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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 6 months ago
    Jay Leno uploaded a new video
    A few months ago a car we built was featured at the big #SEMA show in Las Vegas, the initials stand for Specialty Equipment Market Association, and it’s the biggest automotive trade show in the world. It’s held over four days and it takes that long to see it all. Taking up over a million square feet of floor space, it features over 4400 exhibitors and 1500 display vehicles as well as representatives from more than 140 countries.

    / #Ford-Bronco

    SEMA does not open to the public. Its primary function is to help small automotive businesses and manufacturers. You have to be in the trade to gain entry, that said, over 150,000 people showed up this year, those of you who think our hobby is dying, think again.

    SEMA also works hard in the legal field to protect the rights of individuals who modify, or just work on, their own vehicles. I don’t know how it is in other countries but, in the United States, in many communities it is now illegal to work on your own car in your own garage, even with the door shut. Many homeowners’ associations have passed by-laws making it illegal to own and keep at home anything more than just basic hand tools. Screwdrivers, hammers and suchlike are ok; welding equipment, lathes and so on are not.

    On the last day of my late night television show, as I pulled in to work for the last time, I noticed someone had dumped a rather sad-looking #1968-Ford-Bronco in my parking space. On the windscreen was a note from my good friend and fellow late-night TV host, Craig Ferguson, the note said, ‘Dear Jay, please accept this POS [Piece of Shit], the starter motor’s fucked and the electrics are crap. It will keep you busy if you get bored. You’ll be missed. Don’t be a stranger. Your friend, Craig Ferguson.’ the Bronco sat in my garage for a good four years before I could figure out what to do with it. That’s when I decided to call my friend Mike Spagnola. Mike oversees the SEMA product development centre as well as the SEMA garage. He put me in touch with two women.

    The first was Sherry Kollien, whose area is strategy and planning. When you’re dealing with major manufacturers, you want to make sure the people supplying the parts have the proper licensing agreements in place. Use one unapproved part and you’ve seen your last #SEMA-show .

    The other was Teresa Contreras from LGE-CTS Motorsports, the award-winning women-owned restoration shop. I met with her to discuss what we wanted to do. My goal was to keep the Bronco as stock as possible and to upgrade the brakes, the suspension and powertrain as best we could.

    Starting with the powertrain, which I wanted to be all-Ford, I contacted Dave Pericak. If that name sounds familiar to you, it’s because Dave was the driving force behind the Le Mans-winning Ford GT in 2016. Dave also oversees icon cars like the Mustang GT, the Shelby, the Bronco and the #Ford-GT . We chose a 5.2-litre #Shelby-GT-V8 rated at 760bhp, the most powerful street engine Ford had ever produced. It was designed to be hooked up to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic and nothing else.

    'IN MANY PLACES IN THE USA IT'S ILLEGAL TO WORK ON YOUR CAR IN YOUR OWN GARAGE, EVEN WITH THE DOOR SHUT'

    So Jack Silver and Jeff Kaufmann at Silver Sport Transmission adapted a TR-4050 five-speed manual and the heavy-duty four-wheel-drive components to go with it. We knew the original chassis would never handle the torque and horsepower the Shelby V8 was putting out, so we contacted Thomas Kincer of Kincer Chassis, the company has built custom chassis for Broncos for 20 years, is licensed by Ford and was able to incorporate all our components into the custom Kincer frame, so this thing wouldn’t twist itself into a pretzel as soon as you put the power down.

    I then went to my old friends at Wilwood Brakes, who made up the four-wheel discs to make sure it stopped as well as it ran. Dennis Carpenter #Ford Restoration Parts supplied any body panels we needed.

    This project showed how quickly things come together when all the suppliers and builders know and trust one another. Normally it takes us about a year to complete a project like this, this one was done in four months because we didn’t have to check that each component would do its job properly. How many restorations have been ruined because the guy building the engine didn’t know the guy grinding the cams, and when the engine didn’t run properly they all blamed each other?

