Sunburst Into Life

It was early 2007 and Matt was driving down a road when he spotted a white Escort convertible parked on someone’s driveway. It had a broken window, so Matt decided to knock on the door and ask if the car was for sale. The owner said it wasn’t and that kids had vandalised the window since he’d parked it up, awaiting a new gearbox. Matt offered to fix the cabriolet for him, as his friend had recently broken two Escorts for spares. He left his phone number, and sure enough, the owner contacted Matt a few weeks later and Matt took the car away and got stuck in. Matt also serviced the car and arranged an MoT at an agreed price, as the car had been off the road for a while. Once it was all fixed up and road worthy, Matt delivered the car back to its owner who was over the moon with what Matt had done. They got talking about old Fords, and the owner mentioned to Matt that a relative had recently passed away, and he had an old Escort XR3i stored in his garage that was now going to have to be sold. The XR3i had been left in a garage and forgotten about. Matt asked for his number to be passed on, as this sounded like just what he was looking for.
A few months passed before Matt received a phone call. They arranged to meet up so he could take a look at the stored car, and on arriving Matt was not disappointed. The garage door was opened, revealing a part covered Escort peeping out from under a cover. On peeling back the cover, Matt saw the XR3i in bits, with scabby rust patches and a layer of dust. The car had been left in the garage for 12 years, and parts where lay all over the garage. The guy couldn’t remember why it had been taken off the road all those years ago, but there Matt stood, eager to take the Escort home.
No price had been mentioned as yet, so Matt asked the question. “They make good money on eBay” the guy said, but he would like £150 for the car. Obviously, Matt agreed the sale and took the car away.
On getting the Escort home, Matt soon gave it a good clean and checked to find out what parts might be needed. He found that there was water in the engine, so a full rebuild was required. Around this time, Matt was selling some parts on eBay when fellow member Phil Haywood bought some parts and wanted to collect them. He came down from Newark and it turned out that he also owned a Mk3 XR3i that he was doing up. From that day they kept in touch and in 2010, as Matt wasn’t making progress, Phil rebuilt his engine for him. Matt sent Phil the engine in bits, with many new parts like Clutch, Cam Shaft, Bearings, Gaskets, etc. Once the engine was ready, Matt drove up to Newark to collect it. Phil had done a fantastic job and it was also newly painted, ready to drop back in, although it did sit in Matt’s mates garage for two years before being fitted.
Once the engine was in, Matt made a start on painting some of the other parts like the Suspension, and generally tidied the car up.
In 2014, Phil again came to Matt’s rescue, offering to paint the body work for him. Matt arranged for the Escort to be transported up to Newark. Shortly after, the phone call from Phil came, and the car was ready to be collected. What a beauty!
Matt says he loves driving the car, but hates parking it up in case someone damages it when he’s not around. I think that’s only testament to the hard work he and his friends have put in over the years.
Matt joined the XR Owners Club in November 2014 and since then, Matt and his XR3i have been to Cosford, Classic Ford Show, Beauliea, Ford Fair, Knebworth and Chiltern Open Air Museum, and this year’s Pre Season Meet at Gaydon Motor Museum. He is also now looking forward this years show season.

XROC Magazine Feature Car - Sunburst Red XR3i XROC Magazine Feature Car - Sunburst Red XR3i XROC Magazine Feature Car - Sunburst Red XR3i

Auction Winner – Stuart Trowell’s Caspian Blue XR3

Stuart purchased his XR3 in July 2008 after placing an eBay bid on a whim. He always wanted one ever since he was a kid. “It was the car that got me interested in cars in the first place” he continued, having had scrap books full of pictures of them.
After looking at a couple of Mk4’s, which were rotten, he found this one advertised. “The advert wasn’t brilliant but I thought there was something appealing about it”, he exclaimed, and before he knew he’d placed a bid.  The car had been off the road since 1994, but had stacks of receipts, and plenty of old MoT certificates.
He had forgotten about the car until the email notification came through, confirming Stuart had won the XR3. He was surprised, having paid just £650, but he now had concerns as to how he would collect the car. As the seller had put a fresh MoT on the Escort, Stuart decided to insure it and drive it back. “Well that was the plan” he laughs. After breaking down on the M56 and over 50 miles from home, delivery cost him an extra £200. After a few teething problems, and almost giving up and selling it, he managed to get it running right and enjoyed using it as it was. Stuart joined the XR Owners Club in 2009 and kept his Escort how it was, but at the end of 2010 it was starting to show its age with the rear arches and lower doors rusting, he bit the bullet and gave it a little restoration. “I didn’t want the concourse look, as I enjoy driving it and not polishing it” Stuart points out. He’s tried to keep the car as original as possible, with the engine bay and interior being left alone, as it is only original once. Now he just tries to keep on top of the maintenance and enjoy his pride and joy as much as he can.
Stuart regularly attends the North Midlands monthly pub meet, as well as several local and national shows throughout the year. He and his XR3 can be seen at this years Pre Season Meet, Classic Ford Show at Santa Pod, and Ford Fair at Silverstone.
We’ll look forward to seeing more of his XR3.

