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Kick off the week with some project car inspiration courtesy of Simon Coulson in the form of this Zakspeed Escort and Mk1 Cortina

zakspeed escort

Some of us yearn for things from our childhood. I had a splendid Mk2 Escort Zakspeed 1:18-scale model car that was one of my prized possessions — not prized enough for me to avoid me peeling the stickers off and drawing flames on it with crayon, but it was still pretty special. When I saw this Zakspeed-kitted Escort, albeit the Mk1 variety, for sale my mind was cast back top those halcyon days. Oh, the memories; jumpers for goalposts, Kim Wilde on the radio, a can of Quatro in your hand and a packet of Pacer mints in your pocket. Now that paintjob makes sense.

We’ve combined the Zakspeed with the three stripes of a Pacer mint, yes it’s tenuous, but most of you only look at the pictures anyway… do you think we don’t know that? We’ve sourced the parts to finish the project, bolted up a super-wide set of five-spoke Revolutions and coated everything in the brightest white we could find on the paint charts. The wheel centres, engine bay, underside and caged interior have all taken a hit with the same green as those triple vertical stripes and it’s all looking minty fresh. A stonkin’ V8 with some form of mechanical injection provides the noise and enough go to catapult back to our youth at a frightening pace(r).

As our favourite cars get rarer and/or more expensive, finding a car — even for a project — requires some lateral thinking. Is it time to think about previously unloved variants? Later models? Further afield? Finding classic tin in warmer climes and bringing it back to Blighty could have financial advantages, be an unusual model, have less rust to deal with or even bring the chance of an awesome road trip! This particular Mk1 wins on many levels: The seller says it’s solid and it appears to be complete. The small matter of paperwork might prove to be complicated, but that doesn’t stop us building a virtual project on the Project Hunter pages!

The temptation to merely change the service and safety items and hit the road in an awesome patina-wagon is strong, but this Mk1 deserves more than that. I’m not sure who though badly painting the red car gold would be a good idea, but we’ve taken it as our inspiration and gone with a back-to-front Alan Mann scheme…Honestly, it probably doesn’t look as good as the original, but it’s different and pays homage to the history of this particular car. Otherwise, aside from the addition of the rare GKN Silverstone alloys the cars pretty much a straight resto job. Pure gold (and red).

Words and Illustrations Simon Coulson

Click here for more of Simon’s project ideas

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