After a week of welding and safety critical parts replaced.
Erinka on the day of arrival.
Why Erinka I hear you say… “Why Erinka”
Well… It’s simple really, my wife likes to name things in a simple manner. For example our cat is named “Just Cat” or “JC”. Yes I know very imaginative, this is exactly what happened on the delivery day of the Cortina, she saw the number plate and the name was born ENK became EriNKa like I said simple.
Hey I heard that I meant the name not the wife.
So what can I tell you about the car.
When it rolled off the production line in the middle of 1968 it was a 1300 cc deluxe model in Black cherry. It was first registered on the 2nd of August 1968 but I have no info on where exactly somewhere near Luton is the best I have. We then skip a few years to 1973 when the car moved to Gillingham in Kent the new owner used it both as a family runaround and to travel to work at the docks, now as you can imagine this took its toll on it, as sea air is no cars friend. He continued to use it for a number of years, it was then garaged and sat for some more years until his son who was now approaching driving age asked if they could refurbish it and he could have it when passed his test, and they did just that, a father and son project.
He used the car like this for little while to travel work as an apprentice at a Rover dealership where he etched all the glass with the number plate, which I am pleased to say is all still there to this day. One day someone came to him with some info on a 1600 Cortina which had been layed up behind some garages, and so he went and bought the car, this was the perfect donor for the 1600 691 block on twin choke Webbers and it’s gear box, so in it went.
So he now had a pretty sweet car he used it like this for a while but needed some money so sold the car to an uncle who as far as I know just stored it, the Cortina was sold and finally left the family in around 1998, where it went, I don’t know. Some time between 98 and 2012 it was left to fade away and was ready to be crushed when it was found by another chap who decided it was still to good to be scrapped so he rescued it from the crusher and went about tidying it up, I believe this is when it was re sprayed in lagoon blue and had some Cortina front seats fitted and a wood steering wheel and used it for a few shows.
This was now sometime in the 1980’s and the now 3rd owner is enjoying the Cortina which now has Vauxhall Carlton seats in the front a sporty steering wheel and Revolution 4 spoke alloy wheels.
He then used it as part of a trade for another car.
So the Cortina now resides in Clacton in Essex and is for sale, and a young chap who lives very close to me found it and went and got it. Upon driving it home he decided he didn’t like how it drove so It went up for sale on his driveway.
It is now May 2014 and now it’s my turn as owner
And then this needed to happen.
So at this point I am going to add a disclaimer:
This car was incorrect when I got it and it definitely was not in tip top condition.
And therefore I had no vision of it ever becoming so.
For the purists out there the shell was modified 30 years ago and lots of body repairs done at a novice level so a lot needed doing to make it “right”.
So with all that said what have I done here? Well…
These pictures don’t tell the full story up to this point, before any of the major body work began due to a now very tired 1600 cross flow engine, I decided it needed some sorting. So I bought a donor car for the massive sum of £100 a 1998 Ford Escort 1.6 16v.
This was to be the new heart of Erinka so I set about stripping everything out of the Escort that I might need: Engine, ECU, Fuel tank, the entire wiring loom, and the seat belts the rest went to the scrap man.
I also sourced a 5 speed gearbox from a capri and a few little things like a starter motor and clutch parts.
I would like to point out that I was not in the pursuit of speed with this conversion I was looking for a reliable practical classic and I think I have achieved that without the need for expensive brake and suspension upgrades.
So with all that fitted and working great I started on the body, …this was a disaster… every time I did some work it rained and I was outside so I gave up, but as luck would have it some friends offered space in a workshop very very helpful and indeed very very generous of them.
So over a fairly long period (around 2 years so far) Erinka is finally looking more presentable, granted she is in etch primer but the bulk of the work is done and the engine is back in hopefully for good as I don't want to damage the paint putting it in after painting is done.
So we are at the end of September 2018 and in the next few weeks the primer will hopefully go on fingers crossed ;)
Keep checking back as I am working on this Project a lot and progress is constant