You might not have seen it in the mag for a couple of issues, but it’s been a busy few weeks for the Escort. To start with, the engine bay has now been fully sprayed in the new Magnetic Grey. Firstly, it was all prepped and then primed in black primer to give the top coat a dark base to really pop from – and the results are amazing, giving a really deep gloss to the new shade.

With that done, we then turned out attention to the wheel arches. This saw all the joints between the new carbon extensions and existing Mk3 Escort bodywork sealed up, before the whole inner arch was treated to some rubberised spray sealer. Yes this may add some extra weight, but it also means that no water can get in, and that means no rust! And for that I’ll happily sacrifice a few extra grams!

While the car was back at the workshop I also took the opportunity to make a last-minute upgrade before the rest of eth shell gets painted. For years I’ve wanted to use the quick-release door catches that the Americans use on all their big-power drag builds. Originally intended for use on helicopters and aircraft, these neat flush-fitting catches are perfect for holding the tops of the doors in at speed – they do tend to open quite significantly at the top of the drag strip, and other people have even seen the door tops snap clean off!

The only problem is that I have never seen them available anywhere in the UK. I happened to mention this to my mate Lon Tibbs when chatting on Messenger once, and the next thing I know he’s bought a set over with him from the ‘States when he came to visit our mate Beefy! Bonus!

So, before the car was sent back to Gaz for the rest of the paintwork we quickly welded the brackets for the catches on to the roll cage and test fitted everything in place. I’ll be ordering some new windows once the car is painted, but it made sense to mock everything up and test fit it all with the old windows first.

Now the car is back on its way to the paint shop where Gaz can get cracking with the rest of the shell, both inside and out. Next time you see the Escort it will all be Magnetic Grey…