This is a project not for the feint hearted. The 1950’s Ford is a lifetime away from even a Mk1 Escort so be prepared to get involved. However, they are well catered for in terms of conversion parts and with a bit of elbow grease can be made to look cooler than a penguin’s beak. We reckon with £5k and a few months in the workshop, you can get one of these built up, no problem.
For whatever reason, 100e’s pop (excuse the pun) up for not a lot of money and it seems that the 1950’s Ford metal is more resistant to tin worm than the cars that preceded it over the following 50 years. They tend to turn up with very little rust in them and for not a lot of money, too. We found a couple for under £1000 (and some for as much as £5000) but reckon you’ll pick a good solid one up for £1500.
Push it in your garage, make sure that the kettle is on and be prepared to do some cutting and welding. We’re working on the assumption that you can operate a grinder and a welder. The engine bay in the 100e is pretty small so anything you are planning on putting in there will involve some bulkhead and tunnel surgery. The suspension is also not up to much, along with the steering box and even the rear axle. So stick all this on eBay and source front suspension from a Mk2 Escort and the rear axle from a 105E Anglia. The Escort front end won’t just bolt in, but there is a kit available from Old Ford Auto’s to enable you to do this conversion with ease. You can attempt to adapt it all to fit, but you could be chasing your tail for a while, their kit is already optimised to work properly and find a happy medium in the difference in “track” between the Escort and the 100e. The Anglia axle will have to go in the rear because the 100e one is both crap and has the wrong stud-pattern.
Engine wise, we say keep it simple and find a fuel-injected Pinto and Type-9 gearbox from a Sierra and bolt this in. All that is left to do is drop it to the floor and sit it on a set of steel wheels from a Lotus Cortina. It’s a tried and tested method in the world of old Fords – because it works. Keep the interior standard because it’s quirky.
Look out for
As mentioned, for whatever reason, these don’t rust as badly as some newer Fords. However if you have ever tried to push one, the weight of the thing might indicate that they are in fact made of eighth plate or similar. Engine and suspension condition matters very little as you’ll be keeping neither. So the real issues of the day here are ensuring that the bodywork looks ok and there are no massive holes in it. Check front inner wings, floor pans and sills – the usual places.
Doing the Maths
Buying the car £3000
Engine and gearbox £500
Gaz Gold Front and rear suspension – £600
Second hand Anglia 105e rear axle – £100
Lotus Cortina Steel Wheels x 4 – £250
Banding for rear wheels – £100
Tyres – £200
Contingency – £500
PF Verdict – Build It!