A PIECE OF WORK: Wheels24 reader Mike van Eijk restored this 1600 Ford Escort 1979 panel van in a little over a year. What a beaut! Image: Mike van Eijk
Cape Town - Wheels24 reader Mike van Eijk loves cars. So much that he owns a body and spray workshop, hence restoring this legendary car was in the best hands.
Van Eijk shares details and 110 awesome images of his stunning project. He said:
During August 2015 I came across this 1979 Ford Escort 1600 panel van in the Northwest Province. Due to the fact that the vehicle was mostly original except for the colour and coming from a relatively dry area, I decided to purchase it with the idea of restoring it, keeping it as original as possible.
This project was tackled by a very enthusiastic and motivated team consisting of all employees of Brighton Body & Spray in Brackenfell in the Western Cape.
FULL GALLERY: Restoration project - 1979 Ford Escort 1600 Panel Van
We started the stripping exercise during September 2015 and the complete stripping process was completed by the end of October 2015. Every single part was removed from the car leaving the shell bare to enable us to repair all possible rust spots, dents and imperfections on every single body panel including the undercarriage.
By mid December 2015, all repairs to the bodywork had been executed and the total vehicle, inside and outside, had been primed and the undercarriage was primed and was sprayed with two coats of Durabak polyurethane coating.
We decided to spray the panel van in its original Mimosa Yellow colour. During May 2016 all the detailed finishing off was complete and the spray painting process was complete by end of May 2016 using R-M paint.
During June 2016 the assembly process started and all door and window rubbers were replaced, interior trim panels re-upholstered and front seats from a 2015 Chev Utility was decided on to replace the badly worn original seats.
All glass, with the exception of the quarter vents, were replaced with new parts, even having to get the door glasses made in Port Elizabeth. Due to the fact that I could not find an original steering wheel, these items were replaced with a Momo steering wheel and gear lever knob.
The original 1600cc Kent motor and gearbox were still in a very good condition and I decided to retain these mechanical parts to keep it as original as possible.
The project was completed by middle November 2016 and really looks beautiful and attracts a lot of attention. A project well done by a team of enthusiastic people!