This 1.8 hatch was rescued from deepest darkest wales where it was about to be chopped up for its sump and gearbox, which were wanted to put a redtop engine into a ford escort!.

I rebuilt it and converted it into my first road rally car.

The spec wasn't that wild to start with, it only had a 1.8 engine but with the head skimmed and a single weber carb along with an ashley exhaust manifold and system she had 100bhp on the rolling road. Added to that it had a set of bilstein forest spec dampers, 16valve front brakes, sumpguard, harnesses, and big cibie oscar spotlights.

We rallied it for over a year getting many good results in the novice class and picking up several trophies.

Once the replacement coupe was built for rallies i sold the hatch on to a friend. But sadly about 6 months later it was smashed in a head on collision with a landrover defender, that was towing an overloaded trailer and couldn't stop in time. It was a good job the trailer was there, as when the defender mounted the manta front end the A frame of the trailer dug into the road and stopped it. Otherwise there may not have been much left of my friend.


First being collected from wales, dented door and 1/4
Stripped and engine out for a rebuild
Rear arch ever so slightly rusty
Holes in the spare wheel well, fuel tank was also rotten
Getting the dent out of the 1/4 panel, replacement doors
In the bodyshop (where i used to work) getting ready for paint
My mate Pete putting the paint on
Both sides painted and the dull pink being buffed on the bonnet and roof
All gleaming in its new paintwork
Built up with spotlights etc for road-rallying
Out on our first road rally
On event making sure it was waterproof
After a rather muddy event
That mud gets everywhere

After a couple of years using this for road-rallies i sold it on to a friend as i had built my Exclusive coupe.

He had a lot of fun with it until an incident with an overloaded farmers landrover and trailer full of sheep slightly shortened the front end.

The bonnet was folded in half by the front bumper of the landrover! Good job the towbar and trailer dug into the ground and stopped it