The Story of Build 002

Part 3 - Back to Black


Without further delay, the next job had to be getting rid of those gold wheels!


The gold wheels really did not look good So they were returned to black


The Vitaloni electric door mirrors had rusty backs - hardly surprising as they
were made from Italian steel!
A good friend of mine, Chas Street was an expert at working with fibreglass and he kindly
offered to make up some new ones for me using black gel coat.
We carefully removed the remains of the old backs and used them to make the moulds.
The replacements were then stuck into the frames with silicon and it was so effective
that they were still intact and looked as good as new nearly 30 years later!


The fibreglass moulds
The end product..........photographed nearly years later!


I continued the "black" theme by tinting the rear light lenses and

spraying the in-fill panel between them.

It all totally transformed the look of the car.


The new front view
And a very black rear!


Work continued through the winter of 1989 / 1990.
Tickford supplied me with the parts to install their double-dip headlamp system.
The outer headlights on a Capri normally switch between dip and main beam, with the
inner pair of headlights only active on main beam.
The double-dip system replaces all four headlights with semi-sealed Cibie units
and all four switch between dip and main beam, giving you a superb view
of the road ahead the whole time.
There is quite a bit of re-wiring associated with the modification as the standard Capri
wiring and relays cannot support the increased current.


A very young me installing the headlamps!


The engine bay received a dress-up with braided hoses and new fibre heat shields
around the Stainless Steel exhaust manifold pipes.


Ready for some more shows now!


The interior was treated to gallons of Connolly hide food and it ate it all.

  It was now looking very different to when I bought the car, without a trace of mud anywhere.


The door lights had been installed at the factory on the original owner's special request
I added the red pull-switch as an over-ride for the cooling fan
The original Lucas boost gauge was not working when I bought the car so it was
replaced with a Janspeed one
The boot of 002 has the standard Tickford battery box on the nearside
The original owner asked the factory to make a similar box for the offside
to house the brains of his mobile phone


In December 1989 I decided to take the car back to Tickford in Bedworth
for a tune-up and service.
After Build 002 had been delivered to his original owner at the end of 1983,
there had been a publicity shoot at Chivenor Airfield in Devon,
where 002 was driven down the runway alongside 005.


The original press photo from early 1984


I couldn't believe it when I arrived at the factory - Build 005 was there
for some repairs and the two cars met again for the first time since

their adventure on the airfield!


The two friends meet again outside the factory in Bedworth
Interestingly, this photo also shows the visual difference between the headlamps as A412MHK has the
standard Capri lights, but A400MOD has the set of 4 double-dip Cibie units


For the full story on the 1984 airfield event, please take a look at the Early Press Photos page.


I was delighted to be invited to the Capri Club International 1990 Winter Convention
and 002 even received a mention of his forthcoming appearance
in the Capri Club magazine.
Click on the pages below to view them full-size in new windows


The invitation from John Hill And brief mention in the advertising


Entrance to the convention at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh


The convention was being run over two days and overnight accommodation
had been arranged on site.
I arrived on the Friday evening and checked into my room, complete with
business suit to wear for the event as I was taking it very seriously.
Only problem was that I then discovered my shoes were still at home and I only had
the scruffy trainers I'd worn for the journey - did I look like a wally!
The best part of the weekend was Dave Wood making a special trip from
 Bedworth to see Build 002 on display.


Dave Wood, Tickford's Special Vehicles Manager, standing beside Build 002


On the way home, travelling down the M5, there was an amazing sunset
and I couldn't resist pulling off for a quick photo shoot.


Oooh....those double-dip headlamps again! About as arty as I get!


Next outing was down to Dawlish Warren in Devon for the Capri 21st event
organised by the Capri Club International.
I couldn't believe it when 002 won "Best MK 3" and I was so proud
collecting the trophy in front of everyone!


He's a winner!


We then went to the Capri Club Summer Spectacular at Brean Leisure Park in June 1990,
where 002 picked-up 3rd prize in the modified category.


I was much younger and thinner back then
Actually, 002 has faired much better than me over the last 30 years!


Our attendance at Brean Leisure Park received a mention in the August 1990
edition of Fast Ford Magazine.


We are listed in the results table


The Wheels 1990 show at Yealmpton followed quickly after where we won "2nd in class"
and then the annual Yeovil Festival of Transport.


We were entry 164 in the non-concours section


It wasn't only the general public that liked the car.

  I also received some great feedback from people in the motor trade.


I received this lovely letter from Clive Seaton,
Chairman of the local Ford dealership


The summer of 1990 was really busy.
 I took the opportunity to visit Taw Garages in Barnstaple, who had originally
supplied Build 002 to his first owner.
They were fascinated to see the car again, kindly giving me a key fob and "Taw Garages"
tax disc holder which is still on the windscreen now.....or at least it was until
the DVLA went all-electronic.


Build 002 returns to the dealership


Together with my friend Chas Street's Corvette that he had restored from a complete
write-off, we totally amazed the visitors at the Ilminster summer fete.
They had never seen anything like them!


Filling-up on the way took ages as the cars caused And they were stars of the show
quite a stir at the little local garage when we arrived at the fete
We couldn't resist the opportunity............ For a quick photo shoot at the end


We did attend a couple of other car shows in 1990 - the Dobwalls Classic Car Display
where I actually met Martin Wild, the original owner and a further
Capri Club International event in Nottingham.


