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Project ‘65 – Paint’s On!

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By Chris Pollitt

One of the biggest highlights of any project or restoration is when the paint goes on. It’s all positive from there. There is no more welding, no more filling, no more prep. It’s a wondrous milestone to reach. So as you can imagine, we’re somewhat over the moon that our mighty 1965 Ford Cortina GT has now been given a coat of the colourful stuff. 

 

As we mentioned in the last update, the Cortina has been over at Norfolk Premier Coachworks where it has undergone some serious surgery. There was a lot of rot to cut out of the old machine, after years of being given many a damn good thrashing on the rally stages. The work was, frankly, top notch. But the quality of metalwork is never truly known until the paint is on, as paint will spoil all a flawed body’s dirty little secrets. Our Cortina’s body, it seems, has no secrets. It is, frankly, flawless. 

Ford, Ford Cortina, Project '65, 1965 Cortina GT, GT, Cortina GT, FIA race car, Burton Power, Throbnozzle Racing, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, track car, fast road car, race car, carandclassic, Norfolk Premier Coachworks

We’ve gone for the same red and gold as it was before. Not only does this stay true to the car’s heritage, there’s also the cool points to be had from rocking Alan Mann colours. Though ours may never reach the greatness of XOO347F, we can at least emulate the hue made famous by that car. 

The body was completely stripped back to bare metal before the paint was applied. Any minor imperfections were addressed (this is an old Ford, after all) and the colour was laid on nice and thick. And honestly, the job is perfect. It may not be modest to say, but it definitely wasn’t painted this well when it was new. 

Knowing that this car is going to be used in anger, the team at Norfolk Premier Coachworks have gone the extra mile and instead of simply painting the underside, boot floor and inside of the car in the same red, they have instead employed a durable, textured paint – similar to what you’d line the bed of a pickup with – instead, meaning it is extremely hard wearing under there. It also adds a bit of grip and texture inside the car, which is handy. Again, the application is spot on. 

What about everything else? Well, the engine has been built up by the talented Joe at Throbnozzle Racing, and now features a new crank, new forged rods and pistons, a competition head and of course, those twin 40s. The gearbox has also been rebuilt. Both are at the mechanical arm of Norfolk Premier Coachworks and will be fitted in the coming weeks. Before that though, there is a lot left to do. 

Ford, Ford Cortina, Project '65, 1965 Cortina GT, GT, Cortina GT, FIA race car, Burton Power, Throbnozzle Racing, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, track car, fast road car, race car, carandclassic, Norfolk Premier Coachworks

As this Cortina is going to be really, really fast road rather than a full-on race spec (we want to be able to drive it, too), we have to refit parts like the glass, the door cards, possibly some headlining, too. Then we have to fit the wiring loom, the rest of the lights, the dash, the list goes on.

There are also all the mechanical components to fit, too. Having raided the Burton Power catalogue with a mission, we have a whole host of parts en route. New suspension, shocks, steering, fittings, braces, brackets, you name it. But that’s the beauty of Burton Power – they look after the old Fords, so you can treat them as a one-stop-shop for everything you need, and when you need everything that’s handy. 

Ford, Ford Cortina, Project '65, 1965 Cortina GT, GT, Cortina GT, FIA race car, Burton Power, Throbnozzle Racing, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, track car, fast road car, race car, carandclassic, Norfolk Premier Coachworks

That’s where we’re up to now. As we type, the build up will be underway and pretty soon we should have a rolling car. Will we be out on track next season? At this rate, we’ll be out even sooner than that! Stay tuned.

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