OUR CARS

Crack open the de­ter­gent, it’s time to give The Goat’s rusty and dusty paint­work some TLC — with preser­va­tion the or­der of the day.

Classic Ford - - CF TECH -

Ja­son and TJ bring us up-to-date with their Mk2 Cortina.

T he hard­est part of The Goat’s (our Mk2 Cortina) build was al­ways go­ing to be the body­work. When you tackle a rat rod project you need to aim for ‘weath­ered and neat’, not ‘weath­ered and junk’. Noth­ing screams heap of garbage like a rat rod try­ing to be too much of a rat rod. The ori­gin of the look was started by hot rod­ders want­ing to spend money on go­ing fast than look­ing good, but they made sure they rods were clean enough to cut a cool pro­file on the street.

A tidy, well-patina’d street rat was the look we were af­ter. Af­ter 15 years of sit­ting in a shed, the Mk2 had weath­ered paint­work that made it a one-off, so paint­ing over the beauty of the aged patina was not an op­tion. The first step was to iden­tify the look we were af­ter, and as it turns out, there are a stack of dif­fer­ent rat rod looks that can be achieved, but we de­cided that a satin fin­ish to the paint was what we were af­ter. TJ took a shine (par­don the pun) to the rat rod style of the early VW cars, be­cause he likes the sealed paint­work look they use. Ini­tially, we in­ves­ti­gated clear-coat­ing the ex­te­rior, but it turns out that it won’t work as the ad­he­sion of the clear is not great on the rusted or heav­ily paint-worn ar­eas.

Our saviour came af­ter ask­ing fel­low car mates, and af­ter com­par­ing notes we put to­gether a process of Clean – Pre­serve – Shine.

Break it down

We started by strip­ping the Mk2 down to its un­der­crack­ers. Ev­ery­thing was re­moved to al­low us the best ac­cess to all the painted ar­eas of the car. Thank­fully, the body­work was sound, with the odd small rusted ar­eas as to be ex­pected — lav­ishly held to­gether with co­pi­ous amounts of red dust.

Step one was to wash, wash and wash again. Step two was to ap­ply CLR (laun­dry­grade Cal­cium Lime Rust) cleaner, which re­moved any resid­ual crud, raw rust and cal­cium. Step three was the ap­pli­ca­tion of a light sugar soap. Step four was to wipe the car with a qual­ity rust con­ver­tor. Step five was to then clean the car top to bot­tom with Ace­tone. The fi­nal step six was to seal the now-clean ex­te­rior by ap­ply­ing a high-qual­ity wax-based pol­ish.

The trick here is to take your time and be con­sis­tent with the ef­fort you put into each panel. We worked me­thod­i­cally

around the car and al­lowed time in-be­tween for stand­ing back to en­sure it all matched up and looked cor­rect. Nei­ther TJ nor I had ap­proached a car like this be­fore, and it was chal­leng­ing and ex­cit­ing at the same time.

Af­ter rub­bing and clean­ing so much, TJ and I now had no fin­ger­prints... but we did have a Mk2 Cortina that looked ex­actly how we wanted. More pol­ish­ing of all the chrome­work, trim and glass had the Mk2 gleam­ing, and some hand­i­work with su­per­glue had the bro­ken left-hand rear tail­light lenses look­ing half de­cent.

The front bumper needed some rub­ber mal­let mas­sag­ing to get straight again, but oth­er­wise the smaller stuff came back to­gether rel­a­tively easy.

One of the more unique as­pects of the Cortina is the twin orange pin­stripes on the side.TJ made the call to care­fully hand-paint the 440 badges in orange to match, and they look pretty cool.

The Mk2 was start­ing to take shape, but it still needed some­thing ex­tra to fin­ish it all off. It was my daugh­ter, Ruby who pointed out that it needed a few stick­ers. Out came the sticker box, and in dived TJ. Af­ter some rum­mag­ing, he pulled a few old-school Clas­sic Ford stick­ers, and half-a-dozen other cool ones that add the re­quired touch to the ex­te­rior. A few have even made their way into the boot. Per­fect patina Af­ter 15 years of hid­ing in a barn, the Cortina now proudly wears it’s patina’d paint­work with a re­newed shine. The un­mod­i­fied ex­te­rior is now pre­served, and TJ and I can turn our at­ten­tion to the in­te­rior. Cus­tom, clean and func­tional is the plan there!

Bro­ken rear light lens re­paired with su­per­glue.

Badge painted to match pin­stripes (left). Oblig­a­tory de­cals added (below). With the ‘paint’ pre­served and sealed, Ja­son and TJ can now turn to the goat-eaten in­te­rior.

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