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It’s not just Ken Block who can come up with a truly out-there Ford. Here are the 10 extreme classic Fords we’ve featured.

Ray Gimbert’s Anglia 105E

Featured: September 2015

Where Dave Bunn’s Anglebox (see page 31) was an exercise in retaining the original 105E silhouette as much as possible, serial Anglia builder, Ray went all out to create his ultimate road and track toy with only the finest kit, including an alloy-block 2.2 Cosworth YB, Elite six-speed ’box with paddle-shift, Ohlins-based double wishbone suspension and those outrageous carbon fibre panels covering the full chassis. A long — and expensive — build, but oh-so worth it.

Keenan Smith’s Mk2 Cortina

Featured: October 2015 

On paper, California-based Keenan’s Mk2 may be classed as nothing that outlandish, but then no-one had ever attempted doing anything like this to a ’60s Cortina since the days of the super-saloons in the early ’70s. Bolt-on Group 5-style arches (to cover Japanese HRE 8.5 inch wide split-rims), custom front splitter, and a Mazda/Ford 1600 16-valve motor with a home-brewed turbo conversion? Come on! He changed the classic Mk2’s boxy lines so much that the now-infamous Cortina has since been mistaken for a Datsun 510 and a Lada 1200!

Glen Burrnett’s Mk1 Capri

Featured: September 2014

When it comes to putting together outlandish Mk1 Capris, the Aussies have got it nailed, so it comes as no no surprise that we’ve included Big Glen Burnett’s truly mental, V8-powered, parachute-equipped, 9-second Mk1 Capri drag car. Featuring tubbed rear arches (required so this Capri can sit nicely over its 10×15-inch drag wheels), incredibly tough C4 transmission, and virtually indestructible billet 9-inch rear axle complete with equally unbreakable Strange spool unit. The foundation for the engine is a bomb-proof Dart block. That coupled with billet con-rods, custom forged pistons, and a Cleveland V8 4.2-inch stroker crank means that the new
motor is a whopping 465 cubic inches, or 7.6 litres in new money. Somehow, the choice of paint — Toxic Metallic — is more than fitting.

Henry Hirise

Featured: February 2011

Henry Hirise gained instant notoriety in 1979 after appearing on the cover of the first issue of Street Machine magazine and the subsequent TV ad promoting it. With welded-up rear doors, a massive raise in ride height, huge 10Jx15 rear wheels, and an insane-sounding, supercharged Chevy V8 up front, few outside of the custom car scene had seen anything like this Mk2 Consul before. Even by today’s standards, the performance of the Consul was electrifying. Street Machine recorded a 0-60 of 4.4 seconds and 0-100 of 8.9 seconds for the feature — all this from a car which wasn’t exactly featherweight. The magazine is now long-gone, but thankfully Henry Hirise has survived, and after many years laid-up partially dismantled, was returned to the road. 

Darren Whitfield’s Mk1 Escort

Featured: February 2011

Darren took a terminally-rotten Mk1 Mexico shell, stripped it back to the barest of skeletal frames and, using state-of-the-art tubular technology plus some classic ’70s and race-inspired styling, created this outlandish, groovy and stunning Escort — complete with huge, detachable rear wing for track use. Since the feature Darren has upped its bonkers stakes by tweaking the bodywork slightly and, in place of the Cosworth YB, installing a V8 which is undergoing a turbo conversion. Glam looks and space-age tech in a road-legal track car — quite a combination!

Paul Reene’s Mk1 Escort

Featured: December 2014

Paul’s Mk1 track car takes all the classic competition Escort ingredients, and turns them up to 11. Relocating the top-spec XE motor further back to improve the weight distribution meant moving everything else, too, but that didn’t deter Paul who was on a no-compromise mission. A flat-shift Quaife sequential ‘box, full-fat Atlas axle built by Fostek and remote-reservoir dampers were also on the shopping list, all built into a clean, showroom-finish that that Paul wasn’t afraid to use and abuse.

Dave Bunn’s Anglia 105E

Featured: September 2009

Stand and stare at Dave’s Anglebox, and you’ll think it’s a well-modified example. Look hard enough though, and you’ll see that 105E outer shell merely clothes a full spaceframe chassis. And a YB turbo. The front suspension is converted to a wishbone set-up, which makes for one massively tight road car that also sees track day use. The epic six-year build resulted in a flawless finish, the perfect road-hugging stance and a fully-trimmed interior that’s one of the nicest we’ve seen.

top 10 extreme fords

Kjell Frykas’ Anglia 105E

Featured: April 2010

First built back in 1975 by Kjell’s dad, Leif who worked on the Volvo Touring Cars, this Swedish Anglia has seen some serious track action over the years, and features TWR TOCA-based suspension, lashings of fibreglass bodywork and — fittingly — a 300 hp 2.-5-litre Volvo motor — all carefully installed inside the bespoke, home-brewed bodywork, complete with that outrageous rear wing.

top 10 extreme fords

Colin McRae’s Mk2 Escort

Featured: November 2005

Undoubtedly the inspiration behind Ken Block’s Mk2, the McRae Escort was touted at the time as the most advanced Escort ever built. Put together by DJM Motorsport to Colin’s specs, crucially the Mk2 featured long-travel, Proflex-based independent rear suspension in a bid to aid traction — an Atlas just not up to the task of getting all that power down to the Tarmac from the Series One Millington Diamond engine, which DJM mounted further back, and relocated the fuel tank into the car, aiming for 50/50 weight distribution. Inside, it looked more like a WRC Focus of the period than an Escort, with much carbon fibre.  YouTube clips of the car and Colin in action are much shared on social media channels, even today.

top 10 extreme fords

Colin Ginn’s Saxon Cortina

Featured: January 2012

The wildcard — because at first glance it looks anything but wild. Based on concept car of 1962 (of which no trace of the car is left, and at the time of Colin’s build, only a single surviving photo), the Saxon Cortina was a prototype, stylish two-door convertible for the American market that never made it into production. Taking a rust-free two-door Mk1 Cortina saloon, Colin spent 1000s of hours, measuring, looking, measuring again, and fabricating and panel-beating the unique bodywork, most of the time trying to second-guess the Ford stylists because of the lack of archive images of the original concept. The end result was a huge success, garnering worldwide acclaim. One of the most extreme — yet restrained — cars we’ve featured.

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