GRAFTERS: Mk1 Zephyr

Your projects: With his Dad, Ja­son ad­dicted to Mk2 Ze­phyrs it wasn’t long be­fore Ja­cob got the bug, too — now they’re build­ing this pe­riod sleeper. “THIS CAR IS ONE WE ALL DREAM OF FIND­ING A 20,000 MILE ONE OWNER THAT’S BEEN IN STOR­AGE SINCE 1974”

Classic Ford - - CONTENTS -

Pe­riod sleeper build with Mays touches.

Corby-based Ja­son Blott is well known as a Mk2 devo­tee — his in­ven­tory of cars owned past and present is en­vi­able. And nat­u­rally we’ve fea­tured plenty, from his in­fa­mous 9-sec­ond ’56 Ute to the car he’s most pas­sion­ate about: a black Zephyr that’s pe­riod cor­rectly mod­i­fied. But this one’s dif­fer­ent — it’s a part-owner project with son, Ja­cob who can’t help but be al­most as pas­sion­ate about Z-Cars as his dad. And what an in­flu­ence!

This car is the one we all dream of find­ing — the one-owner 20,000 miler that’s been wrapped up all cosy-like since 1974. A fan­tas­tic base to start with as the amount of re­pair it needed was ab­so­lutely min­i­mal; bor­der­ing on zero. In fact the only bit of rot was in the ex­haust and that was be­ing re­placed!

Nat­u­rally, with such an orig­i­nal car, the mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the shell need to be nonex­is­tent, so it can be re­turned to orig­i­nal if it ever needs to be — which of course, it won’t — but it’s nice to have the op­tion. There’s an en­vi­ous tonne of pe­riod cor­rect parts in there plus a lit­tle twist that brings the car bang up to date — we’ll let the two J’s ex­plain what’s go­ing on.

The shell was mint, but you’ve still re­stored it?

The whole car was very, very good — just as you’d want to find al­though the un­der­side re­ally needed a coat of love. Once stripped out com­pletely to a shell, we at­tached it to a rollover jig, spun it over and shot­blasted the un­der­side a bit at a time. This we did at home us­ing a por­ta­ble blaster — a bit messy but if you work in sec­tions, you can con­trol it, which is how we talked it…

There re­ally wasn’t any­thing, it just needed re­fin­ish­ing to pro­tect it prop­erly un­der­neath, and the car’s to­tally amaz­ing. The rest just needs a re­paint to make it mint and it’s go­ing to Rapid Re­fin­ish­ing in Ket­ter­ing to get spot-on paint, which they seem to be very good at!

The colour’s rare on a Mk2 — Monaco Red, which is more a Mk3 colour, so it’s def­i­nitely stay­ing.

The en­gine’s a bit spe­cial, then!

Oh yes. The ba­sis is a 206E six-pot Zephyr en­gine that’s been bored to 2.7-litres fea­tur­ing BDA pis­tons — six of them — plus al­loy rods, a fully bal­anced and light­ened crank, al­loy fly­wheel and Ch­es­man En­gi­neer­ing (who also supplied the rocker cover, www. ches­ma­n­engi­neer­ big wing, al­loy sump, which re­ally stiff­ens up the block — the cranks tend to whip a bit un­der high revs with­out! There’s a Kent high-lift cam in there too al­though the real top­ping’s the Ray­mond Mays al­loy cylin­der head with big valves. It’s a real one, but it’s been


com­pletely re­fur­bished. I ab­so­lutely love the pe­riod per­for­mance parts and you can’t re­ally build a Mk2 with­out at least some­thing Ray­mond Mays on it!

But there’s a modern twist?

Rather than a bank of triple We­bers, which would have been nice, we de­cided on fuel in­jec­tion, so the man­i­fold’s from Ch­es­man En­gi­neer­ing, but it’s fit­ted with a set of throt­tle bod­ies, which will be run­ning on Emer­ald en­gine man­age­ment. It’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see how well it drives com­pared to other more tra­di­tional forms of in­duc­tion I’ve had in the past — my guess is that it’ll make all the dif­fer­ence in the world in driv­abil­ity, along with around 200 bhp and a ton of straight-six torque to boot — lit­er­ally!