    The cool part was that Ford was looking over our shoulders during the whole build, making sure everything was up to spec, and the really cool part is that I now have a brand new #1968-Ford-Bronco that looks totally stock, the tricky part is that I now have 52-year-old, 760bhp, short-wheelbase, high-centre-of-gravity monster that can beat a Hellcat. I’m just glad I’m not 16 any more.
    Jay Leno Reveals His 1968 Bronco with 760 HP and a Tremec Manual Transmission at SEMA 2019.
    Jay Leno made a guest appearance at SEMA 2019 and revealed his 1969 Bronco. He says it’s the only one in the world with a 760 HP Shelby GT 500 engine mated to a manual Tremec transmission. Let Jay tell you more about the build. You’ll even get to...
    Jay Leno made a guest appearance at SEMA 2019 and revealed his 1969 Bronco. He says it’s the only one in the world with a 760 HP Shelby GT 500 engine mated to a manual Tremec transmission. Let Jay tell you more about the build. You’ll even get to hear it started.
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  •   Iain Ayre reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Test location: Blyton Park, Lincolnshire #Radical RXC Turbo 500R

    Radical’s latest road car offers hypercar performance for supercar money, but is it too raw?

    We’ve grown used to the mind-blowing performance of radical’s road-legal track monsters, but this new RXC Turbo 500R really is something special. Built around a simple but strong and light tubular steel spaceframe, the range-topping RXC is powered by a twin-turbo, 3.5-litre V6 #Ford-EcoBoost engine good for a mighty 600hp and 630nm of torque. The seriousness of those figures really hits home when you learn the 500r weighs just 1070kg and costs £201,000 ($341,000) because combined they equate to a hypercar power-to-weight ratio for McLaren 650s money.


    It’s fun to pop the gullwing door, then step up and over the sill and drop yourself into the driver’s seat. The view out is pure Le Mans racer, framed by that bubble windscreen and the vented tops of the front wheelarches. The view behind is restricted, but an LCD display hookedup to a discreet tail-mounted camera does the job of a conventional rearview mirror. The driving position is low and snug, so you soon get settled behind the small, Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel. Carpet and more Alcantara trim make the cockpit more habitable – the RXC is a road car, don’t forget – but don’t hide radical’s origins as a builder of race cars.

    The upside of this is a driving experience that literally takes your breath away. The #EcoBoost V6 #Ford is an absolute powerhouse – smooth and tractable, but with an unburstable, near-endless torrent of torque and top-end power that hurls you out of the corners and down the straights. The brakes have tremendous, tireless stopping power, a firm pedal and plenty of feel, and thanks to the nature of the Dunlop Direzza Roadlegal Trackday rubber there’s plenty of grip but no snappy breakaway when the limits are reached.

    On track the aerodynamics really come into play through medium and fast corners, augmenting that mechanical grip with unseen but very welcome downforce. It’s addictive and surprisingly accessible once you build the confidence to commit.

    So the dynamics are dazzling, but the aesthetics are somewhat challenging. The RXC’s carbonfibre and GRP body is functional, but no more, and the lack of detailing means there’s little to gawp at purely for pleasure. The workmanlike nature of the styling and finish falls well short of, say, the jewel-like (and considerably cheaper) BAC Mono.


    The 500r might lack finish and flourishes, but there’s no question it nails driver appeal. It really is a truly sensational thing to strap yourself into, and not just because of its raw pace. The motor is brilliantly tractable, the clutch progressive and the pneumatically actuated paddle-shift gearbox snappy but not too jerky at lower speeds. The brakes have feel at modest speeds and the electric power steering has five stages of assistance, from easy to hefty, so you don’t have to bust a gut to turn the wheel at low speeds. We haven’t had the chance yet to drive the 500r on the road, but as with earlier RXCs it shows every sign of making a surprisingly good fist of it.

    Effective air-conditioning and a heated front screen add another layer of usability, and it even has a front suspension lifter to cope with speed humps. our test car didn’t have it fitted, but production versions will also have #Bosch-M4 #race-ABS with multi-point settings and a traction control system to tame all that torque on damp tarmac. In the dry conditions of our test, traction and brake lock-ups were never an issue.

