For the Love of Cars or For the Love of Vans?

Now in its second series, Channel 4’s For the Love of Cars, draws millions of viewers every episode and a new classic is revisited and restored each week. This week, however, it was more ‘for the love of vans’ than For the Love of Cars, as they restored a MK1 Ford Transit and put it up for auction at Birmingham’s NEC.

Presented by actor and motor head Philip Glenister and esteemed bespoke car builder and designer Ant Anstead of Evanta Motor Co., the series has proven immensely popular with car lovers across the country. This week it was the turn of the fifth biggest selling vehicle of all time, one that is the staple of new and used Ford van dealers in Salisbury and across the county: the Transit.

One of the all-time great British workhorses

The programme celebrates our nation’s most successful, most used and most loved vehicles, so as “one of the all-time great British workhorses” it was an obvious choice for the two presenters. To quote Anstead from the programme, “This decision to do this car isn’t based on making a profit. It’s not based on making a couple of quid and moving on. We’re doing this decision purely based on the love of this car. We’re saving a MK1 Transit van because we love MK1 Transit vans.”

While the project became even larger in size once Anstead and his team sent the vehicle off to be sand blasted, it proved more than worth it once they discovered that their rare Ford Transit was rarer still as a Bullnose bonnet Transit. Just 10,000 MK1’s were made with a Perkins diesel engine housed under the longer bullnose bonnet, like the programme’s vehicle, and as a workhorse Transit van that has been very, very well used, very few are still able to drive on the road today without a tow.

As a result, the restored vehicle fetched an impressive £9,500 at auction, which is a bargain that can only be rivalled by the Ford Transit van dealers at Andover and other Ford-approved dealerships across the country.

The Ford Transit episode can still be caught online while next week the boys will be looking at the air-cooled engine as they restore the classic Volkswagen Beetle.

Image Credit: Jon’s pics (