Had this car for many years now. It sat for ages while we collected the parts we needed to restore properly. Around 2008 we were finally in a position to get cracking. The body was completely stripped and we built a trolley to mount it on so it could be moved around much easier.
We had the shell media blasted to properly assess how much rust was in it. We knew it would be ‘real’ bad (LINK) – and it was – so we dipped further into the NOS panels we had collected over the years and order a few little rust repair sections from the UK and set our panel beater to work. Lots of bracing was added to prevent things from twisting while substantial amounts of rust cut out for before replacement. After it was blasted, it was pretty obvious that the car was rallied at some stage in it’s past before being stored.
Fast forward a couple of years and it was ready for paint. The shell was fully seam sealed and coated in some special underbody sealer. The original Merino(?) white is retained. Looks great.
Once home, we carefully set it up on jack stands so we could start the exciting part; piecing it back together. We dipped heavily into our 30 year collection of NOS parts and used the absolute best of second hand and/or reconditioned parts where NOS parts were not available.
UP ON STANDS
Julie was an electrical guru, so she scratch built the looms and wrapped them in the proper non-sticky grey loom tape. Even the original paper tags etc. were kept in place. As Julie would say; ‘we got a bit out of control’.
LOOM DETAIL PHOTO
The suspension got treated to nice black powercoat and refitted. Original nuts and bolts were salvaged from several cars and we got a batch properly cleaned and coated to closely replicate original.
Engine is original early GT (early heads are a little bit different to aero-flow heads), painted in the original Ford green. Many brochures and magazine articles were examined and we found a few people overseas who own unrestored early GT’s who kindly offered detailed photos so we could replicate the engine bay as it would have been from factory.
ENGINE BAY PHOTO
All new clips, grommets, seals, buttons etc. were used inside and out. Carpets were redone as-original by a local trimmer. Seats, dashboard, door cards, etc. were recovered in red and fitted up. Julie even found a NOS bar speedo with 4 (yep, four) miles on it. Radio works perfectly.
The best trims were selected so that only minimal straightening/polishing was needed. We had a very nervous time fitting them with the new paint and almost perfect strips; we even bought a special rivet gun to reduce the chance of slipping.
Julie even found a NOS set of ‘turbo’ wheel trims to finish off the ‘as original’ restoration theme.
The car wasn’t quite finished by the time the 2012 1st Cortina Nationals in Albury came around, but we took it anyway and it was good enough to bring home 3rd place in the GT category. The day before the show was the first time we tried to start the car. Turns out it wouldn’t start because the engine re-conditioners had fitted the wrong rings. This caused too much friction in the bores for the starter to let it fire (thankfully), but this was easily fixed once the issue was diagnosed and it now starts and runs like a new one.
The car is now finished nearly ten years after we bought it.
COMPLETED CAR SHOTS