    We’ll be putting the RXC Turbo 500r to the ultimate track test in our upcoming Track Car of the Year extravaganza. On the evidence of this first taste we’re fully expecting it to be the fastest road-legal car we’ve ever driven. That it’s also one of the most approachable and enjoyable is testament to what is a very impressive machine.

    TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION 2016 #Radical-RXC-Turbo-500R / #Radical-RXC / #Radical /

    Engine #V6 , 3500cc, twin-turbo CO2 329g/km
    Power 600hp @ 6700rpm DIN
    Torque 630nm @ 4200-6200rpm DIN
    Transmission 7-speed sequential
    0-100 km/h 2.9sec (claimed)
    Top speed 297km/h (claimed)
    Weight 1070kg (568hp/ton)
    Basic price £201,000 UK / USA / AU
    + Immense accessible performance
    - Fit, finish and detailing lacks finesse for £201k
    Rating 4+++ ‏ — at Blyton Rd, Gainsborough DN21, UK
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  •   Guy Baker reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    ROYAL CARS
    An exclusive visit to the Queen’s own collection. Hidden away at Sandringham is a certain Windsor family’s own collection of cars. Octane was granted exclusive access into the royal grounds. Words Giles Chapman // Photography Matthew Howell.

    By any measure, it must have seemed a baffling request to the craftsmen at Hooper & Co, the Royal Family's favoured coachbuilders for decades. Queen Mary had paid extraordinarily close attention to the specification of her new #Daimler-DE27 . The driver's compartment, she decreed, was too wide, compromising the dignity of the vehicle, and a more seemly front profile was demanded.

    It was 1947, and this was to be her personal car, finished in her favourite dark green and taking four months to build. The narrowing process meant the steering column had to be kinked 2.5in towards the centre, and poked out of a truncated dashboard. Widened wings also needed to be handmade. How her chauffeur felt about his custom-cramped driving posture would, of course, never be disclosed.

    Her Majesty's other requests were more fathomable. Because the 80-year-old Queen Mary had trouble bending her neck, she requested 57in of headroom, which made this the tallest car Hooper bodied after the Second World War. The drop-down bootlid revealed a bespoke picnic case, and the rear compartment was a snug of green leather and walnut, with notebook, pencil, ashtray and matchbox built into the armrest. Spring-loaded silk blinds gave privacy, although Her Royal Highness couldn't countenance life on the road without gold monograms on doors and boot. Queen Mary proudly called it her 'shopping Daimler'.

    The VIP customer proclaimed herself delighted with her 'shopping Daimler' and Queen Elizabeth II's grandmother used it almost daily until her death in 1953 .

    Although this unique limousine now belongs to the National Trust, it's found its circuitous way to a resting place at the Sandringham Estate. And it's not alone. The Queen's rural retreat in north Norfolk, at the centre of its stunning 20,0-acre estate, has an extraordinary car collection.

    Despite Sandringham Museum being open to members of the visiting public, it's largely unknown. Sandringham House first welcomed visitors in #1977 , and you can ramble through the estate's tranquil woodland free of charge all year round. But the car collection? Even the estate's website mentions only a highly polished #1939 Merryweather fire engine in the outbuildings. Yet there's much more...

    You might never have guessed that Sandringham is home to some of Britain's most important and interesting royal cars. Until, that is, #Drive-My was granted unprecedented access to this most august of classic fleets. There are usually between 20 and 25 cars hidden away there.

    When the 21-year-old Prince of Wales - later King Edward VII - was gifted Sandringham in #1862 by his mother Queen Victoria, he received an 18th Century, stucco-fronted country pile that he quickly found too cramped. The builders were soon shipped in and, by #1870 , the new main house was completed. Or, nearly. Additions were constant, including a ballroom and a guest wing, and a stable block that included carpentry and sewing schools for the estate's youngsters.

