5 minutes with Guido Pitzen
With Ford’s Cologne factory and the Nürburgring just up the autobahn, it’s no surprise that Guido has the Blue Oval bug bad.
“I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO BUILD A MK1 ESCORT WITH A HIGH-REVVING COSWORTH YB”
How did your interest in Fords and motorsport come about?
It is in my blood… My Granddad was involved in the building the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, my Dad was born and raised 5 km away, and I did my first laps of the circuit on a moped aged 16 years. I did my engineering apprenticeship at Ford in Cologne, so I guess the two were meant to be together.
What was your first Ford?
It was a Mk1 Capri M1 GT with the 75PS (74 bhp) Cologne V4 engine. What happened to it? I crashed it!
You have a high success rate with finishing projects, and in good time.What is your secret!
My main job gives me the time to work on them, and I have a lot of experience in building competition cars for rallying, LMP and Formula 1.
What project cars are you building for customers at the moment?
Der Franzmann — an Escort RS1600i race shell rebuild, and a Group H Mk1 Fiesta.
And your own cars?
I still have my Schrick-engined Herbst Tuning Mk3 Escort which you featured in the June 2107, my Escort Bantam, and the AutoVeri RS1600i race car, so I am doing OK!
Which one is your favourite?
It’s impossible to choose — they are all different and each one has its own character.
Is there a particular Ford you are on the hunt for at the moment?
There are always cars I want, but I have so much work on, and there is no room in my workshop.
How would you compare the classic Ford scene in Germany to the UK?
It’s much smaller over here — in Germany car enthusiasts and builders are sadly more interested in Volkswagen or Opel cars. In the UK it is more biased towards Ford, and so for enthusiasts like us, it’s much easier to build a fine classic Ford in the UK.
You have a 12,000 Euro budget to buy and build a classic Ford.What would you do?
That is no easy question! I’ve always wanted to build a Mk1 Escort with a high-revving, normally- aspirated Cosworth YB, but that isn’t enough money… so instead I would build a Granada Estate with a Porsche 928 GT engine.
Do you have a dream classic Ford?
Yes, a Lotus Cortina race car…
What is your most-embarrassing carrelated moment?
Not for me, but when drove my old RS1600i known as Lila with the Schrick 16-valve CVH engine in it back in the late ’90s, very faster cars like Porsche 911s weren’t able to catch me, much to the embarrassment of the owners.
Finally, what is your favourite event?
I’m not really a fan of car shows, but I’ve been going to the European Ford Event in Holland every year since 1988. I’ve been to Ford Fair twice, and I liked it, but mostly I don’t have the time to attend these days. There is also a very good Ford classic event where only cars build up to 1990 are allowed, which is in Krefeld first weekend in September — that is very cool.
Guido’s AutoVeri Mk3 is a thirsty old thing...