Resto-modding: Saving The Underdogs Of Yesteryear

Ford Escort Mk1

To some people, resto-modding is nothing more than stripping a car of all its originality. This group of people are called ‘Purists’, a breed I totally respect and fully understand their views on maintaining originality, but there are some cars that just don’t warrant the expense of sourcing original parts, whether resto-modded or not.

Take the Mk1 Ford Escort above, for example, the base for a potential resto-mod project that could end up resembling the rally legend featured in Fast N Furious 6.

Paul Walker Ford Escort Fast N Furious

The Ford driven by the late Paul Walker in the Fast N Furious 6 was the legendary Escort Mexico, a car still used today for amateur rally because of its superb yet simple layout and chassis.

To find an original Mk1 Mexico in good condition today will set you back around £25,000, a car I’d personally like to see kept 100% original because of its adequate power and sufficient brakes. However, the Ford pictured at the beginning and below is just the 1.1-L Popular base model.

A half decent 2 door example can be sourced for around the £3-5K mark. Now instead of scrapping the poor car or parting it out, how about giving it a big heart transplant, disc brakes and a cool paint job?

 

Mk1 Ford Escort

Keeping a classic on the road with modern parts and technology is surely a good thing? Whether it’s an original Mexico or not, the finished project could still look like the car below. I’m all for keeping cars original, but when you can take a base model and inject it with fire breathing technology, I’m all for saving the underdogs of yesteryear.

Mk1 Ford Escort Mexico

As a side note, Paul Walker was a real petrolhead, a Gas Gargler like myself. He had a great ‘car guy’ collection. Check out my Fast N Furious personal rides piece  here and see for yourself.

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The Creation Of Something Special In 1160 Pictures…

… special to me anyway. Search Gargling Gas for the Buick Grand National and you’ll find a fair few posts on my infatuation with it.

It’s not totally unrealistic to find a solid example and have it shipped over from the States for a reasonable price (£10-15K). Most sensible, and let’s face it, boring non-car people will probably cry, “An American muscle car in the UK? Are you mad?” Yes, probably, but then I could counter the remark with something like, “Wow, £5K on touching up the woodwork on your stairs”, or, “£25K for a small soundproof recording studio?” Each to their own and all that…

People spend out on the things that make them tick, whether it’s a giant train-set or a set of rare stamps, and everyone knows and accepts this. Except when it comes to cars (I’ve found) people are quick to comment, frown, stroke their metaphorical beard – or in the case of my mother-in-law, her beard. Non-car people suddenly turn into Jeremy Clarkson and offer advice based on a one car experience, whether it was their own, a family member’s or even a friend’s.

“Oh, you wanna steer clear of Fiats, mate. My sister’s cousin had one… nothing but trouble.”

“No, no no… I’d go with a turbo diesel. Reliable and just as fast as petrol engines. They’ve come a long way with those diesels, y’know.” Etc…

Now I’ve gone off on a tangent and will swiftly get back to what this post is about.

Today I found a great piece featuring a Buick GNX on the American Resto Mods website. Pictured above is a very tired 1987 Buick GNX exhumed from a Louisiana bog in 2011. The poor thing was left parked in the mud since 1991 – 20 years! Who would leave a four-year-old GNX – any car, for that matter – in the mud for two decades?

Thankfully, the mud being situated along the gulf meant enough oil content to prevent any serious rust. In fact, the important and structural parts of the car were solid, and apart from having to evict insects and mice from their cosy home, the Buick was great restoration material.

Click the link below, and in 1160 pictures, witness the love and dedication that transformed the above into the stunning example below.

1987 Buick Grand National Restoration

A few Gargling Gas Grand National posts:

Love At First Sight

Buick, Please Don’t Taint A Legend