    The Prince was a dedicated techie, with a penchant for cutting-edge machinery. Hence, in #1901 , he installed an electricity generator for the house in an extension to the stable (soon obsolete when mains power reached Sandringham). Likewise, the Prince was fascinated by the earliest cars. The contemporary Lord Montagu introduced him to the motoring exhilaration in 1899 on a New Forest outing aboard his 12hp Daimler; the Prince was smitten, and ordered a 6hp Model A example for himself the following year. It had all the latest features, such as an accelerator pedal instead of a hand throttle, raked steering column, and elaborate electric ignition. Hooper & Co were entrusted with the bodywork for this first British royal car, done in four-seater mail phaeton style with separate hoods for front and back seats. A spacious new garage was soon added to Sandringham's stables to meet its needs.

    That very car is treasured here today. It's somewhat changed from its original condition - although the alterations all took place in 1902! A Mr S Letzer, the first royal chauffeur and referred to as the Prince of Wales's 'mechanician', sometimes wound it up to 20mph-plus, but it frequently overheated. Moving the radiator from the back to the front cured that but required a bulky bonnet. At about the same time, new and more comfortable tonneau bodywork was built. A frilled Surrey top was added and the pneumatic rear tyres were changed for solid ones, as the lack of a differential made them prone to peeling off.

    The lofty veteran is resplendent in paintwork of royal claret over black, picked out in a bright red that's more respectfully termed vermillion. This livery was adopted from one of Queen Victoria's horse- drawn carriages, and remains the colour scheme for the monarch's official transport today. Not that you'd necessarily spot it. The claret often looks like black from a distance and in certain light.

    This is one of the most influential single cars in British motoring history. Edward VII's enthusiasm for it quelled hostility towards cars from landowners and the gentry. Before, mass upper-crust opinion was that they were noisy and dangerous affronts to a horse-drawn world. But the moment the King adopted the new motor car, the mindset rapidly switched.

    The pairing of Daimler chassis and Hooper bodywork became the royal staple, and there are two magnificent examples of such later limos at Sandringham. The 45hp Brougham dates from 1914 and its Double Six replacement is a 1929 car. These maroon monsters were fixtures of British public life, the King easily visible behind the towering side windows. The newer car has the unusual feature of headlights that can be swivelled to the left, but both cars have the royal quirk of a black- painted radiator grille surround. A bright shiny thing on the front of the car, a rolling advert for Daimler, might have distracted attention away from the occupants of the back seat.

    By the mid-1950s, Daimler's grip on the Royal Household's patronage went limp. For two years between #1953 and #1955 , it didn't even build limousines, and Rolls-Royce stepped in, capping the flow of some 80 Daimlers over five decades with a Phantom IV Hooper Landaulette for Elizabeth II in 1954.


    The second of the Queen's official Rollers was a special Phantom V in #1961 . It was retired to Sandringham in 2002 where, in this very low-key car museum, it's the most recognisable one to most visitors.

    The #Rolls-Royce developed this car in secret under the 'Canberra' codename, to give the impression it was for the Australian Government (the Australians had followed the Royal Family's switch in allegiance to Rolls-Royce in the late 1950s). The coachwork was entrusted to Park Ward, cutting Hooper out of the loop and hastening its decision to quit coachbuilding altogether, and two near-identical examples were built.

    Its most distinctive feature was the cover that could be slipped off the rear roof section, revealing a Perspex dome through which to admire the head of state on her travels. And this car really did go round the world - usually in its own garage on board Britannia. This three-ton behemoth would be craned delicately on and off the royal yacht and rolled carefully into its berth, into which it would just fit, thanks to specially designed demountable bumpers.

    Another Buckingham Palace workhorse with dramatic history has also come to rest at Sandringham. The #1969 Vanden Plas Princess limousine is mundane apart from one thing. In March #1974 , the car was ambushed on The Mall by a gun-toting madman intent on kidnapping its key occupant: Princess Anne. Although he shot a bodyguard, the chauffeur and two passers-by, the attempt was thwarted and she was unscathed and, indeed, unbowed. But it did reveal two worrying omissions in Royal cars: bulletproofing and radio contact with the security services - both remedied soon afterwards.

