1970 Ford Transit Van MK1
(Featured on 5th December 2013)
Registration: BYV 753H
Sellers original description:
1970 MK1 2.0 Essex Transit Panel Van.
If you have been looking for one of these for a while, but have struggled to find one in the condition you would like, I would strongly recommend reading on......
I bought the van 2 years ago from a smashing chap, Chris, who had bought it a year or so earlier in a fairly sorry state. Being a die-hard (and wealthy) classic Ford enthusiast, he instructed his trusted classic car specialist, whom he had used several times beforehand, to carry out a full 'back-to-shell' restoration. I should say at this stage that the craftsmanship of their work, particularly when compared to an everyday bodyshop, is simply spectacular.
The van was stripped back to the bare shell, all welding and repair work carried out to the highest of standards, before being beautifully prepared and painted. It was then carefully reassembled, using replacement parts and panels wherever required. The load area was then carefully ply-lined and stained in period varnish. When the restoration was complete, Chris decided he would not have the time to enjoy it and so I bought it from him before he had even taken it home!
The blue and white colour is an original Ford colour scheme, although, of course, modern 2k paint has been used, giving it that fantastic solid finish. I find the van absolutely stunning to look at. The classic shape is so far from the modern 'plastic wedges' we seem to produce now and this is really the only thing that prompted me to buy it. I was not looking for one of these but it caught my eye and I couldn't resist. The problem of course is that I would not even dream of using it as a 'working van'. In fact, in the time I've had it, I have covered no more than 100 miles in it as I'm terrified of spoiling the paintwork. I had originally thought I may register with an agency to rent it out for TV work. as I'm told this can be lucrative. Alas, I decided against this in fear again of it getting damaged.
It has not seen a drop of rain since it was restored and has been kept undercover in my bone-dry and heated integral garage.
As you would expect, the body really is absolutely stunning, including the painted wheels. I have no hesitation in suggesting it would be a strong contender in any concourse competition, should it be entered. If I was to find any fault at all with the body, one of the front bumper corners has slight corrosion to the chrome. These bumpers do appear on Ebay from time to time.
In terms of mechanics, the engine and gearbox are not a gold-seal reconditioned units but they did come from a low mileage MK1 camper. I am unsure of the exact mileage but it runs very nicely, pulls as it should and certainly doesn't smoke excessively, a trademark sign of wear on Ford engines of this era. The 2.0 V4 'Essex' engine was fairly well regarded in its day and I can understand why, as at around 90bhp progress is not as dire as you might expect. These vans were also considered revolutionary in that they were considered very 'car-like' to drive when compared to its competitors. Although it obviously doesn't drive like a modern van, I find it very enjoyable to drive and it's not hard work at all.
The brakes, suspension etc were all renewed during the restoration and so are exactly as they should be.
I have over 50 photos taken during the different phases of the restoration, showing the attention to detail given.
I will put it through a new 12-month MOT once it has sold, and will also tax it for 12 months. It is classed as a Historic Vehicle by the DVLA and therefore has the added benefit of free road tax!