OUR CARS

Ja­son and TJ’s Mk2 Cortina project gets a new in­te­rior.

Classic Ford - - CONTENTS -

The long win­ter here in Ade­laide has been a per­fect op­por­tu­nity to get the in­te­rior sorted on TJ’s Mk2 Cortina, and the newly-in­stalled two-car car garage is a per­fect place for Dad and Son to get the job done. It all be­gins with the orig­i­nal 15-year-old barn fresh in­te­rior that can only be best de­scribed as half trim/half gutwrench­ing stench.

Mould, mildew, rat and mice in­fes­ta­tions and in­de­scrib­able hor­rors lie in wait, ready to be dis­cov­ered. For­tu­nately for me, I had TJ! He was given a small brush and told ‘go forth and clean, young Jedi’. 30 sec­onds later, he re-emerged with a dis­tinct green tinge to his face. The smell was that bad.

Plan B was en­acted, which in­volved a com­plete in­te­rior hose out with a high-pres­sure cleaner. Next up, ev­ery­thing was stripped out. The old seats were care­fully re­moved, and quickly sold on to re­coup some money for the project. In a lucky turn, all four door cards were sur­pris­ingly good con­di­tion, sav­ing us some much needed Dol­lars. The orig­i­nal rub­ber floor­ing was dead, as too the padded dash top that had cracked se­verely in the scorch­ing Aus­tralian tem­per­a­tures.

With the Cortina stripped, we stood back and hatched our strat­egy. It would be a case of in­stalling new car­pet, in­stalling late-model seats front and rear, re­paint­ing the dash and add in some crea­ture com­forts along the way. Cheap and easy to do, the in­te­rior would be a cool pace to pi­lot the Mk2 from.

First step was to seal the floor, and de­fend the steel from any rust­ing (which there was none to start with). In went the new car­pet un­der­lay, and fi­nally a fresh layer of choco­late brown car­pet fin­ished the job nicely. TJ cleaned up the small trim pieces and kick pan­els, and they went back in as well.

“WITH SOME CHEAP TWEAKS, THE IN­TE­RIOR’S NOW A COOL PLACE TO PI­LOT THE MK2 FROM”

To­tally wired

While the dash was apart, we re­built the fac­tory heater box, and re­moved the gunk in the process. The wiring for the dash was re­moved, checked, and re-in­stalled. The two gauges were checked, cleaned and put back in. Be­fore all this hap­pened, TJ spot­ted the 1600E pre­mium dash face pad­ding in his searches, and de­spite us not hav­ing one, we came up with a cool com­pro­mise. We masked the dash off and painted the insert black, giv­ing the dash a sporty feel. Job done!

Next up a set of Mit­subishi seats were in­stalled front and rear. The rear seat back re­quired some cut­ting and shut­ting in­ter­nally to fit, but over­all, the seats went in with­out any ma­jor has­sles and pro­vide a more com­fort­able and sup­port­ive place to ride from. Those mint door cards were treated to a quick splash of colour spray to perk them up, and now con­trast well with the freshly painted door steel.

TJ has al­ways been per­plexed by the long gear shifter, and wanted to add some­thing spe­cial to dress it up. He chose to in­stall an oblig­a­tory 8-ball shifter

knob to match the air cleaner, and then put a smaller wooden sports wheel and af­ter­mar­ket tacho to re­ally pro­vide a sporty feel. Back in went the cool ‘80s style aux­il­iary three-gauge un­der-dash clus­ter that came with the car orig­i­nally, which re­sponded well to a clean-up and wiring check. TJ is start­ing to de­velop a keen eye for the finer de­tails, and he fol­lowed up with a few quirky rat rod style touches like the surfer gas pedal and dash badges to keep the cabin an in­ter­est­ing and fun place.

ICE, baby

Apart from a few is­sues with the head­lin­ing, the in­te­rior is now fin­ished. A stereo and speak­ers need to be in­stalled, but that can wait un­til the Dol­lars build up in the bank again. TJ is learn­ing what it takes to get an old car back on the road, and he is also recog­nis­ing that he needs to save up for qual­ity parts that work first time.

Now the Cortina is in the very fi­nal stages of mak­ing the tran­si­tion from barn find to street cruiser. Spring is here in Aus­tralia, and in the next episode, after a few fi­nal touches… we hit the road!

Stripped and cleaned the in­te­rior, fit­ted new seats, and an 8-ball gear­knob Fit­ting some new wheels, and cruis­ing in the car! We should have it on the road in about a month’s time In­te­rior is fi­nally start­ing to look like some­where you’d want to sit. Orig­i­nal seats were sold on... yes, re­ally! The Mk2’s metal dash gets some new paint. What’s been done this month: Next on the to-do list:

More mod­ern seats match ex­ist­ing trim colour. TJ gets busy clean­ing out years of crud while 8-ball knob was es­sen­tial pur­chase (be­low). Xxxxxxxx

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