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Two different takes on two iconic classic Fords. Welcome to the Escort Combi and Mk2 Cortina — Simon Coulson-style…

Affordable classic Fords are not everyday occurrences, especially if you favour the rear-wheel-drive variety. When a V6’d bruiser of a Mk2 turns up for a reasonable price it’s probably time to spring into action. Even when not in running order, it goes to show that you can pick up a bargain.

For those readers who aren’t already heading towards Cambridge with an empty trailer, we’ll press on with the blurb: first of all, we’re keeping the V6, it might be a heavy old lump but we’re prepared to forgive it, even if it’s just for the burble. Externally, things are modernised — all the chrome has been painted black while the bodywork has been shot in a fetching grey, the only deviation from the black and grey theme being a splash of minty green to keep things interesting. At each corner you’ll find some modern(ish) large diameter wheels and low-profile rubber to help them squeeze under the arches. 

escort combi

At the opposite end of the scale to the ’Tina, we’ve got a rock-solid example of a rare (but often overlooked) late-model classic Ford – the Mk4 Escort Combi. Sure, you could probably find a cheaper one, but sometimes it’s nicer to just get on with the mods rather than start your project repairing rust and sourcing replacement parts.

Our take on the van certainly stands out thanks to a retina-searing red ‘n’ yellow colour combo that looks modern but also has its roots in front-wheel-drive Escort racing history. We’ve stopped short of including Datapost livery, but the reference is there for those in the know. If the choice of wheel colour might not be to everyone’s tastes, then the choice of wheel might divide opinions even further, Cossie five-spokes are a Marmite wheel, but they seem to work in this context. Inside, like plenty of people before, it’d make sense to borrow some goodies from a bit further up the range whether that be some sporty RS/XR bits or some lovely Ghia goodies. Running gear depends on what you’re planning on using it for but I reckon it just has to have a turbo. Whether that be attached to a diesel motor in your work hauler or a traditional CVH in your drag strip special is down to you.

Words and Illustrations Simon Coulson

Click here for more of Simon C’s project ideas

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