There’s more to the driv­e­train, right?

The gear­box is Zephyr three-speed man­ual but it’s got a new over­drive unit, which we’ll wire in so it has three nor­mal and three elec­tric over­driven gears. Be­cause the car will sit so low, fel­low Corby lad, Dave Col­lege from Retro Ford’s sorted a two-piece prop to hook it all up, run­ning back to the stan­dard back axle now fit­ted with 3.54:1 gears from a Mk3. Com­plet­ing the lot is cus­tom stain­less ex­haust, made by Simp­son (www. simp­son­race­ex­, which fea­tures twin pipes. They re­ally do a lovely job — it hugs the floor per­fectly!

And Dave has done a bit more, too?

Yes, Dave’s had a mas­sive hand in plenty of the fabri­cated parts, which has added to the idea of not mod­i­fy­ing the shell. So he’s short­ened the front struts by 4 inches and re­made the in­ter­nals, plus added an abut­ment kit so we can run 2.25 inch springs. This al­lows us to run about 5 inches lower than stock. There’s more he’s done too — we’re keep­ing the steer­ing box, but Dave’s made the track con­trol arms ad­justable so we can prop­erly set the ge­om­e­try up us­ing laser align­ment.

Round the back, Dave’s de­cam­bered the springs, al­though we’ll run low­er­ing blocks as well to get it on the floor, plus he’s in the midst of do­ing an ad­justable tele­scopic damper con­ver­sion, too. Brakes are stan­dard but servo as­sisted.

And the wheels?

We re­ally think it needs steels and prob­a­bly hub­caps, too — Retro Ford are well known for their trick fat steel wheels, which Dave con­verts from orig­i­nal cen­tres us­ing brand new hoops — this time in 7 inch wide pat­tern — al­though the Zephyr’s big body­work will prob­a­bly swal­low them! At the mo­ment, they’re black and they’ll prob­a­bly stay that way al­beit with pe­riod hub­caps.

What about the in­te­rior?

It’s of­ten the case with cars that are laid up for ages that the in­te­rior re­ally suf­fers but luck­ily, this wasn’t the case and it is ab­so­lutely mint, and fin­ished in two-tone grey. It just has to go back in, al­beit with a ton of pe­riod-cor­rect per­for­mance stuff, in­clud­ing a chrome tacho and a few other touches.

Out­side, the paint’s as we said, stock al­though the bumpers and bright­work’s good but it’ll get rechromed. I’m not a big fan of the stripped-out look, it needs all the bits it should have, so I’m pre­pared for a big chroming bill as it cer­tainly isn’t cheap right now!

Words and Pho­tos Jon Hill

Car: 1962 Mk2 Zephyr Low­line Start con­di­tion: Stan­dard ex­am­ple Con­di­tion now: Tail end of dummy build Time taken so far: Six months Es­ti­mated date of com­ple­tion: July 2017

Name: Ja­son and Ja­cob Blott Age: 47 and 18 Job: Elec­tri­cal En­gi­neers Lo­ca­tion: Corby, UK

Rare Ray­mond Mays al­loy cylin­der head be­ing used is the real ar­ti­cle. Steels are stay­ing but now mea­sure 7 inches.

Bored-out straight-six uses BDA pis­tons and is now a whop­ping 2.7-litres. In­duc­tion is taken car of by triple throt­tle bod­ies.

Front end uses a mix of pe­riod and pe­riod-modern parts.

Be­spoke stain­less-steel man­i­fold is a work or art.

This Mk2 has been painted in later Monaco Red, but it’s orig­i­nal so it’s stay­ing.

This Zephyr will run low, so the stain­less-steel ex­haust has been fabri­cated to hug the (über-mint) floor as closely as pos­si­ble.

The Mk2’s struts have been short­ened and con­verted to fea­ture ad­justable plat­forms.

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