CLASSIC FORD PROJECTS YOU SHOULD BUY — AND MODIFY.
Capri 2.8i and Mk5 Escort Estate sorted.
The poor Mk5 didn’t get a warm reception from the motoring press when it was first announced, and despite Ford making several revisions, it never really shook the negativity off. The upshot of this is, there now aren’t that many left, and those that are (bar the RS2000 and XR3i variants), are cheap as chips. Perfect fodder for the Project Hunters pages, then! This base-model Estate is surely über-rare, not that that’s going to stop us going to town on it, in a budget-friendly way, of course. First off, we’ve treated the bottom half to a respray on black textured finish to replicate the bumpers. Then, a bit of experimentation has resulted in the B-pillar being sprayed matt black. Well, we think it works. The old adage of, lowering can make any car look good, definitely applies here as a set of shorter springs brings this longroof closer to the Tarmac and the arches almost touching those 8x13 inch Alleycats — the rims and centre highlights of which we’ve painted in a flouro colour, which has also been applied to the grille badge and side trim strip. Under the bonnets, there now resides an I4 16-valver liberated from a rotten Mk6 RS2000 (with the cam cover painted flouro, naturally) while on the inside you’ll find a Ghia interior, complete with a row of Nomad Racing gauges (the dials of which have also been painted in what’s left of the tin of flouro) mounted in one of those A-pillar pods that were all the rage back in the ’90s. There’s lovely.
If the Escort Estate is something of a ’90s B-Boy throwback, then what we’ve done to this Capri — on the surface at least — isn’t that far removed from how unloved examples used to look back then, too. Only there’s more to this ratty sleeper than meets the eye. Once we’ve made the shell structurally solid, and sourced a pair of used Mk3 wings (handily off an Injector, too) to replace the missing ones, we’re leaving the outside exactly as we found it, bar tidying up a few areas to keep the MoT tester happy. Pop the bonnet though, and if you can see past the engine (more on this in a bit) you’ll clock the double-wishbone front suspension and proper brakes just about fitting inside those 15 inch RS seven-spokes. The improved suspension continues out-back with a Mustang 8 inch axle located by a proper five-link set-up. So the engine? One of the current crop of modular Ford V8s with a few tuning tricks backed up by a Tremec six-speed. Peer through the tinted glass and you’ll just about make out a stealth roll cage mounted as close to the roofline and pillars as possible, proper bucket seats and acres of gunmetal grey. Your mother wouldn’t like it but your Dad probably would.