Next step… Improvements
Ok, so now I was the proud owner of a 1964 Ford Zodiac MKIII. What to do next? Like most classic car owners I like the idea of Improvements for the car but I do not want to lose the ‘authenticity’. For me this means that improvements that make the car more reliable for everyday use are acceptable but they may not be seen on the outside. I do not think that to improve a car like this means putting a big V8 into it. For me that is modifying not improving your classic car. That does not mean that I do not like or enjoy the creative mindset of other people!
What to improve?
The Zodiac looks pretty decent on the outside and the interior is clean and complete. To get the big Ford looking any better it would require a bare metal respray together with a complete overhaul of the interior. And that just is not happening any time soon. It is the age old story of time and money that stands in the way. Sounds familiar? 🙁
For now I will concentrate on Improvements for the running gear only. Starting by replacing the coil, ignition cables and sparkplugs. And a electronic ignition unit will be fitted. This will make the car a lot more reliable, improve fuel economy, torque, power output and make the car more enjoyable overall.
There are lot of other (regular) things that have to be done. Like changing the oil and brake fluid. Adjusting the valve clearance and checking other components of the six cylinder engine.
One thing that does not require changing or replacing is the exhaust. it is an aftermarket stainless steel replacement that gives a nice ‘burbling’ sound. At low and higher RPM’s the sound this exhaust makes turns heads 🙂
The classic Ford Zodiac
My father owned a 1964 Ford Zodiac MKIII. If you want to know more about why and when you can read it on this page. After a partial restore and a complete respray, he continued to enjoy the car (his childhood dream) for several years. But eventually he used the car less and less… At some time the only one that really drove the big Ford was me.
How the big Ford became mine…
One day my father was thinking it was a shame that the car was not driven much and decided he wanted to sell his classic. When he told me this I immediately made him an offer. But (after some thought) he declined, he thought the car was more worth than I was willing to pay. I told him that if he changed his mind he would know where to find me.
A couple of months passed and the big Ford was not sold. When I reminded my father of my previous offer he said he would think about it. And a couple of days later I owned a classic car!
So what is it like to drive?
The car is easy to drive and pretty comfortable considering it is over 50 years old. It has no power-steering but when the wheels are turning the steering does not feel heavy at all. It does feel a bit vague around the center. So on higher speeds you are making a lot of corrections if you want to keep going straight. The whole car rolls a little when cornering but that also can be expected from a car this age. The brakes are hmm… eh.. adequate. The engine pulls strongly and the car has no problems keeping up with modern traffic. Although it could use a fifth gear… And the exhaust makes a beautiful burbling sound (but it is an aftermarket stainless steel one). View all around is excellent. This big classic is very useful for everyday driving!