XR Owners Club Feature Car Caspian Blue XR3

XR Owners Club Feature Car Caspian Blue XR3

XR Owners Club Feature Car Caspian Blue XR3

XR Owners Club Feature Car Caspian Blue XR3

Graham Orpet’s XR4x4 Gets A Taste Of TV Fame

GRAHAM ORPET’S car was used in an ANGLIA TV PRODUCTION last year by the folk band Addisons Uncle in their music video, The B1159.

“I can’t believe it’s been eighteen months since my car was on the TV” Graham exclaimed. It all started when local folk band, ADDISON’S UNCLE, produced a catchy song about a journey that lead singer Philip Pearson recalls when he was a child. Every time after visiting family, Philip’s Dad would drive home the scenic route along the Norfolk coast, instead of the quicker route along the A47. It used to wind Philip up!
The band played the song live and it seemed to be popular, so they decided that a promotional video might be a good idea. Of course, the only thing holding them back with the video was finding a roadworthy Sierra to use on the shoot. Graham continues, “James Mass, a ukulele player from Norwich is a mate of mine, and when he heard the catchy song about a Sierra he contacted me straight away to put us in touch”. The band was keen to borrow Graham’s XR4x4. “It was mid June last year, and the other half and I had a short break in Scotland planned” Graham said. He admits he was quite nervous of someone else using his pride and joy but James assured him that only Philip would drive it. Philip managed to get a days insurance for the Sierra and promised faithfully that good care would be taken of it. Anyway, by all accounts they had a brilliant day with the film crew and managing to get all the filming wrapped up in the one day. “I came back from holiday to see a load of flies stuck to it so I assumed they did indeed have brilliant day”. The car was returned in perfect condition with not one dent to be seen and refuelled with Shell V Power.

A few weeks later I got a call “Watch Anglia News tonight”! There she was, in all her glory. A week after it also appeared on the local BBC news.

They are a great bunch of people! If Addison’s Uncle ever get to your neck of the woods, go and see them, even if you are not a folk music fan. They will manage to get your feet tapping as it’s “Folk” with a difference. “I have been lucky enough to play along with them when they played at my local” Graham stated. They happened to say “Your car was in the video so you might as well play the song”. Of course Graham did. It was a thoroughly good night had by all.
If you’d like to see the video and Graham’s Sierra, search “Addisons Uncle B1159” or visit the following website link:

XR4x4 Music Video Feature with Addisons Uncle

Meet The Walton’s – XR2 Restoration

Jim Walton has always had a soft spot for the XR2, having owned one some 25 years previous. He always promised himself he’d have another one, one day.
In 2002, Jim travelled to Hull to buy his current XR2 from local TV and radio celebrity, Paul Woodford. The car had covered 48,000 miles with some history to back it up. “It looked like a good solid car, until I got beneath the body kit”, Jim states. “It was full of rot, so I decided a rebuild was definitely on the cards”.
Jim enjoyed the car for a few years before deciding to put it through the full restoration in 2014, with his friend and local garage owner Dave Wilkes of B. Wilkes and Son Motor Services in Bridgnorth. Dave restores plenty of classic cars and takes great pride in his work and it’s clear he’s done a first class job here.
Jim sorted out a few engine issues himself first and replaced all the suspension components and bushes. Then stripping as much as he could from the car, before he handed it over to Dave, who did the bodywork over a period of time. “It turned into a big job replacing both doors, rear arches, front wings, front panel, inner wing repairs, floor pan repairs and boot repairs, before stripping the car back and giving it a full respray in Rosso Red, its original colour” Dave proclaims.
Throughout the restoration, Jim travelled the country to collect various parts that were in top condition, to bring the XR2 up to a good standard. Replacement seats were found as the original ones were showing signs of wear.
Jim loves driving the XR2 and uses it as often as he can with daughter Jess. “Jess loves the old car and when ever I’m going out in the XR2 she’s always keen to come with me. She wants a convertible when she’s old enough to drive, so fingers crossed it will be an XR2 Fly!”
The Walton’s XR2 always gets plenty of positive comments, everywhere they go, often bringing back memories for people that previously owned an 80’s Ford.
Jim is now enjoying the XR2 more than ever, and although the car only comes out when the weather is dry, it always takes him right back to having his first XR2 in 1990. “Modern cars are just too refined and quite boring to drive” says Jim, so he always welcomes the chance to get out in the car.
“Due to business commitments this year I didn’t manage to get to many shows, and only took the car to a couple of local car meets” Jim adds. Next year him and Jess plan to do the Transport Show at Weston Park and Classic Ford Show at Santa Pod, plus as many other local meets as possible.
Jim’s looking for another project for him and Dave to get stuck into, and would love a Mk1 XR2, but with high prices being paid for project cars he’s unsure at present.

