When Markham Adams, 47, set his mind and talents to restoring a Ford Cortina, he gave it his all.
“They don’t call me Pietertjie for nothing,” he says, “because I always pieter when I think something does not look right.”
Markham, who works on the sea by trade, lives in Seawinds, Retreat, and says he’s a petrolkop simply because he “loves cars”.
His uncle was the first in his area to own a Cortina 30-S and he says his love for the car started back then.
He bought the 1979 Ford Cortina 30-S as a fixer-upper “from a guy who was desperate for the cash” and it had to be towed to his premises. As an old school classic, it had immediate appeal.
The Cortina was a pretty iconic car in the 1980s, when the three-litre engine saw it rise to the ranks as an affordable robot racer.
The Cortina was made by Ford in Britain in various guises from 1962 to 1982. The 30-S represents the fourth generation of the car and has a more conventional design than its predecessor.
With regards to restoration, Markham likes to keep it as original as possible. He also likes it shiny, so his car boasts some immaculate paintwork with attention to those little finishes that get your show and shine judges jumping for joy.
Markham set about pulling out all the old and worn parts under the hood, and slowly finding better parts to replace them with. With an older car like this, that’s a task that takes some time and the right connections.
He has no plans other than to keep it original, and says what he values most “is the engine sound”. The motor, he insists, is the strong point of this car and is what makes driving it such a pleasure.
When Bobby asked him if there were any weak points, he seemed puzzled, but responded quick enough: “Weak points? I don’t think there are any weak points.”
The body was the first point of attention. Markham says: “I cut away all the rust, then I bought new 8mm galvanised plates and me and my cousin Ashley Williams started the restoration.”
That usually means fabricating the steel to fit the rust holes, fitting it in place and going through a laborious body filler and sanding process to get a smooth finish. He then bought some kwaai wiele, put in the sunroof and resprayed the car himself.
“I am a seaman and spend four to six weeks at sea, but whenever I got back home I’d get to working on my car. When I look at it today, the engine is spotless, the wheel callipers and drums are sprayed, and the engine has been lifted back to its original state. It looks like a brand-new car.”
Joe Klein, who took these kwaai pictures, and judge on the show and shine scene, said: “My dad owned the 1.6 and later the 3.0-S in the mk4 shape. Markham’s car is immaculate inside out and when I saw it the first time, it brought back so many memories.
“Wow, and not forgetting the sound of the engine when it idles, that’s what I love most about these old sixes. The only thing that the S is missing is the original mag wheel, the one with the chrome add-on lip.
“Truly a beaut inside out and very hard to find in this condition. Definitely a winner in my books.”