Introducing Project One, an exciting, brand-new project based upon one of the nation’s most beloved classic cars, the first gen Ford Escort. It’s a model we’ve a long history with, as those who’ve followed our progress since the days of the Gordon Murray build will doubtless attest, yet also a car we all hold dear and can’t wait to get reacquainted with – and doubly so seeing as we’ll be building a pair of these cars concurrently.

At present this project is in the most preliminary of early stages, with the base vehicle having only just been delivered, stripped-down and dispatched for its first blasting session, after which we’ll be better placed to assess how well it has weathered the last half-century or so. We’ll be sure to keep you up to speed with our findings – and our progress – in the coming weeks and months.

As for our eventual plan for the car, it will be one of a pair we’re building for two, petrol-mad brothers, and as such both cars will ultimately boast similar (but by no means identical) specifications. To this end a pair of BDG engines have been ordered from Sherwood Engines, as have a pair of MX-5 gearboxes, the same NC-derived and readily available six-speed units we used with such success in the Gordon Murray build.

Also pertinent to our experience building a car for the F1 legend will be the suspension, the rear portion of which will be independently sprung in a similar manner to that Nat designed for the Murray Escort. In effect an inclined ‘Chapman Strut’ type arrangement (it having first graced the original Lotus Elan), our re-engineered ‘back-end’ will make use of easily available parts from Ford and Land Rover (Mondeo and Freelander respectively) to give a car with entertaining, readily exploitable handling traits perfectly in tune with the UK’s pockmarked and wholly unpredictable road surfaces.

In terms of appearances, both cars will major on classic, time honoured Mk1 Escort styling flourishes. To this end you can expect bubble arches to feature prominently, as will classic rear-wheel drive alloy wheels. Think re-manufactured and widened RS four-spokes or perhaps Minilites, coated in a considered colour that works with the hue selected for the bodywork.

Again, this is a build in its very early stages and as such the details are liable to change – though not the choice of engine, so there’s no need to fret, BDA fans! Be sure to subscribe to our Facebook and Instagram feeds to keep up to speed with our progress on this and all our other builds, plus the Retropower YouTube channel, home to our various weekly shows.


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