The Story of Build 002

Part 1 - Early History

 

 
Don't mess with me - I eat Porsches for breakfast !

 

My car, Build 002 was the first Capri that Tickford actually sold.
 
It was one of a handful of cars in a first production run at Tickford's Blakelands HQ,
immediately after they received Type Approval in the middle of October 1983.
 
The first owner, Martin Wild was the director of a fibreglass firm in Barnstaple.
 
 He had seen the original Motorshow prototype in 1982 and was desperate to buy it.
 
Instead, Tickford offered him the first of the Type Approved vehicles that would be available.
 
Martin wanted his car to be an exact copy of the Motorshow vehicle and he
wrote to Tickford on 20th October 1983 with his specifications.
 
The following quote came from Nigel Shepherd at Tickford on 4th November 1983.
 
Scans are links to the full-size document that will open in a new window.

 

   

 

That's a whopping 19k....a little bit more than a standard Capri 2.8 Injection at the time!
 

Martin Wild ordered his Capri immediately through Taw Garages,

the local Ford dealer in Barnstaple.
 
The Customer Record Sheet from the factory shows that Martin had specified thel arge-bore
stainless steel exhaust system and electric mirrors with adjustable rear wiper delay.
 
Very few Tickfords had the electric mirrors - customers complained
 that they moved under speed.
 
Most Tickfords just retained the standard Ford cable-operated remote on the driver's side
and a manual mirror on the passenger door.
 
The electric mirror option was only offered in conjunction with the adjustable rear
wiper delay - what Tickford called the "Electric Pack".
 
The delay was simply a relay box made by Hella with a knob on the front.
 
Looking at the factory engineering instructions, it would appear that the two options
were always paired just to simplify wiring.
 
Martin's custom leather interior does not appear on the record sheet as it was a
one-off job that had been quoted separately.
 
It is curious to note that Martin didn't specify the Wilton carpet and wool headlining
options - my belief is that he didn't bother because he thought they were going
to be included anyway - remember he had asked for basically a copy
of the Motorshow car - they were two omissions that I finally
rectified 28 years later, but more on that later!

 

   

 

Tickford Capris were to be built in Tickford's new facility at Hosiery Street, Bedworth.
 
However at the time Martin ordered 002, the new premises were not geared-up
for production and the first handful of Capris were actually built at
Blakelands in Milton Keynes, Tickford's HQ.
 
In the scans of various documents below, the Blakelands address appears until December
1983 and the Bedworth address starts being used from then on.
 
 Martin Wild's point of contact at Tickford HQ was Nigel Shepherd,
the Manager of Coachbuilding.
 
 From December 1983, dealings were with Brett Wilde, Sales and Marketing Manager at Bedworth.
 
Thanks to the comprehensive archives of the Tickford Owners Club, I have managed
to locate a photograph of 002 being built at Blakelands - this has got to be

the first ever photo of 002!

 

 
This is just the other side of the doors to where the prototype FMJ624Y had a photo-shoot
 
The vehicle being built in the foreground is a bespoke stretched limo - Tickford did a lot of this type of work

 

Things moved rapidly - Tickford invoiced Taw Garages on 11th November 1983.

 

 

And Taw Garages posted them a cheque on 18th November 1983.......those were the days!

 

   

 

The difference in price from the 19k that Martin Wild was quoted is explained by the fact
that a deposit of 2k had already been paid and there was a dealer mark-up of 14%.
 
The day before sending the cheque, Taw Garages prepared the V55 to get 002 registered and taxed.

 

   

 

Curiously, because Martin had requested the shortening of his gear lever by 2 inches,
Tickford made him agree that there could be no warranty claims on the gearbox!

 

   

 

Martin signed this agreement on Friday 18th November 1983 while at Tickford HQ,
having travelled up to Blakelands to collect his car.
 
 However, he was not a happy chappy and refused to accept the vehicle.
 
The following internal memo from Tickford explains what the problems were:

 

 

You can judge the seriousness of the complaints by the fact that the memo
comes from David Flint who was on the Board of Directors as
Production Manager for Aston Martin.
 
That's only one stage off getting Victor Gauntlett to drop everyone a line!
 
002 was finally delivered to Martin Wild at the end of November 1983, but there were
teething problems straight away which resulted in a trip to Bedworth
(which now had taken over responsibility for the Capris) and
another internal Tickford memo dated 8th December 1983.

 

 

Certainly things seem to have been a little dis-organised up at Tickford, but
you have to appreciate that their Capri hadn't even properly gone into
production at that stage and they were playing "musical factories"
between Blakelands and Bedworth, plus Martin had been
incredibly keen to place his order.
 
He didn't receive the handbooks for the car until February 1984 and even then,
the supplement that covered all the Tickford modifications wasn't available!

 

   

 

I am reliably informed that Martin quickly became concerned about the servicing costs
of his car - it was being used as daily company transport.
 
 In the summer of 1985 he decided to get rid of 002, part-exchanging him at Oaklands Garage
in Exeter for a Jaguar XJS Convertible (co-incidentally another Tickford project).
 
A customer of mine from where I worked at Lloyds Bank in Langport,
saw 002 and decided to trade-in his RS2000.
 
Malcolm Kellet took ownership of 002 on 6th November 1985.

 

   

 

Now having been a Capri fan since birth, I knew what a Tickford was, but had
never seen one for real and didn't know anyone who had one either.
 
There I am heading back through the car park after my lunch break......and I practically
walk straight into a lamp post......WOW!
 
I stagger into the banking hall and there is Malcolm standing in the queue.....probably
wasn't very professional, but kneeling at his feet and begging for a
test drive seemed appropriate at the time!

 

 
002 as I first met him, under Malcolm Kellet's ownership
 
 
   
The Ford badge had disappeared from the front And there was no Tickford badge on the tailgate
   
   
 
The gorgeous interior of 002

 

Build 002 is certainly unique.
 
Apart from the Motorshow car, he is the only Tickford to have the triangular crash pad
on the steering wheel.
 
Continuing the Motorshow theme, MK II Escort switches are fitted where the radio should be,
the window and mirror controls are located immediately below the heater levers,
the centre ashtray has been converted into a storage compartment
with some very detailed leather trimming.
 
The adjustable rear wiper delay is located to the left of the Escort switches.
 
No other Tickford has this precise configuration.

 

   
Malcolm Kellett and Build 002 Photographed in his work's carpark

  

Nothing lasts forever and in the summer of 1986, Malcolm decided to part company with 002.
 
He advertised in the August 1986 edition of Motor Sport.
 
I had first refusal, but being in my early-twenties and on a bank clerk's salary,
it was out of the question.

 

 
Saw the advert in Motor Sport - I was gutted!

 

The car didn't sell and in September 1986, Malcolm traded-in at Abbey Garage in Street.

 

 

002 sat on their forecourt from September 1986 through to the end of January 1988!
 
I saw adverts in the local press a few times, but couldn't do anything about it.
 
So frustrating!
 
Eventually Abbey Garage sold 002 to a Mr Verlander who was a farmer
from Piddletrenthide in Dorset.
 
By that time, someone had removed the Tickford front and fitted a standard
Capri grille to help the notorious overheating problem, sprayed the
wheels gold so they looked better (!) and the car required
loads of work before it could be released.

 

 

Well that could be the end of the story, but a year later I was browsing through Exchange & Mart

one morning and practically choked on my cornflakes..........

 

 
Exchange & Mart 23rd February 1989

 

 

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