...The year is 1980, and so it begins. I had an interest in cars and engines from an early age. My neighbour raced bangers and my weekends were spent with him striping out cars, ready for the next race. Just after passing my car test in 1980, I was driving around in a Ford 100e dreaming of a new ride and whilst walking the family dog I became aware of a strange car in a back garden nearby.

Several weeks later the owner was there. “What is it”? I asked...

1971-TC1-300x250

...So, a few weeks later I was the proud owner of a 1971 1.6L LHD Ford Taunus Coupe. It was hand painted in red oxide, much to my Dads disgust. This is the car I have most memories of and, when I joined Facebook a few years ago, it was also the car that my old friends (far and wide) remembered. I just had to own another one.

A friend, Ian T. pointed me in the direction of the FTC-GB Club page. Within the Group, a guy called Ebo pointed me in the direction of Steff - who had some Taunus for sale in Holland. After a fruitless search for my old car (I still live in hope), I decided Holland was the place to go.

 

My eldest Son Ryan and I took a trip to Veendam in northern Holland. Steff had about a dozen Taunus Coupe’s for sale along with dozens of other cars from the past. He tried to sell me a V6 powered facelift Taunus, but I kept coming back to the green one; with its orange wings, no front seats and no chance of hearing the engine running due to an unknown fault. It was perfect. It was exactly the same model and interior specification of my original car, so the deal was done.

 
 

I raised the majority of the funds by selling my extremely clean VW Passat hi-line estate, without even the merest hint of the a bat of an eyelid. I just had to have that Taunus Coupe.

I then brought a £500 Honda. I fitted it with tow bar and we were off! The trip from Steff's back to Calais was un-eventful and after a ferry ride fairly soon we were home. We pushed the Taunus into my freshly re arrange garage, stood back and stared.

Up until this point the garage had never had a car in it...

 

Being a truck mechanic by trade, but now stuck in a workshop office, I had to decide how to handle the restoration. The chassis was mainly sound, but the areas of concern for me were the welding and painting. I had to get the engine running because I needed the Taunus to be in driving condition asap. I did not want it to linger for years and years.

By the following weekend I had stripped out what remained of the interior and started tidying and assessing the general condition of the car. I found it had a later 2.0L engine (205 block) and type 9 gearbox fitted. I have since figured out that the running gear is from circa 1984. The gearbox was mounted on the original cross-member therefore the propshaft was horrendously out of alignment and the engine still did not run.

I had to get this engine running. One Saturday, armed with new cambelt, new battery and service kit I made a start. From my old days at a Ford truck dealership, I knew the cambelt change was easy. Whan I removed the radiator and shroud I discovered someone had fitted a cambelt, but not lined up the timing marks. Amazing! With a new cambelt, waterpump, oil and filter, and a new battery the end of the fuel pipe was dipped into a petrol can. It was time...

 
 

A few turns of the key later, she fired and ran. I couldn’t have been happier. But then, the oil started coming out of the head gasket.

That set the schedule of work to be done. The cylinder head was removed. It was at this stage I realised I could access a lot more of the engine so I was removing components every day, taking them to work for cleaning, painting and getting ready to refit when the time came.

Everything was in fairly poor condition, but also covered in years of dirt and grime. I had the perfect job now, Tea-break became known as Taunus break. Eventually I got to the stage of reassembling all of the parts and trying to retain of all the original nuts and bolts where possible.

I suddenly had the realisation that I had to get the welding underway... I called up an old mate, he had been repairing cars for years, and as luck would have it he needed work. So I hired him for a few Saturdays to complete the welding. In the interim period I had taken the wings and boot to work where the works-painter refurbished them between jobs and gave them a covering or waterproof undercoat.

 
 

I cleaned all of the interior components, then started on the brakes, bearings, steering rack. Anything rubber was changed along the way as well. I then started to rebuild the engine. I fitted a new radiator and then fired the car up once again.

I managed to get it running reasonably well for its first drive around my driveway. Unfortunately, it then coughed and spluttered a bit and died. At this point I had the sudden realisation. It had a Ford VV carburettor. Probably Fords worse mistake.

I removed the rear axle and checked the rear bushes. Renewed all the brake components and half-shaft bearings. While the rear-axle was out, and the fuel tank was missing, it gave me chance to treat the rear underside of the car which, thankfully, was all in good condition. I then refitted the axle and fitted a new fuel tank and sender.

By now the welding was completed. I had repaired the wiring loom in the boot, new headlamps were obtained and everything electrical worked. I fettled the engine so it ran in a fashion, refitted the primed wings and bootlid. I also managed to pick up a set of steel wheels locally, so they were fitted with new tyres. It was then time for its MoT.

 

Although I hold licences for driving trucks, cars and motorbikes, I think this was the most nervous I’d ever been. Driving the two miles to the Test Center for the cars first MoT in years. Thankfully all went well and other than a blown headlamp relay, I managed to get a Pass Certificate. I sent all of the relevant paperwork away to the DVLA and within a few weeks it was registered and on the road!

I just wanted to be able to drive the car without any running issues. The "Oh So Retro" festival was to be held in September, in Margate, and I wanted to be there. On the day, Perry and Mark came down to my house and I managed to get the car there, albeit with a lot of pedal hopping at junctions to keep her running. Shortly after that, I brought a new Webber carburettor. Its been faultless since.

I managed to do some of the interior work, but there is still a bit to do. My main purchase was the tombstone style front seats. The seats were cheap enough, but to have them recovered was a lot of cash. However, they set out the interior nicely. I now only have the carpet, parcel shelf and one kick pad to change. I’ll be happy with that.

Now onto the wheels. I just wanted a set of Wolfrace slot mags. I picked up a cheap set only to find out they did not fit Fords as described. So I carried on searching and managed to find a suitable full set, eventually, with the help of Ian Dyson. They set the car off nicely, but need a lot of polishing.

Last winter I removed the front suspension, stripped it down and had it sandblasted and powder coated. With a couple of the components painted blue, it looked like new. The suspension refurb certainly has set the quality-bar high. The rear axle is next...

 

TC1 - Front Suspension

 

I have attended a few car shows over the last couple of years, mostly looking at paint! I wanted to find a Green that I liked enough to paint my car in, so after a few trials I finally decided on a modern metallic fern green. I cannot wait for the finished result.

 
 

In April 2021, the TC1 Taunus will be 50 years old. I would like to have it completed in time for this celebration milestone.

The car still retains most of the components that I brought it with and on renewing parts I have tried to use Ford NOS, but this is not always possible.

Regardless, I will still be out and about, attending as many shows as I can!

 
 

TC1 - On Tour!

 

With Thanks

Dave would like to thank the following people for all of their help, assistance and advice.

  • Roy T. for the encouragement.
  • Harrie for the new parts.
  • Rienoud for some old parts.
  • Ian Dyson for the wheels.
  • FTC-GB Facebook group members for suggestions.
  • 3 Old mates who lit the touchpaper. The guilty parties are located in Australia, New Zealand and Hastings...