Decorating? No thanks, we’d rather be keeping the classic Ford dream alive with one of these while we’re stuck at home…
1. Watch TV
Veteran rocker, Bruce Springsteen once sang that there were ’57 channels and nothing on’. Clearly he hadn’t checked Freeview recently as there’s a whole plethora of classic Ford-related telly to enjoy, and just as the name implies, it’s totally free. ITV4 (channel 24) screens old episodes of The Professionals (above), The Sweeney and Minder at around 10.20 am, 11.25 am and 3.35 pm respectively Mondays to Fridays (and often repeated in the afternoons and early hours). So Bruce, ‘Shut it you slag’, etc.
2. Learn a skill
Whether it’s making composite panels, rebuilding a gearbox or painting bodywork, make now the time you learnt a new skill. It’ll mean finishing that project becomes easier, cheaper and more satisfying if you’ve managed to do more yourself, as well as making yourself more useful to your mates when things return to normal. Check here for our tech and skill features, and watch online videos to find out how things are done by the pros – reader, Matt Urch’s YouTube channel is particularly good for fabrication tutorials based around his current Pop 100E project.
3. Dust off the Scalextric
The chances are you’ve got a set lurking in the loft or under the bed… in which case there’s never been a better time to drag it out, set it up on the floor of the living room and stage your very own race championship – classic Ford-style of course. Whether it’s a pre-digital version or one of Scalextric’s newer sets, they’ve always flown the flag for classic Fords with a continuous range of models available from Mk1 Cortinas, Escorts, Capris and even Sierra Cosworths.
4. Detail the engine bay
Underbonnet area not quite looking as good as the rest of the car? It’s amazing how much you can do under here without removing the engine or gearbox. Air filter housings and cam or rocker covers can be removed, stripped and repainted, the bodies of carbs and the engine block degreased (along with the inner wings and chassis rails), brackets removed and cleaned up, and those new engine bay decals that you’ve been meaning to fit since the restoration five years ago finally applied – if you need to source some, Classic Reproductions stock a huge range.
5. Fit an electric fan
When show season finally gets going – and it will, you’ll be needing one of these. An age-old mod, electric cooling fan kits are easy to fit and an effective mod to keep your classic Ford cool over summer months. Working in-conjunction with a thermostat, they only come on when the engine coolant temperature reaches a certain level, and often kits include an override switch to allow you to manually switch the fan on and off from the driver’s seat. Fan blade development means that they’re more effective at pushing or sucking air through the radiator than the original fan, too. For a full fitting guide, go here.
6. Finish that project
Let’s be honest, no classic Ford project is ever truly finished, but some get a lot closer than others, and if your classic Ford’s been languishing in the garage for too many months with a to-do list as long as your arm, there’s no time like the present to crack on with it.
7. Do some research
Unless you’ve owned it since new, it’s doubtful that you know your Ford’s entire history. Finding that out can enhance its value, and may even influence the direction of your project. Making contact with former owners through social media is a good start, and the DVLA, while currently offering a limited service, are still able supply you with their details, as is hunting down original brochures and magazine roadtests through the likes of eBay.
8. Carry out a service
With cars this old, hardly anyone follows a service schedule… can you remember the last time you changed the oil? Before the show season gets going again, give your classic Ford a good service: change the oil, plugs, and if applicable, check the points, fluid levels and grease any suspension parts that aren’t sealed for life, so that it’s ready to go as soon as life has returned to some kind of normal.
9. Take up welding
While there are some undoubtedly talented welders on the classic Ford scene, learning to fuse metal together is great — and ultimately extremely-satisfying — because the more you do, the better you get at it. Don’t be put off by the apparent cost of buying the gear, there are some excellent budget MiG welders and kits out there. For the basics check out our MIG welding guide then get practicing on some scrap metal, and once you get the hang of it you’ll be wondering why you didn’t take it up before.
10. Read Classic Ford
A shameless plug for this very magazine? Of course, but you need a stash of mags to help you keep sane in these strange times. Most people never throw away their old copies of Classic Ford, which is a smart move if you’ve got enough storage because there’s a ton of help in them. Specific back issues will tell you where your car’s likely to rot, what the potential problems are, how to improve it as well as giving you a whole heap of inspiration? Need to increase your collection? Head over to the online Kelsey Shop to peruse the available print editions or scour literally hundreds more digital editions at Pocketmags or Zinio.
For more ideas of what to do when you’re stuck at home, go here.