Monday, 12 November 2012

The Failures - 97 Escort 'track' car...

Again, we prove that from time to time we put our money where our mouths are and actually buy cars. Inevitably though, they almost always end up in a scrap yard. 

Build a car for the track, they said. It'll be huge amounts of fun, they said. Well, they, in their infinite wisdom, were wrong. So very very wrong. However, their overwhelming incorrectness was nothing in comparison to our phenomenal stupidity, mainly because we did in fact build one. Or at least attempt to. Humph.

This is how it all began. Yeah, we know it's an Escort. Or at least it was. 

At the time, we worked for a certain magazine which catered to those who enjoy a Ford of a Performance ilk. As such, building a track car seemed like a good idea. We'd get shiny bits on the cheap, we'd get to have bit of fun, and at the end of it all we could drive around the streets of Sevenoaks pretending we 'lived our lives one 1/4 mile at a time' or some such nonsense. At least, that was the plan. 

It started off well. We bought the Escort above for the princely sum of £160. Owned by a little old lady for many a year, it seemed like a good buy. The body was solid and the price was bang on. The fact that the cam-belt had snapped - reducing the engine to one solid block of bent metal in the process - was something we chose to ignore. Besides, we had no time for a piddly little 1.6 anyway. 

The last owner paid £11485. For an Escort. Bah!

Car acquired, we hit the spanners and stripped it down. We sourced fancy bits like coilover suspension, alloy wheels, stupidly sticky tyres, bucket seats, a warning horn that went 'bong', some go faster stickers and most crucially of all, a 2.0 engine with some 'go faster' bits. We were excited, we felt like Steve McQueen. We'd built a track car and it was fun. Huge amounts of fun, for all of 8 minutes. 

Just like an F1 car. If F1 cars were utter shite. 

So, two months in, lots of building and spannering, lots of stickers, some silly wheels and a train ride later and we were ready to pick up our pride and joy. Our mind was filled with thoughts of clipping the apex and 'closing the door' and brum brum noises. We hopped in, fired her up, listened to ex-Mondeo 2.0 Zetec purr and then hit the motorway. Then, some miles later as we were passing Clackett Lane services a bit of the engine fell out...

...which we probably needed if we wanted to progress with the rest of our journey. Arsehats.

Not ones to be put off, we put another engine in it. TO THE TRACK! Was our shout. Knock knock knock knock *silence* was the engine's response. Double arsehats.

I'm well broken, me. 

And that, as they say, was that. Many bits of paper with the Queen's face on had been wasted. The bugger had never seen a track and worst of all, we were forced to visit Clackett Lane services - seriously, it's like it got to 1989 there, then time stopped. 

Moral of the story? Don't build a track car unless you have more than £85 in your bank. And certainly don't use a 110,000 mile Mondeo engine. Or a cursed Escort. Hateful thing.