    Formality is one thing for the Windsor clan, but at certain times of the year Sandringham is all about the great outdoors. And proper shooting brakes have for decades been as regular a feature of estate life as beaters, gun dogs and hip flasks. Hooper's awe-inspiring shooting brake body on a 57hp Daimler chassis must represent a pinnacle in 1920s sporting life. It was delivered in August #1924 to George V, and an excellent day's shooting would be in prospect with 12 guns in its varnished rack. Roll-up side curtains guaranteed lungfuls of bracing Norfolk air for the ten occupants... and four-wheel brakes added welcome retardation on slippery tracks.

    Guides at Sandringham today are accustomed to the huge pull this one has on viewers. It's the paintwork. The rear section is timber- panelled but the thoroughly rural theme continues with the woody effect on scuttle, bonnet and wings. It's called a 'scumble' paintjob: the darker base layer was allowed to dry to the tacky stage and then a lighter paint colour was brushed on artfully with a toothed comb to give the woodgrain look, which was sealed in under three layers of lacquer. The stags and pheasants would never know you're lurking among the trees.

    Altogether more modest is George IV's #1951 #Ford V8 Pilot with a Garner woody body. The wheelbase was stretched by 12in and the windscreen height raised by 3in, so it was uncommonly roomy, with the gun rack on the roof. Yet another interesting modification was a floor-mounted gearlever, as the King hated column changes. Yet his untimely death in 1952 meant he barely drove it. The family kept it for sentimental reasons, and it was still burbling around the estate in the '60s.

    By then it had been joined by an upstart newcomer, a Ford Zephyr Mkll the like of which you'll see nowhere else. Hardly the most elegant of vehicles, with its hearse-like contours relieved with wood panel inserts, eight people could cram in with Prince Philip at the wheel, and it was custom-made for Sandringham shooting parties.

    Yet another category of automotive resident here is the Royal Family's personal cars from years gone by. You can see Prince Charles's 21st birthday present from his parents - a blue #MGC-GT . You can also get up close to several wonderful children's cars. We loved the Imperial 1 midget racing car, a gift for Prince Charles in #1955 from America and, with a two-stroke engine, capable of a hairy 40mph. How many scars can the heir to the throne attribute to spills in this one, we wonder? There's also an #Aston-Martin-Volante Junior that a grateful Victor Gauntlett presented to valued customer Charles in #1988 (to pass on to his sons, Princes William and Harry), and a working replica of the 007 #DB5 given to the Queen on an Aston factory visit in #1966 , as a gift for lucky toddler Prince Andrew.

    The Queen's own Rover 3.0-litre has a patina that includes small dents and a cracked windscreen. The Duke of Edinburgh's #Alvis-TD21 , meanwhile, is crammed with unusual features: Prince Philip ordered a taller windscreen, electric soft-top and a leather dashboard instead of polished walnut. #Alvis later fortified the car with five-speed gearbox, disc brake conversion and a power-boosting TE cylinder head to withstand the relentless use the Prince put it to: over 60,000 hard-driving miles to Germany and back, commuting to polo fixtures, and frequently picking up Princess Anne from school.

    These days, a Vauxhall Cresta PAis a car to admire rather than disdain, and the rare #1961 Friary wagon at Sandringham was an estate runabout. The Queen liked driving this relaxed old barge, and it carries a jocular MYT 1 personal plate. Indeed, Her Majesty pretty much started the craze for 'private plates' after receiving a #Daimler-DE27 as a gift in #1948 registered HRH 1. Who could be more appropriate for either?

    'Her Majesty started the craze for private plates with a Daimler, received as a gift and registered HRH 1’

    Space is at a premium in Sandringham's garage block. Spare capacity is taken up by interesting vehicles on loan from non-royal owners, including the ex-Earl Mountbatten #1924 #Rolls-Royce-Silver-Ghost (used by him in India during his spell as Viceroy and later Governor-General in #1947 - #1948 ). There's also a #1929 Armstrong Siddeley 30hp shooting brake originally built for George Vi's use at Balmoral.

