Retroford retrospective
Wherever we are and whatever we’re doing, we’re making classic Fords go faster

Classic Fords get faster when they’re fettled by Dave Colledge. He just can’t help it.

You see, Dave’s the driving force behind Retroford. And when Dave decides to make one bit of new car work with a chunk of old car, the result is always smart, simple and blindingly effective.

No wonder, then, that Retroford’s reputation reflects Dave’s ability to produce top-quality parts that work well, look great and fit perfectly. Retroford products are designed and engineered in-house at our Corby premises, and most components are made on site in our machine shop and fabrication shop. Not only does that guarantee Retroford’s hands-on attention to detail, it also means our wide range of stock is usually ready for next-day dispatch.

Engineering expertise

Retroford was established by Dave back in 2001 – part in thanks to his love of classic Fords, and partly due to his expert engineering background. Dave served a four-year engineering apprenticeship before working as a design engineer for several companies. But his passion for early Fords couldn’t keep him away from owning and modifying Escorts and Cortinas. The Blue Oval was in his blood.

Dave’s dad, John Colledge, worked at Broadspeed in Birmingham during the 1960’s – a race car builder responsible for countless championship wins in Anglias, Cortinas and Escorts, and supplying motorsport parts and tuning kits directly to Ford.

So when Dave found himself restoring his now-legendary Signal Red Mk2 Escort estate and his friend offered a Zetec engine, it was Dave’s opportunity to try something different. At the time, Zetec conversion parts were either unavailable or poor quality. Dave’s solution was to design, develop and fabricate components to make Zetec transplants fit and work as well as Ford intended.

Dave was soon approached by other classic Ford enthusiasts who’d seen the quality of his Zetec conversion parts, and Retroford was born. Since then, Retroford has built a series of high-performance Fords and retro classics, including several Group Four Escorts, Steve Dee’s ST170-powered RS2000 track monster and Jason’s 10-second Mk2 Zephyr Ute.

With the introduction of Ford’s four-cylinder Duratec engine, Retroford developed all the components necessary to install a Duratec into classic Fords. As usual, Dave’s Mk2 Escort saloon – which he’s owned for more than 20 years – was used as the testbed. All Retroford products are developed on road and on track with this Mk2, and this time it finished up with a 286bhp 2.3-litre Duractec, Mazda six-speed gearbox and a host of other Retroford products. Yet that’s not Retroford’s fastest Escort.

World’s fastest Escort

Being located very close to Santa Pod Raceway, we’ve dabbled in drag racing, and eventually built a rather successful Mk2 Escort estate drag car. A lightweight Escort fitted with a 304bhp, 235lb.ft Duratec, our estate also features dozens of Retroford products plus many one-off bits including chromoly suspension, narrowed front wheels, carbon panels and motorbike brakes.

It’s the fastest naturally-aspirated four-cylinder Escort in the world by nearly a second, with an ET of 10.42 seconds at 127mph. Although it’s currently lurking in the workshop, waiting for someone to get close to our time, you may see it again sooner that you think.

You’ll probably also notice Retroford in the pages of Classic Ford magazine. We’ve developed a close working relationship with Classic Ford, hosting loads of technical articles and appearing in numerous features.

Wherever we are and whatever we’re doing, we’re making old Fords go faster.