Coming from a council estate, and growing up in the 80's and being a petrol head I have always had a soft spot for fast Fords. It's odd when you think about it - whilst Fords may be the peoples cars the fast Fords rarely are. These days I prefer fast Volvo's to fast Fords - another oddity, once you get to the point where you can buy and insure a fast Ford you wonder if you actually want to buy one (the Volvo is nearly as quick, much less in your face - in fact it looks almost the same as a slow Volvo, and so much more comfortable on a long trip).
But, when in university, and still driving a 957cc Fiesta that was only 2 years younger than me, I was still into them. And so I treated myself to a toy:
It was a fun project - you had to build everything - including the gear boxes and differentials. And if you get a chamfered washer the wrong way around in a differential it makes the world of difference. Or in other words, it doesn't work and you get annoyed :)
I haven't used the car in years, but had not thrown it away - it was sitting in the attic gathering dust. So we had a choice of trying to find a toy car that fitted what she wanted, or rebuilding this and having something that was possibly too grown up for a 5 year old to play with. We went for the latter, in the hope that she gets used to it fast enough not to destroy it before he has really played with it.
I dismantled it to down to the main components (I did not want to have the issue of rebuilding the diffs, or rather not being able to rebuild the diffs) and gave everything a good clean. We brought new wheels, a new battery and speed controller (an electronic one that makes it easier to control) and a new convertible body.
As she is a huge fan of a certain white cat with a red bow we decided to make the new car a tribute. Mrs Stace is the artistic one and drew three of the cats on the car, long with a couple of flowers and a butterfly. I sprayed it a pearlescent voilet / blue (depending on the light).
To finish it off we brought on of the said cats and, err, how can I put this... Decapitated it to use as the driver of the car. We were really happy with the finished result:
The car went down a storm, and survived the huge impacts it had within a couple of seconds of her getting the controller. But she learnt very quickly not to go full speed, and without being told figured out that you an use reverse to stop the car quicker. The good thing about the flexible top is that it doesn't break very quickly in an impact, and when it gets dented you can 'ping' them almost completely out. It doesn't look quite as good as these pictures any more - but it's not too bad :)
I have no doubt that in 6 months I'll be spraying another top for her - as long as the chassis remains unscathed the tops are fairly cheap.
Seeing her face when she unwrapped it made the effort of rebuilding the car so worth it :)