XROC Magazine XR2 Restoration

XROC Magazine XR2 Restoration

Nut Job – Dave Mckee’s nut & bolt restoration

It was four years ago when this 1982 late carb XR3 was first discovered by a private collector, hidden in a garage where it had been stored since 1993. Dave McKee has spent the last three years chasing the car and was finally able to purchase it this year. The car was originally bought by a lady owner from Polar Ford in Bradford, and has only clocked up 44,000 miles from new. The car has all original panels, including the battery tray, having been Ziebart under-coated from new.
Dave’s first impressions of the car, were that it just needed parts recommissioning, so he planned on giving the car a quick overhaul but that soon escalated to full nut and bolt restoration. Little did he know!
After getting the car back and into the workshop, Dave and his mate started to remove the engine and ancillaries. It was soon dismantled, inspected and rebuilt. The engine was in great condition so a chemical clean and some new paint was all it needed. The cylinder head was cleaned and skimmed, 8 new valves where added, new stem seals, a new cam and tappets were installed.
Everything was put through the blast cabinet prior to receiving paint or powder coating. New zinc plated screws, bolts and brackets were sourced and fitted. The front panel was removed for replacement revealing some corrosion to the inner wing which was also replaced with a genuine one from Dave’s loft.
The interior, glazing and wiring loom were then  removed, and the underside was stripped back to bare metal ready for the car to be painted.
Dave has made real progress on this car, in a relatively short time, and we’ll be revisiting the car in part two once the restoration is complete. He’s always looking for another project, so if you have a Mk3 Escort xr3 or xr3i in your garage needing repairs, get in touch with him. He can be found on the XROC forum.

Dave Mckee's nut & bolt restoration mk3 XR3

XROC Magazine Feature Car – Ian’s XR2i

Ian spent two years looking for a clean, honest
Ford, before finally viewing this very tidy XR2i.
He’d seen plenty of less than ideal cars, XR3i,
XR2, RS1600i, and even took a 450 mile round trip to
Newcastle to view a Mk1 XR2. Then there was a mint
Supersport but the owner changed his mind when
taking it for a test drive.
The XR2i was advertised online, and Ian decided it was
worth a look. As soon as he saw it, he knew it was the
one. It was in perfect condition, with loads of paperwork,
a good history and only 3 owners from new… All from the
same family.
The father of the family bought the car from new for his wife,
who then passed it to their daughter. The final family
member to have the car was the grandson, who then sold the
car to Ian in May 2014.
There was 39,000 miles on the clock, backed up with old
MoT’s, service history and every invoice from the garage that
serviced it for 16 years.
Ian’s insurance company gave an agreed valuation of £4750,
although I’d expect that is a little too low.
In 2013/2014 the car had a light restoration and a full respray at
CRS in Kidderminster.
Since Ian has owned the car, he’s refurbished the alloys, had a
service, and purchased the private registration TOD 518. “I bought
the car as an investment for my son Todd, who will one day inherit
the car, and hopefully continue to take it to shows”, says Ian.
Ian traced all the history of the owners through the garage, Lodge Park
Service Station, who first looked after the car. “I visited him one day
when passing Redditch. He put me in touch with the factory where the
daughter worked and they put me in touch with her through facebook.
We’ve spoken about the car being in their family all its life”.
Future plans for the car are to simply enjoy it, and Ian’s hoping the car
gets an invite to the ultimate show, at the NEC.