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There’s never been a better time to start a classic Ford project – and here are two ideas for the Escort Mk3 and Popular 103E to get you on the right track.

escort mk3

Say the words, ‘Mk3 Escort wearing tiger stripes and RS alloys’, and we guarantee a Series One RS Turbo with black and blue stripes on RS seven-spokes will immediately come to mind to 99 per cent of the Ford world.

But, in this case (and taking this issue’s Wild Ones theme well and truly to heart) we have quite literally added tiger stripes to this five-door, plus some Fiesta RS Turbo alloys — makes perfect sense, when you look at it, doesn’t it?

The bodywork on this Mk3 looks pretty clean, leaving us to crack on with the sunburst-style respray in orange leading into safari yellow (what else?), followed by £100-worth of sticky vinyl to put the Rrrr in this particular tiger. Once some Fiesta RST rims have been tracked down, we’ll bolt them up plus a set of Gmax springs to get the car in the suitably-poised ‘hunting for prey’ stance, before… well, that’s pretty much it, apart from a set of off-the-shelf leopard-print seat covers for the interior.

Savage. Well, sort of.

Many, many moons ago, sit-up-and-beg Pops and Anglias were a staple diet of your typical stock car racer. This one, then, is a homage to those, some-might-say, more simpler times. Only, there’s nothing simple about this oval track-inspired 103E build for the road, track, hillclimb and sprint circuit — a bespoke, spaceframe chassis has been designed and constructed, before the Pop’s bodywork has been carefully relieved of its floor, and dropped onto the frame. The wings have been extended to cover those 9 inch (front) and 11 inch (rear) banded steels, the running boards extended to suit, and a bespoke front bumper fabricated, complete with Vecta Challenge (or Manta 400 for you secret Opel lovers…) aztec cut-outs. What could possibly be behind those that needs some air? You may be thinking? A front-mounted big turbo to feed the 1-litre EcoBoost under the side-hinged bonnet, that’s what.

Other trick touches to the ‘50s steel include now permanently-open crotch coolers, plus that outrageous DTM-style rear wing. A respray in VW Dove Blue completes the body mods, while we’ve remortgaged the house to pay for some turbofans for the front steels. All that’s left is to fit some Jaz seats and floors to the interior and we’re ready to hit the B-road — motorways should probably best be avoided. 

Words Simon Woolley

Illustrations Simon Coulson

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