Unfortunately I do not have any photos from the Dobwalls show, but here is one
from Nottingham, with 002 third from the left in a pile of Tickfords


Towards the end of August 1990, I was approached by another good friend of mine
called John Purland who ran Yeovil Tyre Specialists.
John was branching-out into the alloy wheel polishing business and would I like
my wheels done for free in exchange for some advertising?


John's work was exemplary
The overall effect was stunning


Now back in the early 1990s, huge In-Car Entertainment systems were becoming
all the rage and I fell foul of temptation.

  I installed a 500W system based exclusively on Kenwood components.


Kenwood radio cassette and graphic equaliser CD-changer and amplifiers in the boot
installed in the centre console  
  Guess I wasn't planning on carrying any suitcases!


More out of curiosity than anything, I entered 002 for one of the first

"sound off" competitions in Bristol.


The official entry certificate
We came 25th, which at least wasn't last
Not a bad result considering that this was the first large installation I had ever done


By comparison, the autumn of 1990 was much quieter!

The only real upgrade carried out was the conversion of the MacPherson struts
to roller bearing top mounts - this reduced friction and made the
steering noticeably more positive.


Plus they looked dead cool too!


I wrote to Performance Ford to enquire whether they would be interested in running

a feature on Build 002 and received a positive reply from them.


002 is going to become a celebrity!


My car subsequently appeared in the January 1991 edition of Performance Ford magazine.




At the time the article was written, I also had the only automatic Tickford (Build 079)
staying with me for a few weeks.
C444HOE was owned by Michael Hillyer, who was the retired Sales Manager of the local
Ford dealership and an old family friend.
Michael had approached me to ask if I would install the double-dip headlight conversion
 for him and I readily agreed.
Michael stayed overnight when he delivered the car and we had a very memorable time,
staying up until the early hours talking Tickford and carrying on the conversation
immediately before breakfast, with Michael still in his pyjamas!
Sadly, within a few short years, Michael had passed away and Build 079 is now in the
ownership of Tickford enthusiast Jon Cristini.


C444HOE arrives on a cold damp morning
C444HOE's engine bay Close-up of the new headlamp relays and wiring
Posing for the Performance Ford photographer Briefly having two Tickfords was great fun
Ford Granada automatic transmission - installation was contracted out to another company by Tickford
Driving C444HOE was an experience - just as powerful as other Tickfords, but in my opinion,
slightly faster as there was nobody to screw-up the gear changes!


During the winter of 1990 / 1991 I made a few changes to the interior of 002.
Firstly, it had always amused me that the car was capable of 140mph, but had the standard
Capri speedometer, calibrated to 140mph.
 I approached Speedy Cables in Wales and they did a super job, re-calibrating it
for 180mph and etching a new face complete with Aston Martin wings.


A standard Capri's 140mph speedometer A400MOD's recalibrated speedometer


I retained the shortened gear lever concept that had been on the car since the factory,
but installed a "quick shift" system from Ian Willacy Engineering.
This created an extremely short travel and the gear lever now felt more like a switch than a lever.


Gear switch rather than gear stick now!


I had never really used the delay for the rear wiper, so this was removed from the top left corner
of the dashboard and a proper Kenlowe over-ride switch for the cooling fan fitted in its place.
The switch would enable me to get the fan running sooner if I was approaching traffic
and the warning light illuminated whenever the fan was active, even if it had
been turned-on automatically by the Otter temperature switch.
 It would give me early warning of a classic Tickford Capri fault - failure of the Otter switch.


Much more important to know the cooling fan is operating rather
than the rear window being wiped every 30 seconds!


A major upgrade was the installation of a complete Zemco cruise control
and trip computer system.
I had seen a Zemco system on the immaculate Build 008 belonging to Shawn Hickman
 at the 1990 Capri Winter Convention.
 My cruise control was electronic, rather than the more common vacuum-operated systems
and the controls were fitted to the end of the steering column light switch lever.
The trip computer extended from the lower dashboard panel via a gooseneck.


The interior now looked like this


May 1991 saw the start of car shows again, with our first attendance being at the
Western National 6th Plymouth Rally down on Plymouth Hoe.
Once again, we generated considerable interest and I won the trophy for "Best Concours Capri".
 It caused a bit of an argument between the judges and some other Capri owners that
had entered, as my car technically wasn't "concours".
But then I had never claimed that it was - the judges had entered me in that category!


Build 002 appears at the top of the listing for his section
He was a great hit with the visitors


We then went back down to Devon again for the 1991 Capri Jamboree at Dawlish Warren,
followed by the 1991 Wheels Festival at Yealmpton.
The Capri Club International had a stand at Yealmpton and 002 was joined by FMJ925Y
which was one of the original prototype cars.
 We won the David Rowland Funfare Trophy for being "Best in Class".


The official programme We were top of the list again
The Capri Club International stand With FMJ625Y and A400MOD in attendance


 I have un-earthed some video footage that shows Build 002 at the 1991 Dawlish Warren
Capri Jamboree and also a short documentary that I compiled back at home.
Please click on the thumbnails below to watch them:


Build 002 at Dawlish Warren Build 002 documentary



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