RS2000 for VHI?
I have owned my Mk1 for a couple of years and have used it for the odd sprint and hillclimb. It is an RS2000 without any modifications, so it tends to be slower than other competitors.
My thoughts are to change the engine for Zetec, gearbox for a Mazda unit, alter the front suspension and fit an Atlas rear axle with all the recommended mods. Naturally, I would remove the 1970s interior and fit more modern seats.
How many mods can I do before the car loses its identity as a Vehicle of Historic Interest (VHI) and I have to submit it for an MoT?
VHI issues aside, if your Mk1 is a genuine RS2000 then we would not recommend removing the original running gear for more modern components, instead we would suggest finding another shopperspec Mk1 and building that up into a bespoke hillclimb and sprint car.
If it’s not an original RS2000 then you would lose the VHI identity if the car was inspected with a Zetec, different gearbox and Atlas axle installed as these are all what the DVLA would consider a ‘substantial change’. The criteria for VHI is still evolving, but period modifications to the existing engine (such as twin sidedraught carbs and an uprated camshaft) do seem to be tolerated. You can download the DVLA’s guidelines for VHI from our website at www.classicfordmag.co.uk.