    When the family is in residence at Christmas, though, the garage is needed for the current fleet of limousines and Range Rovers. Cars such as the #Princess , #Zephyr , #Alvis and #Rover are turfed out into heated storage nearby as the retinue of chauffeurs and security staff arrive.

    However, the old cars do not depart under their own steam. The Sandringham collection cannot be faulted for polished spotlessness, but many are non-runners and, indeed, some of the pre-war Daimlers would require much more than a mechanical overhaul to get their sleeve-valve engines purring again. Seizures are a near-certainty. The #1900 #Daimler has tackled the London-Brighton a few times but its last mechanical breakage on the #2005 event has kept it indoors ever since. Nonetheless, all these cars are preserved in a secluded atmosphere that, in itself, couldn't really be any more authentic.

    VISIT SANDRINGHAM MUSEUM www. sandringhamestate. co. uk/visiting-sandringham/
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  • Think the dashboard is really important to a car. You want to marry a woman with a pretty face because that's what you're going to be looking at over the breakfast table every day. And it’s a bit like that when you get in a car: when you look at that dashboard it should be pleasing.

    The term 'dashboard' goes back to the carriage days, when there was a piece of wood between the horse and the people riding in the carriage. The board would protect the occupants from dirt, manure or whatever was being kicked up by the horse’s hooves. And with the advent of horseless carnages, that board developed into the instrument panel.

    Walking around my garage. I was just thinking about the evolution of the dashboard. In Amenca the first totally modem dashboard was probably the #1913 #Packard Model 38. Because that was the first American car in which you would have all the controls - gauges, switches, everything you needed - right in front of the driver. Move on a decade or two and. as cars evolved, so too did dashboards.

    ‘BUGATTIS HAD THE THINNEST NEEDLES OF ANY GAUGES I’VE EVER SEEN. I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT GAVE AN AIR OF ACCURACY’

    Bugattis like the Type 57 always had the thinnest needles of any gauges I’ve ever seen. They were so delicate, and I always thought that gave an air of accuracy.

    When Duesenberg came out in about 1927, Charles Lindbergh had flown the Atlantic. Aviation inspired automobiles. So everybody in the '30s wanted aircraft-styte dashboards. And all Duesenbergs had an altimeter built right into the dashboard. Why would a car have an altimeter? It made the car look aircraft-style. I remember a Humphrey Bogart movie - Black Legion - made in #1937 . The car Bogart bought in it was, I believe, a #1936 #Ford . He tells his kids: 'Look at that dashboard. Strictly aeroplane type.’

    One of the all-time most beautiful dashboards was the Cord’s. It had a brushed aluminium finish. That was the first car to have a horn ring instead of a push switch in the centre of the steering wheel. It was also one of the first cars to have a built-in radio. The speaker and volume control were in the roof. Very cool.

    The 1950s and early ’60s, at least in America, were. I think, the most fun time for dashboards. My #1957 #Buick-Roadmaster has a thing called the 'safety minder'. The speedometer is a ribbon that changes colour the faster you go, and you can set a little dial to a predetermined speed. When you hit that speed it gives out a kind of anaemic buzzzz. They called it a boon to driving safety.

    My all-time favourite speedo is probably from the #1961 #Chrysler-300G . It had a neon dashboard that looked as much like the Wurlitzer jukebox as you could possibly imagine. The most complicated thing to fix and restore. But just beautiful to look at at night - it bathed the whole interior of the car in neon.

    It’s hard to beat the Series 1 E-type. #Jaguar has done a lot of great dashboards but the E-type's is one of the prettiest. I always loved the toggle switches and the brushed aluminium finish too. I loved the three-spoke steering wheel, with its dimimshing- diameter holes, and the speedometer mounted on one side - it went to 160mph - and the tachometer on the other.

