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Wheeler Dealers tackles a classic commercial pick-up

It’s a Ford P100 pick-up for this week’s show

Mike wanted to make the next project a classic pick-up truck, and he found a cracking Ford P100 up in a rather chilly Scotland.

When Mike fancied grabbing a slice of the classic pick-up truck market he had the perfect vehicle in mind, but it was a long way away. Up in Scotland at a company called The Car Cave, in fact, but it sounded good and at just £8000 it was worth the journey.

Wheeler Dealers Ford P100 pick-up

And it looked good up close, with bodywork in sound condition and no rust. The pick-up in question was a Ford P100 ‘one-tonne bakkie’ imported from South Africa – which explains the lack of corrosion – but what did it drive like? The 3.0-litre V6 engine felt strong, although not running all that smoothly, but the biggest problem was the feeble heater. That would need sorting!

Mike was happy to pay the full asking price of £8000 and then it was back to the workshop to see what Elvis thought. He loved it and couldn’t wait to get stuck in, and that heater was the first job. A visual inspection revealed no obvious problems, apart from a matrix that looked too small for cold UK temperatures, so Mike head off to the Midlands to get a new one made.

It was fascinating to watch as the new heater matrix was constructed using an improved three-row core, and Mike helped out, too. At just £130 it was a bargain, and it meant the cabin would no longer be freezing cold. In the meantime, there was work on the engine to do.

A check underneath revealed a leaking rear crankshaft oil seal, so Elvis hauled out the engine and gearbox to get that fixed. It was an easy job, and with a new sump gasket all of the oil would be staying in the engine. It was a shame the engine wouldn’t start, though, so that was next on the list.

It looked like a problem with the carburettor, and specifically the automatic choke mechanism. After further investigation Elvis discovered that the bi-metallic spring wasn’t connected up, and once he’d established that it was working properly – Mike’s hot cup of tea was the perfect test – it was soon sorted.

Now the ace mechanic could get on with protecting the underside of the pick-up, making sure that it would remain rust-free whatever the British weather threw at it. With any loose surface rust removed the first step was spraying anti-corrosion material into the chassis box sections, and then the rest of the underside got a thorough coating of protective underseal.

There were just a few more jobs to do, so the wheels were painted and given a fresh set of chunkier tyres; the unused mechanical fuel pump was removed; and a new pair of spot lights completed the exterior. It looked brilliant, and the classic Ford was ready for a test.

A trip to a country park in the South Downs was perfect, and with a pair of mountain bikes in the back the boys were ready to have a bit of fun. And when it was time to sell Elvis was on hand to bag a healthy profit, selling the truck to Paul for £10,000. It was a cracking project, and this Ford was ready to be enjoyed for years to come. We love it.

Mike said: “Behind the scenes we try to have as much fun as possible, and here I am in frozen Scotland with a 3 litre rear wheel drive pick up, no weight over the rear axle and silent country roads! I slid that truck around everywhere and laughed to the point of tears every time. The crew eventually got fed up with my shenanigans and I had to behave.

“Theres something magical about the humble P100, it’s a familiar Ford with more practicality than you can imagine. Elvis loved it too, so easy and simple at every turn it was one that rewarded. I could definitely see one in my future collection.”

Find more info:
Wheeler Dealers

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Ford Classics UK

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