Top 5 Resto Mods
1. Induction systems
The advantages of fuel and ignition management are there for all to see — driveability, reliability, adjustability — but while for many the sight and sound of a pair of DCOE-style throttle bodies is a joy to behold, for many more a traditional underbonnet look — devoid of injectors, extra wiring and throttle position sensors — is preferable. We’ve already seen moves to provide the best of both worlds for the classic market, with the DCOi throttle body looking exactly like a traditional DCOE sidedraught carburettor though with an injector and wiring hidden inside or Webcon’s Retroject inspired by the classic downdraught DGV carb (left), but there’s more to come, and it’s being lead by cunning enthusiasts — Fitz Pinnock’s RS2000 features a pair of IDF-style downdraught throttle bodies hidden under the infamous Group One airbox, and no-one is any the wiser.
2. Engine transplants
Fitting engines from more modern Fords has allowed the average classic Ford to keep up with the competition and quite often overtake it, too. Ford did it back in the day, and we’re continuing that trend, with Cosworth YBs and BOAs, Zetecs and Duratecs incredibly popular swaps in recent years, bringing efficient, multi-valve design to a distinctly old-school chassis. And with Ford’s current crop of EcoBoost engines offering incredible performance from small capacities (the ST version of the 1.6 EcoBoost produces 160 bhp as standard), the future’s looking bright.
3. Modular suspension
Already hugely popular in the States within the muscle car and hot rod scenes, the idea behind modular front suspension kits is to replace the entire front suspension on your classic with a much-improved, oftenadjustable set-up that in most cases improves the geometry for finer handling. While off-the-shelf kits for classic Fords aren’t available quite yet, WRC-style modular set-ups for competition Escorts are, and complete rear axle set-ups are already the order of the day.
Combining modern composites with traditional steel and chrome shouldn’t work, but it does. Lighter and often stronger, the rise of materials such as Kevlar and carbon fibre in the automotive world has been well-documented — and as a knock-on effect, raising the profile of once-derided fibreglass at the same time. From bumpers, to interior door panels, dashboards to body panels including roof skins, used with deliberate thought, composite panels are a valuable addition to the classic Ford modifying canon.
While ECUs combined with fuel-injection or ignition management (see page 76) are becoming increasingly popular, we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of their capabilities — even the most basic of aftermarket ECUs can offer launch control and datalogging, and many can also control the cooling fans or provide a separate start advance for cranking on high-compression engines. It doesn’t have to be about performance either — electric powersteering kits have been popular fitment for some time, transforming the drivability of a classic Ford. It’s all there for the taking, and the beauty of most of it is, it can all be hidden out of sight.