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Savage V6
Worcester Classic Cars
Tel: 01905 345805
Fax: 01905 345805
Cortina Club
Ford Cortina Mk II & 1600E Owners’ Club Limited

Millers Oils


I acquired my Savage on 8th June 1990, buying it from Mr. Bernard Kenny from Bow in London. The car was rather tatty and rusty and needed some serious work to bring it to its former glory. During the early years of owning my car, I spent a great deal of time and need I say money improving all area’s including, having it re-sprayed, but as with all ‘rolling restorations’ there is a limit to what I could achieve. I always wanted to get my car back on the road at the end of each winters work to enjoy driving it, and taking it to club shows and various events around the country. It was in 1999 after taking it to Cornwall during the time of the eclipse of the sun, the engine developed what I can only describe as a metallic rattle, but as the car was running rather very well. I didn’t explore the noise and on the return journey home at Bristol the engine ‘blew’ creating an awful lot of smoke, so it was with the aid of the RAC rescue, we got home much later than expected.

On inspection I found that a valve spring failed, the result being the No.4 piston having an enormous hole through its crown and broken in to three pieces. The inlet valve having broke doing the damage. It was at this time, that I took the decision not only to take the engine out, but to take apart everything that I’d done in the previous nine years work and improvements. This did not go down well with my then wife Alison!!

My idea then, was to carry out a restoration to Concours Condition, but my next task was to find some one to help, as I can’t weld I needed to find someone who could. The problem was, I needed a welder/fabricator that was on the exact same ‘playing field’ as I was, some one with the exact uncompromising standards that I have. Step forward Rob Carter, a new branch member who I knew little about, but when I asked him if he could deliver the goods he replied with a very resounding and confident 'yes'. I soon discovered Rob’s ability and boy o boy what an ability. His expertise in panel work was outstanding, his welding first class as was his patience in getting everything to how it was needed. I must point out that all panels were spot welded or welded just as the car would have been when made.
This working relationship was to become very special, as I was able to trust Rob to do what ever was required to get the standard required. Rob helped me with more than just welding for example, ‘fitting up’, engine and gear box reinstallation etc. Over the six years I can honestly say we never had one cross word or upset over anything, a truly wonderful friendship had been formed. I had collected a large number of panels and parts since the early eighties these were now going to be put to good use. We came to the agreement that wherever there were two skins of panel work, for example inner wing top plates, front spring hanger housings, well practically every panel really, would be removed in order to repair, or in most places replace with new steel/panels.
This way, the 'meeting’ faces were painted with weldable primer giving total protection when welded. Then using a straw from a WD40 can and then fitted to an aerosol can of paint, all these seams and joints were then flooded with paint, this took for ever but well worth the effort, as these areas are really well protected. The panel work and welding took forever, well two years actually, of course this included an awful lot of preparation along the way and when completed, it was heads down to find some one to paint it. After one local quote, up stepped Worcester Classic Cars. Now the best thing about these guys is that they are dedicated classic car enthusiasts, working on anything classic really but mostly TR's. Once again, I needed that special guy who understood and respected my requirements. Tony Carr, their painter extraordinaire was to have probably the toughest customer he has ever had. I gave him my brief, he accepted and the job began On 3rd November 2001.

Now, at this point I never understood or appreciated just what goes into painting a car to the standards that I needed. It was my standards that really tested Tony and I’ve got to admit, I gave him a lot of sleepless nights! With much persistence and patience from all involved, I was able to take my Savage back home to start the next stage… ‘The fitting up’. While the car was away I spent my time sorting, cleaning, stripping, painting and plating. In short I breathed on every nut, bolt, screw, washer and grommet, everything had to be spot on, in as new condition. I can remember even re-plating the screws and fixings to the heater box, all the operating components for winding down the windows and for opening the doors were painted or plated, to exactly how they were from new. Of course many items you never see but had to be done. Many of the parts are painted in satin black. I even sourced the same type of satin black paint that Ford used!

One big problem I had was, that when I went to refit suspension items for example I was totally unhappy with all the effort I had put in to painting it all. Absolutely everything was blasted back to bare steel and repainted etc until I was satisfied. Sometimes stuff was done several times before it passed my quality control!! As well as all this, I also fitted in, adding a super double garage extension to my already double garage, which gave me a lot more room and a perfect working environment. As with all rebuilds there is a method or sequence as to what needs to be fitted before something else, some times the best laid plans don’t always go to plan, so progress slows or even stops. Relying on others was, at times ‘hair pulling frustrating’ thankfully this didn’t happen often.

Along the way, there were countless trips all over the country to Auto jumbles trying to pick up that ‘Golden Nugget’ of a part, or the odd occasion skiving from work. Being self employed, I gave myself permission with a very slight tinge of guilt, but when it came to getting something sorted, be it the latest batch of plating or meeting one of my favorite Ford auto jumblers, who had found that ‘Golden Nugget’, then nothing stood in my way. There were occasions, when I thought I’d finish the following year, but sadly it was not to be. I was determined not to rush or cut corners, this I didn’t do, if I had I would have ruined every thing. So many asked of the progress and when is it going to be finished? It’s finished when I finish it! I’d reply!.

I had for obvious reasons, commissioned companies to re-manufacture a number of parts, these include rear Leaf Springs, Wheel Nuts and Washers, Wheel Centers, Grommets, various Stickers, the Savage Boot/ Wing/Badges, Savage Grill Badges, Kenlow Fan Badges and Number Plate Manufactures Stickers. It is at this point I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to John Chapman the spares Secretary, who had done a superb job in getting a huge variety of parts remanufactured for the club.  I was able to call on John many times for his valued help.

Getting my HT (spark plug) leads made, is probably the single most rewarding thing that I achieved. I managed to contact a gentleman who once worked for the cable company that supplied Ford in the 60s and 70s. He was, when I contacted him, working for another major cable company part time, but after a short while he was able to email the original art work of the script that was used by Ford at the time. Meanwhile, he put me in touch with a company in America, who make print wheels that originally supplied his old company. It really was rewarding, to have wonderful co-operation from the company who made and produced a print wheel-baring, all the necessary information that I required. Once this was in my hands, I had pre-arranged a trip to Blackburn very early one morning to a company who, having shut down one of their print lines printed my 100 metres of cable. I already acquired the correct metal and rubber ends to which I chopped the cable to length, crimped them on and finally, I had my completed set of leads costing £550.00 and three months in the making and their detail correct! 

By the turn of 2005 the finish line was truly in sight. A huge mile stone was reached when firing up the engine, a real high-light and was such a delight when it did, with no leaks either! By now most things were in place and fitted, my sights set on entering the Auto Glym Heat at Bromley. It was a rather exciting time, coupled with a degree of anxiety as the cars first MOT since 1999 was due. Needless to say, it ‘blew’ the MOT technician away, as with his colleagues and of course a new MOT was given. I transported the car to the MOT station, but need to get some mileage and testing done before setting off to Bromley, so with just 100 miles under my belt an oil and filter change, all was ready to hit the Concours road.

There were many individuals, Auto Jumblers and companies that were involved in many ways that helped me achieve what I did, of which I am eternally grateful.
I would specially like to thank Rob Carter the ‘welder’ and Tony Carr the ‘painter’ of Worcester Classic Cars.