    As you'd expect from the French, the #Citroen-DS has a fascinating dashboard. The annoying thing about a lot of cars is the spokes of the steering wheel: you always have to look around them to see what you're hitting, the red line of the tacho or a number on the speedometer. With the single-spoke steering wheel, the three main dials on a DS are right in front of you. And the speedometer has a cool thing on it... Within the dial is an inner wheel that tells you your braking distance, how long it will take you to stop, at the speed you're going.

    The best dashboards are those that are easy to read. You know where you are with the car by the position of the needle. I like ones where the dials are large and easily legible. The reason #Porsche stuck with five circular dials for so long is because it was timeless and clear. I always found the #Bugatti-Veyron a little tricky to drive, because you go at such tremendous speeds and you glance at that dashboard and you’re not quite sure where you are.

    What annoys me most about modern dashboards is that nothing is intuitive. In any old car, to set the time, you look at the dock, pull the stalk out, turn it and you've done it. With modern cars you’ve got to read the manual. Hold down the dimmer switch while pressing the glovebox release simultaneously... Nothing is intuitive, you know, it's all sort of computerised. I really don't care for that.
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  • #1953 #Ford #Consul
    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £732
    Max power 47bhp
    Max torque 72lb ft
    0-60mph 28 secs
    Top speed 72mph
    Mpg 26

    This Consul appears to have had one owner for the first 60 years of its life, changing hands only in 2013 . It’s had a recent freshen-up including a repaint – changing the colour from the original grey to two-tone – although there are already a couple of small bubbles in one corner of the bootlid. The body is straight, with a little filler in the sills, presumably to even up the replacement panels, because the sill-floor joints are well defined and the drain-holes clear. The floors are fine, protected by red oxide paint and there are new brake pipes. There’s been some welding to the rear wheel tubs and the spring hanger reinforcements look a bit frilly on both sides, but if this needs fixing it’ll be done when the car goes for a pre-sale MoT.

    All the chrome is good, although the right end of the rear bumper has ‘twanged’ the paint and sprung back with no further damage. The tyres are decently treaded Classico radials with an unworn Matador on the spare – 70-profile 155s that look too small for the car, but that’s simple to rectify.

    Under the bonnet, it’s had the strut-top mountings plated. The motor is stock with a topped-up radiator under a new cap, plus oil dark and at ‘Full’. The clutch was changed last year, but there’s no other history, apart from a charming note from the first owner detailing all the capacities and so on.

    The optional leather seats have a small split under the driver, but the dash and instruments are excellent. There are a couple of odd, coveredover holes in the bulkhead, although the heater remains under the bonnet.

    It starts readily but the pre-Kent 1508cc ‘four’ is tappety; easily sorted. There’s no oil or temperature gauges to worry about, though the ammeter shows it’s charging. The brakes pull up sharply and the three-speed column shift is slick, but it’s quite low geared so only a fairly busy 50mph cruise is realistic. There are minor front-end clunks, but the nearside wheel bearing has a little play that can probably be adjusted out. So start from there.

    SUMMARY

    EXTERIOR
    Newish paint has a few bubbles.

    INTERIOR
    Mostly good; just one small tear.

    MECHANICALS
    Sorted bar front-end clonks.

    VALUE ★★★★★★★★✩✩

    For A rare but usable survivor.
    Against Minor cosmetic niggles, although it’s rather better than expected for the price.

    SHOULD I BUY IT?
    A charming, comfy old thing that drives nicely; out with the Waxoyl to make sure it lasts – and don’t expect to get anywhere fast!

    1953 #Ford-Consul-Mk1
    Year of manufacture 1953
    Recorded mileage 63,122
    Asking price £5650
    Vendor Pioneer Automobiles, near Newbury, Berkshire; tel: 01635 248158.
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  • The ultimate white van.

    Jeff Uren's Race Proved #Ford conversions weren’t just limited to Escorts, Capris. Cortinas and Granadas. He also created the brilliantly named Easypower, which was a Transit with the Blue Oval’s 3-litre Essex V6. Shown here with tow-truck and campervan siblings, it must have made load- lugging far more entertaining LAT.
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