9 May, 2016

One Gathering Classic Lovers Couldn't Af-Ford To Miss


Has there ever been a bigger gathering of Fords in this country?

Beaulieu’s Simply Ford rally played host to an incredible 1,350 such motors on Sunday, May 1.

Bank holiday sunshine shone on the seventh edition of the ever-popular festival of all things Ford.

The event proved a trip down memory lane, as once commonplace Fords returned to the fore alongside hot hatches from the modern era.

Beaulieu’s Simply Ford rally

Family saloons from way back when, hot rods and classic restoration projects also shared centre stage in an eclectic mix.

American invasion

US Fords were well represented, including:

  • marvellous Mustangs
  • three Galaxies from the 1960s each displaying souped-up V8 engines and massive bodywork
  • an Econoline van dating back to 1972

Magnificent modifications

The crowds flocked to see a:

  • a turbocharged Escort van from the 1980s
  • Fiesta with a Kawasaki motorbike engine replacing a rear seat
  • Model-A hot-rod
  • Maserati Popular 103E with a V8 engine

Awesome originals

From-new gems were also out in force, such as the:

  • Escort Mk1 Ford Nimbus camper van: the family owners still take it out camping
  • Anglia Friary estate (1962): only two other such machines are known to be around in Britain

Best of the rest

Arguably the most innovative was the Granada Dorchester limo, a cosmetically-challenged motor which is yet to be completed.

A period-perfect Ford Mk2 Transit led a host of GB transits and it today acts as a support vehicle for Gulf’s racing team.

Rare Probes were out in numbers, with no fewer than 12 turning out.

Car club celebrations

As many as 29 clubs joined the party, including the Focus Enthusiasts, Focus ST170 Owners’ Club and Electric Orange ST Owners’ Group.

The People’s Choice

The crowds voted a Ford Escort the car of the show. Glyn Baker’s head-turning 43-year-old Mk1 RS2000 scooped top prize.

This followed a restoration job which involved a Cosworth engine that Baker says gives the vehicle a more contemporary, albeit “filling-shaking” feel.

Sponsors Autoglym also gave runners-up prizes to Chris Arkell’s Mustang Cobra and Dave George’s Focus RS.

What made the former all the more remarkable is that Arkell rebuilt the 1970 Jet with the help of nothing more than YouTube videos.

Simply superb

And Beaulieu’s line-up of Simply events doesn’t end there this year.  Jaguars, Japanese models and sports and classic cars are among those getting their day in the limelight over 2016.