Ford. What would you do?

I’ve got a thing for pre-War 10-tonne Ford trucks at the moment, so I’ve been keeping an eye on ones that come up for sale. I’d hot rod it, obviously!

And money-no-object?

An RS200 — road or rally version, I’m not fussed!

What’s your favourite event?

Anything at Castle Combe. It’s a nice, fast track, and it’s local!

Bishop’s Bespoke Builds

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