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After a few last-minute issues, the Mk2 Cortina project makes it first run out in years — just in time for breakfast.

You know the saying, ‘All good things come to an end’. After close to a year now, TJ and I can finally close the bonnet and say the Mk2 is finished. Rescued from obscurity (and an angry goat), cleaned, revived and now back on the road to serve its remaining days out as a cool rat rod cruiser.

Our goal all along was to finish the car and take it to one of the many local early morning ‘Coffee and Cars’ events here in South Australia (Facebook it and you will see they are everywhere). Awesome early morning meet-ups of likeminded car enthusiasts without the boneheads doing burnouts. Perfect for a young impressionable kid like TJ, and ideal for a middle-aged pork pie eating dude like me.

We were all set. Car cleaned, registration and insurance sorted, fuel in the tank, battery charged, we were itching to go. Drip… drip… drip. TJ spies something funny smelling down the back, and a quick check reveals the fuel tank sender unit rubber seal had perished and was leaking. Plans on hold.

Luckily, we had a correct seal, so it was a simple fix. So were the now-loose alternator wires, blown indicator light and driver’s side window adjustment. More little items that got our attention after the first shakedown runs.

Anyway, we are all set to go, and TJ is grinning like a lunatic. We roll out early one Saturday morning, and the Mk2 runs faultlessly. It corners, brakes and drives like a peach. Our hard work had paid off, and the little sedan was ticking over like a Swiss watch. We roll into the show, and all I can hear from the onlookers is ‘Ooh, check that out!’, ‘Whoa! Haven’t seen a Mk2 for years’, and my favourite ‘Is it a pile of crap, Dad? No son, it’s as cool as anything!’

You can log this one down as #46 Proud Dad Moment.

Get miles

I surprised TJ with a longer wine country run shortly after the morning show had finished, and he sat in the passenger seat smiling with every mile. This was the reason why we rescued this car, to develop an appreciation in him of what chrome bumper cars can do for your soul. We both know not everyone is going to like the Mk2, and we have already had a fair share of people telling us to paint it.

The truth is, we did the car this way, in this style because we were limited by funds, but mainly to have fun together, develop our appreciation of old cars and to make sure the Mk2 didn’t end up at the scrappies. We hope this build has inspired you to save something that is out there rotting and would potentially be a cool rat rod candidate.

mk2 cortina project

As with every car, you have to know when to hold and when to fold, and it’s time to fold. As you read this, a new eager owner is now punting around Adelaide in the Mk2, with the sale freeing up funds for TJ’s next project. Without giving too much away, I can reveal there are two to choose from. Both have two doors, 12 cylinders between them, and technically they qualify as classic Fords. Let the negotiations begin! 

This article first appeared in the April 2019 issue.

Catch up with more updates on Racin’ Jason’s Mk2 Cortina and all the Classic Ford project cars here

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