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lisbon_road

Story of a Mk1 Sierra

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Back in about 1995, I bought a 1986 2.0 GL Sierra from a man I worked with.  It was the cleanest car anyone had ever seen, and his own son chastised him for selling it.  It had a mere 65K miles on it, and needed no work at all.  It was completely rust free, and gleaming in Ford Diamond White.  To say that it was a step up from my Volvo 343 would be mild; it was a smooth car and capable of very high motorway speeds as it was geared for cruising with five speeds and a high ratio diff. For many years, I commuted to work in it, 28 miles each way with a colleague.  We never really had any problems and it did many family and friends trips.  I'll add pictures and add to the story, but I've had a couple of brandies now and can't find the pictures.  

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This is the oldest photo I can find.  This was taken while my father was in hospital with bowel cancer (he's still doing ok).  My parents car is the other in the picture.  The Sierra even has the original steel wheels, which came a cropper when I drove over an island in the middle of a road and I had to get replacements and ended, of course, with pepperpots.  

sierra1.jpg

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The next picture is at the hospital in Southampton, about the time our son was born.  But back to cars: the pepperpot alloys are on there and I think they always made the car look purposeful, and to this day I like the clean lines.  Anyone notice anything else?  It has an LPG conversion which I did myself, using a kit I bought.  It ran ok, but a whole lot better when I put an injection manifold on the Pinto engine and it flowed so much better.   You can see the lpg inlet on the rear bumper.

C3929.jpg

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Here is a picture of the lpg conversion under the bonnet.  It wasn't difficult to do, but after this I modified it to the injection manifold and then rebuild the Pinto engine - another picture.  After that. I converted it to  and a DOHC engine and MT75 box, which I never connected to the lpg.  

C8776.jpg

D2119.jpg

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As the miles crept on, the car was still good but it started to show age through - of course rust.  Not that it was bad by Sierra standards.  I remember one MOT when I got it on the ramp and was sitting inside (those were the days) and the examiner came out from underneath and calmly asked me 'why isn't it rusty?'  The answer was that it was a Belgian body, and they seemed to last longer.  But at 190K, it was starting to go.

 

One day, I saw an advert on ebay for a new bodyshell.  It was in Yorkshire.  I could not resist.  I borrowed a work van, hired a trailer and off I went.  

G11446.jpg

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Now I built my own Sierra.  DOHC engine, MT75 box, original Mk1 looking otherwise with Pepperpots.  Endless new parts: new bumpers, side strips, window trims, all suspension and steering and brake parts.  Black powder coated suspension, all new bushes.  New castings for the wheel bearings at the front.  The list goes on and on.  The shell was sprayed in two pack Ford Diamond white with exactly the correct stripes down the side - nothing else looks right.  I did a lot of work on the shell while the original car was still on the road, as the picture attached shows.  Basically I took the decent panels off the old car and put them on the new one and put duff ones in their place, makinf sure that I had a really good set of doors and closures.  And insane levels of rustproofing, I just got the stuff everywhere including the trapped sections over the doors.

 

 

G12512.jpg

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The ending is happy for sure.  But it could be happier.  It needs a new owner.  It has hardly done any miles since this saga and is ready to go.  Been fun writing this, but that's the bottom line..  Anyone interested?

 

Incidentally, I had the pepperpots recoated and they look very smart now.  They've been recoated since the picture above.  

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11 minutes ago, lisbon_road said:

And then it came home and I got it finished.  It received a new VIN number from the DVLA - they took a bit of convincing, but I found someone human eventually - so for sure it is legal.

G23159m.jpg

im curious how does the DVLA issue a new VIN number exactly?

I have read that they can do it, but im curious how it works exactly, especially when the format of VIN numbers is unique to a vehicle make and model 

or do the DVLA just have their own format for VIN numbers when they decide to issue a car a new one?

or do you mean by new VIN number, in that you convinced the DVLA to update the logbook with the VIN number from the new shell?

 

(very nice car btw :) I quite like these 1980s fords with their distinctive front end/noses)

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@LightBulbFun, the new shell does not have a VINnumber.  It is entirely blank.  I got a letter written to authenticate the shell as being a new Ford Shell, and submitted this to the DVLA with loads of other stuff and a new VINnumber was issued with the same actual registration number and original date of manufacture - in fact the shell is 1986 also.  The new number actually starts DVLA.  I had to stamp the new number on an aluminium plate in place of the orginal under the bonnet and into the shell itself.  

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6 minutes ago, Stinkwheel said:

Hang on. New body shell but original everything else, shouldn’t have needed a new VIN. It should have been allowed to retain its original.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I was also wondering that, obviously the rules may have been different back then, but I know today, if your re-shelling/chassising a vehicle, as long as its to original spec

then you can keep the original IDs

4 minutes ago, lisbon_road said:

@LightBulbFun, the new shell does not have a VINnumber.  It is entirely blank.  I got a letter written to authenticate the shell as being a new Ford Shell, and submitted this to the DVLA with loads of other stuff and a new VINnumber was issued with the same actual registration number and original date of manufacture - in fact the shell is 1986 also.  The new number actually starts DVLA.  I had to stamp the new number on an aluminium plate in place of the orginal under the bonnet and into the shell itself.  

interesting, sending you a PM :) 

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That is just fantastic. Got to make a lot more money on the open market than on here. Would love a sierra but afraid they are probably well out of my reach now. As an aside, a dearly departed uncle of mine owned D799MSU from new. It was a 1.8L in light blue. First brand new car i had either seen or sat my backside in. Always wondered why Ford offered both the 1.6 and 1.8 engines at the time, with no price difference? The 1.3 was cheaper and the 2.0 more expensive

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I owned G208ABC - a 1990 XR4i. It was 2 wheel drive with the i4 engine. It was cheap because the timing chain guides were at the bottom of the timing cover.

I found the engine coarse and thrashy and not as nice as the pinto.

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8 hours ago, lisbon_road said:

And then it came home and I got it finished.  It received a new VIN number from the DVLA - they took a bit of convincing, but I found someone human eventually - so for sure it is legal.

G23159m.jpg

That's interesting.  About 15 years ago I got into an internet arguement with a bloke on mk2cav.com who had bought an unused shell  and was building a bitsa. From more than a few Cavs.  And fully intended to just transfer an identity from.a scrap mk2 cav.  I honestly thought he should perhaps ring the DVLA and ask the question nicely.  I honestly thought it needed to be a Q reg. 

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4 hours ago, chancer said:

That is just fantastic. Got to make a lot more money on the open market than on here. Would love a sierra but afraid they are probably well out of my reach now. As an aside, a dearly departed uncle of mine owned D799MSU from new. It was a 1.8L in light blue. First brand new car i had either seen or sat my backside in. Always wondered why Ford offered both the 1.6 and 1.8 engines at the time, with no price difference? The 1.3 was cheaper and the 2.0 more expensive

Company car tax 

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