‘When the road seems so long in the process, now there is no road long enough’
While I’m waiting for some items to come for the Frank Drift Ute which is nearing completion I have had some time to work on my daily a little. It is a 77mk2 escort van, painted in pine n lime with a nice pokey 2L pinto. That’s the basics of it anyway.
My obsession started when I saw this mad rotary powered mk1 escort doing near supercar laps around Winton when I was about 12. Fate was locked in from there. My dream was to daily drive one of these. And race another.
5 years later I purchased this van from south Eastern Victoria right around when I was doing yr 12 exams. I chose a van because doing a trade was in the pipe line and at the time I was doing a bit of cycling so it seemed a fair choice, a choice that soon taught me some patience. And that I would never do again.
When I got it home I was so stoked with my first car, we got it going and it drove nice. I could barely wait to have it on the road. I remember not showing up to an 18th so I could start working on it. I stripped all of its exterior parts and took it with my after school job savings to get it painted.
My mum and dad kept saying ‘this isn’t going to happen quickly’ but I just thought yeah I know a couple of months should be wait able. Hah! So 9 months later I got the car back from the door shut respray and it looked fabulous. I put all the clips and badges on and took it for a roadworthy.
After the first roadworthy I took it to another place because I wasn’t convinced that the 2 pages of defects could be anywhere near right. At the second roadworthy when it went on the hoist, the rubber lifting pad went through the passenger floor pan and it all started to sink in. I have made a huge mistake.
The next 6 years were spent moving around towns finishing my apprenticeship and lugging the thing with me to get it done. Single car ports can really suck.
So many hours went by when I was replacing most of the floor, chasing crappy old pommy electric wiring and dealing with parts stores that would take months for an item to come in! Amidst all of that, I copped being patronised at work for the sort of car that I was working on. So the goal changed from driving it straight away to at least on green P plates, then having it done as soon as I’m off P plates. And it kept getting further away paralleled by my hopes.
I really wish I had been blogging the whole time when I was working on this car. Anyway soon after, my family soon stopped asking me about it, my girlfriend who was supportive of the project was telling me to sell it because it seemed more trouble than it was worth. I was in a bad place with the whole thing. I’m sure this is the same for a lot of people.
What really helped me get it done was I wrote down a 6 month period of time and if it wasn’t finished it got sold no matter what. This motivated me not to give it away, and things finally started to come together. In January 2016 I took it for a roadworthy test and it passed with a few minor things I had to do still.
Now I love it. I make sure I take it everywhere. Sometimes I open the door and still I’m shocked at how much I did to get it done. What it really taught me was your car is definitely your car. And some people will be negative about it until it’s finished. If they are still shitty, it feels great to pluck it down a gear and zoom past them. Braap 🙂
Now I feel like the hard times were all worth it. Just being able to drive it around and say it’s mine!
This year the van will be transformed into a new status which I am so excited to show you. Stay tuned.
I would love to hear about your projects, the good times and the bad. Comment below or post on my Facebook or Instagram.