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Everyone needs a parts hauler — but make yours cooler than your neighbour’s with these Cortina Bakkie and Mk2 Transit project ideas courtesy of Simon Coulson

cortina bakkie

What have we done to this poor Bakkie, you may be thinking? And to be honest, we’ve questioned our motives too, at times! But push onwards we must, and upwards too in this case, with this high-riding prime-mover. A Ford Maverick has donated its chassis (and running gear), the Cortina’s rust-free body now mounted on top, complete with the Maverick’s arches and sill trims, plus a lift kit to get it riding even higher.

With that fabrication hurdle out of the way, we’ve given ourselves another one in the shape of a Land Rover Discovery’s roof section, which needs to be chopped and cut-and-shut to suit the Mk3’s profile, the Disco’s rear doors now replaced by rear side glass. A set of slot mags and chunky tyres complete the ‘let’s old-school off-road’ look, while the Maverick’s tough 2.4 diesel now powers the ex-Bakkie all the way to the next Mad Max remake.

What’s better than a short-wheelbase Mk2 Transit? One with a sliding door, that’s what! This example all the way from sunnier Portugal is ripe for some ‘Custom’ touches — once we’ve taken care of any metal repairs, that is. And while the MiG welder and angle grinder are out, we’ve also taken the liberty of de-guttering the roof, de-handling the doors and rolling the front and rear valences for that smooth look, the rear getting notched to accept that flat-oval tailpipe at the same time. The rear doors have been donated to a resto project, and a one-piece glassfibre rear door bolted in their place.

Then, once we’re happy with the body, it’s time to lay on fresh coats of Diamond White followed by some post-postmodern digital camo down the sides, along with those so-cool Radi8 R8S5 rims, measuring an impressive 8.5×18 inches — supplied custom-drilled for the Transit PCD direct from the machine shop. Underneath the bonnet you’ll now find a 2.3-litre Scorpio I4 16-valve engine in place of the tired Pinto, along with an auto ‘box, while on the inside the same Scorpio has donated its rear bench for the cabin, but now retrimmed in dark blue, with the load bay carpeted in a similar hue. One to drive to the shows — and enjoy the journey.

Words Simon Woolley

Illustrations Simon Coulson

Click here for more of Simon Coulson’s project ideas