Start the week as you mean to go on – full-on classic Ford-style with these Mk2 Zephyr Ute and Mk1 Cortina Estate projects from Simon Coulson.
The Aussies may love their Utes, but going on the number of Zephyr pick-ups landing on British shores in recent years, it seems the UK does too, and this restoration project is just ripe for some Kustom treatment. So with the Ute stripped to a shell, we’ve repaired any structural areas where necessary before getting the grinder out and giving the cab a subtle roof chop. We toyed with the idea of stretching the doors and losing the side windows (see sketch) but elected instead to keep it as a five-window, though we’ve reduced the size of the rear window to keep the proportions correct.
At the rear, it looks kind of untidy, so we’ve slanted the rear wings (yes, a major undertaking), and made up some fender skirts for that lead-sled look. With fresh coats of the original Salmon Pink applied, it’s time to reinstate all the original chromework, making up a new bed cover in wine red fabric, too. Inside you’ll find the bench seat retrimmed in cord to echo to the bed cover, while any exposed metalwork has been painted to match. Wheels are the steels now banded and fitted with whitewalls and the original hubcaps, while power comes courtesy of the 2.4 six now bored and stroked to 3.1-litres and dressed with suitable Raymond Mays tuning attire. Trips to the dump will never be the same again.
The ’90s Pro Street look may be considered overkill now, but it’s still an awesome style in our opinion and when applied to a classic Ford which packs a serious patina punch (let’s call it ProPatina) — like this pre-Aeroflow Cortina — can result in a jaw-dropping build. So while this Estate is arguably crying out for a sympathetic restoration back to original spec, instead we’re running with the primered look, repairing the outer shell where necessary before cutting the floor out and dropping it (literally) over a custom tube-frame chassis (because how else can you run that low without resorting to air-ride?).
Under that glass fibre bonnet (and through it too…) you’ll find a small-block Ford V8 with a stroker kit sat in between the frames with a whacking great BDS 6/71 supercharger complete with bug catcher mounted on top, backed up by a Borg Warner T5 ’box with a Hurst shifter poking up through the worn carpet, in-between the equally worn front seats. One to take your Nan down the shops in. Possibly.
Words Simon Woolley
Illustrations Simon Coulson
Click here for more of Simon Coulson’s project ideas
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