5 MIN­UTES WITH...

Granada re­storer, Steve Dick.

Classic Ford - - CONTENTS -

H

ow did you get into cars?

Grow­ing up, we lived not far from Black­bushe Air­port where they held the first drag rac­ing meet­ings — we used to ride there on our bi­cy­cles be­cause we were still at school. I par­tic­u­larly loved a Vaux­hall Firenza Es­tate that used to show up, tow­ing a trailer.The owner would then swap the tyres and race it, swap­ping them back to drive home! In the fourth or fifth year at school we had a car me­chan­ics course run­ning, and this re­ally set me up.

First Ford?

A Mk2 Cortina Deluxe in Sil­ver Fox — be­fore I could even drive. My Dad said, if I wanted to learn car me­chan­ics then I’d bet­ter buy a car.This I used to cy­cle past this one and it was for sale — I dragged my Dad out of the house on Cup Fi­nal Day to see it. He used to be a pro­fes­sional ref­eree so he was into foot­ball. He wasn’t happy, but we bought the car!

How did MBVR come about?

In the early ’80s, I was heav­ily into the Granada club, and along with a fel­low club mem­ber and friend, I rented a barn near Ex­eter where we’d do stuff on our cars. It hap­pened that we both moved up to Bed­ford­shire and rented a unit on the es­tate we’re on now. We’d do odd jobs on Granadas for oth­ers — we didn’t con­sciously in­tend to start MBVR, it just sort of evolved and has sim­ply grown. We’ve just com­pleted our new paint booth and we have seven mem­bers of staff now.

Which as­pect of restora­tion do you en­joy the most?

My thing is me­chan­ics, which I still love do­ing — en­gines, driv­e­trains that sort of thing — that’s the bit I’ve al­ways been in­volved with.

What Fords are you work­ing on at the mo­ment?

We’ve just re­stored the bodyshell of a very rot­ten Mex­ico that the owner’s had from new.That’s sit­ting here wait­ing to go to be dipped and E-Coated, then we can start on the prep and paint.There’s also a full re­build of an orig­i­nal Oselli 3-litre Capri — they only built four and from what we can gather, this is the orig­i­nal press car although it had been in a big ac­ci­dent and was badly re­paired in the past.There’s also a Granada 2.3LX in the works plus a Granada Sport too, while we have the only right-hand-driveTaunus 1500M V4 FWD Coupe known to the own­ers’ club.

You’re also restor­ing a fa­mousTV car, aren’t you?

It’s 85-90 per cent done now — there’s still the fuel tank and lines to sort out and in par­tic­u­lar the front and rear un­der­guards that were put there by Ford for film­ing.The back is an of­fi­cial Ford press­ing — it re­peats the pat­tern of the fuel tank although it’s ac­tu­ally over-size and was fit­ted over the top of the orig­i­nal; with foam sand­wiched in-be­tween to pro­tect it.The guard is the orig­i­nal but it’s been heav­ily re­stored and is now coated in stone guard. The front is a full sump guard for the en­gine which is also gen­uine Ford and was avail­able in the Ford cat­a­logue — how­ever they were never fit­ted as stan­dard in this coun­try.These were both fit­ted by Ford’s press garage when the car was new!

You’ve got £12,000 to buy and build a clas­sic Ford. What would you do?

Prob­a­bly a Con­sul GT Coupe, so it would have to be left-hand-drive. I’d look for a good car but I don’t mind it be­ing ratty – I reckon you could pick one up for 5 to 6 Grand.Then sort the me­chan­ics and just use it as is.

And money-no-ob­ject?

We had a cus­tomer’s new Mustang GT in the ‘shop the other day for some paint­work to be sorted. I’m not re­ally into new cars but the way they look, sound and drive — I think I’d have to treat my­self to one of those!

What’s your most em­bar­rass­ing car­related mo­ment?

Back in the barn days my friend and I were so ex­cited about get­ting an en­gine back in a Granada that we fired it up with no ex­haust on.There were still the rem­nants of straw on the floor and the flames from the ex­haust caught it alight and started to take the barn with it! Luck­ily, there was a bucket and a stand­pipe close by, so we saved it with lit­tle dam­age, but les­son learnt!

And your favourite event?

The NEC in Novem­ber.There’s such a wide va­ri­ety of ve­hi­cles, and you never know what’s go­ing to be there. We do all sorts of ve­hi­cle restora­tion so we love see­ing other stuff.

Mid Bed­sVe­hi­cle Restora­tion 01767 317855

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