As you may have read in recent issues I imported this tidy Dutch Sierra to be transformed into a V8 drifter. But as I simply adore Fords of this era I ended up just using it daily! The plan is still to happen, but in the meantime, I entertained myself with a rapid 24-hour transformation for the annual Retro Rides Gathering trip me and a group of mates always make. The event based at Shelsey Walsh is a three-day weekend of eclectic cars, a boozy party filled campsite, and some very varied action on the hillclimb. My initial plan of sorting my Granada was miles behind schedule, so having a bit of last minute fun with the 3-door made perfect sense!

With costs being kept to a minimum, I raided my lockup for appropriate parts. Sitting unused for 17 years from my very first car (hugely modified Mk3 Escort Estate), I still had most of an ICE install. The Longmill Puritan amps, twin 12in subs, and a hefty box I constructed myself from 1in thick MDF were the perfect old school flavour for both the car and Retro Rides. Knowing that I’d be the DJ into the early hours for our campsite area persuaded me to shell out for a new split charging system and battery box to house a huge Focus ST battery which was very kindly donated to me by David Lawson.

Next step was a trip to MJ Racing for a substantial drop in ride height. The next raided parts were a set of 8x15in Wellers with a meaty ET4 offset as kept from my Sapphire drift cars of a few years ago. A skinny set of 175 wide tyres were stretched on courtesy of quite a lot of explosions, and we were good to go!

All was well on the 300-odd mile trip south, and surprisingly comfortable too! Far more than my coil-over equipped Cossie! The odd rub of tyre and arch were easily blanked out with thundering decibels from the twin subs on the road down too! (Not a problem if you can’t hear it, is it?!). At the campsite both the weather was against us and even so were some neighbouring party poopers who complained about the bassline from Goldie’s ‘Inner City Life’ less than a minute in!

On Sunday, the time came for the hillclimb. I knew my 1.8 Pinto stood no chance of doing anything dramatic up the hill with a paltry 90bhp, so I took a different approach. Well, actually the same as I usually do. Maximum burnout chaos! Open diff, sod all power and just a cheeky little 5-minute mod’ to the car mixed with some merciless use of the pedals and I had a weapon of a smoke machine.

So much so that I was eventually told off for taking it too far by a choking head honcho of the track!

Superb fun, and just the start of things to come. Next year with V8 power I’ll try and smoke out the showground as well as the pits?!