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A Bosozuku Mk4 Zodiac – what fresh lunacy is this? Kick off the week with some Mk4 plus Mk1 Cortina Estate inspiration courtesy of Simon Coulson

mk4 zodiac

With its classic three-box design, the often-overlooked Mk4 Zodiac lends itself perfectly to some sensible body mods. Only Japan called, and they want it Bosozoku! Yes, the off-the-wall styling trend from over there, heavily influenced by ’70s and ’80s silhouette racers from over here, and based around wide arches, even wider wheels, outlandish front trays and those exhausts, has been applied to something Dagenham-sourced and, well, we think it works! Once the Zodiac’s bodywork has been lightly restored, we’ve dug the offcuts of MDF out of the shed and gone to work, creating that deep, deep front splitter, sideskirts, the ‘aero package’ running along each side of the bonnet and the utterly OTT rear spoilers. Arches made from perspex just about cover those banded steels with serious negative camber thanks to shims, longer lower wishbones and a little bit of head-scratching.

The Mk4’s nose-cone has been extended downwards, too — traditionally, Bosozoku cars usually get the sharknose treatment but we feel the droopsnoot works better here. A respray in blue metalflake with silver lightning bolts down the sides (which make a ‘Z’ for Zodiac on the driver’s side, naturally) almost completes the job, only we need to fabricate those insane Takeyari tailpipes, ceramic coated in contrasting yellow. Inside, think burgundy and fluffy, while a Japanese (what else?) straight-six easily fits under the bonnet and makes an ear-splitting rasp through the quad pipes. You couldn’t drive it on our shocking roads, but when in Daikoku, right?

For once, Simon hasn’t gone over the top with his digital creations… or has he? Yes, look again at this Mk1 Cortina Estate and you’ll spot a distinct difference — that’s a saloon rear end it’s wearing! We’d like to think that Ford’s stylists considered this treatment when sketching out the lines of the original Estate, so Simon’s borrowed a time machine, pointed it towards Essex in the late ’50s and pinched the sketch off the desk of one of the corporate suits. Our donor car is perfect for this treatment — in need of some major TLC, while the welding torch is out we can spend a large amount of time reworking the rear. Ideally, we’d find a saloon with a solid rear end but crash-damaged or terminally-rotten front end, so that we could simply cut off the rear section and graft it onto the Estate — rethinking and tweaking the tailgate at the same time.

Then it’s a case of restoring the remainder of the bodyshell before prepping and laying on coats of a suitably-period green/grey paint shade followed by a Lotus-style stripe to draw attention to that rear. For the running gear, think uprated standard fodder, with a serious dose of lowering over some colour-coded Lotus steels, a retrimmed interior, and a GT-spec 1500 Pre-Crossflow to power it all. Looking at the finished drawing, you have to wonder, why hasn’t someone done this before?

Words Simon Woolley

Illustrations Simon Coulson

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