Customer Stories pt. 9: A family of Fords

Customer Stories

Name: Alex Young

The classic: Ford Fiesta MKII, Escort MKII, Escort MKIII, Transit MKII

‘It was a half-finished project that my dad and I had together, but when he passed away it stayed at the back of the garage for a couple of years. When I finally finished it, I took my oldest daughter on a 350-mile round trip to Santa Pod. 

‘It was a poignant moment because that was the trip that Dad and I would have been making in it. It was special that I could make that trip with the next generation instead.

Image of Heritage customer Alex Young and his daughter
Alex Young and his daughter

When we speak to Alex, he’s heading to his garage to take the engine out of one of his cars. It’s no surprise that he’s a skilled mechanic, with four beautiful Fords in his garage and a penchant for restoring classic cars. So, when did his love for classic Fords begin?

‘The story kind of goes back to me being a babe in arms,’ he tells us. ‘My dad – who has unfortunately passed away – was the one who first got me into classic cars. We’ve been all over the country attending events; the Ford badge has been so massively important in all of our lives that it’s even getting passed down to my children now! I have two daughters, Holly Jane and Amber Jane. They’re only 9 and 3 years old, but both of them are picking up spanners in the garage now and are interested in what I’m doing, so it’s certainly a real family thing.’

At the moment, Alex and his wife own four Fords: a Transit MKII which they’ve had for nearly 30 years; an Escort MKII which they’ve owned for around 15 years; an Escort MKIII and a Fiesta MKII, both of which are recently completed projects. ‘My wife is heavily involved in the classics that we have,’ Alex tells us. ‘Her favourite is the blue Fiesta; she finds the engine particularly fun as it’s super whizzy to drive! Personally, my favourite to drive is the white MKII Escort, but the van is my favourite overall.

Ford Escort MKII, MKIII and Transit MKII in front of garage
A beautiful collection: Alex’s Ford Escort MKII, MKIII and Transit MKII

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Alex tells us that having a wife and best friend who shares his passion for cars is something really special. ‘I actually rebuilt the grey Escort MKIII for her,’ he says, ‘it was the same car that she learnt to drive in. She came from a family that had no cars growing up, and nobody in her family had a driving licence. So, when we first met, I taught her how to drive! At the time, I had an old Escort MKIII which we’d take to the fields behind her work – we’d spend hours on end just perfecting her driving skills.

‘We ended up selling the car, but years later she said that she’d like another one. I found an Escort MKIII in a sorry state behind a pub in Birmingham. It looked fairly solid underneath, so we went on a bit of a road trip with the trailer to pick it up. That turned out to be a very good decision, as when got there the MKIII wouldn’t start! Once we got it home, I took it apart piece by piece and rebuilt it properly. My wife loves it!’

Side view of grey Ford Escort MKIII
Alex’s Escort MKIII
White Escort MKII side view
The stunning white Escort MKII

Alex’s dad was big part of his love for classic cars, something he remembers fondly. ‘Growing up, it was always me and my dad who loved old cars,’ he recalls. ‘My mum was interested as well, but she doesn’t hold the passion for cars that Dad and I did. He was a classic car fan long before my time, and attended car shows as early as the ‘50s. He was also one of the founding members of the Devon Vintage Car Club! I still have some of the original car club brass plaques, so the family interest goes back a long way.

‘In terms of the classics I own now, the Transit MKII is probably the most significant in terms of its familial ties. We bought it back in 1996, and it’s like a third child to us now; no amount of money would ever get me to part with it. When my dad started getting ill, I decided that I was going to do a full restoration on it for him, down to every single nut and bolt.

‘The original idea was to turn it into a service vehicle for a rally car I owned at the time, and when they were both finished, we could unveil them at Santa Pod for the Ford Classic Magazine. I have a lot of special memories in that van: going to different places, attending events – even sleeping in the back of it!’

White Ford Transit MKII side view
The much-loved Transit MKII

Do you have a favourite memory with your classics?

When it comes to favourite trips with his classic Fords, the Escort MKII also holds a special place in Alex’s heart. ‘I bought that car as a project for me and my dad,’ he explains. ‘When he passed, it was forgotten about at the back of the garage for a few years. It was fairly rusty and stayed on a roll-over jig. I didn’t feel like completing it for a long time, but eventually I pushed on and got it back together.

‘I took it on its first big journey in August 2021: a 350-mile round trip to Santa Pod with my oldest daughter Holly. It was an especially poignant journey for me because that was the trip that Dad and I had intended to make together in it. The fact that I could still make that trip with the next generation was a really special moment for the family. It was a good laugh and it didn’t break down either, so that was a plus!’

Have you got any future plans for your classic Fords?

‘I’m fairly spontaneous, so I like to play it by ear mostly!’ Alex tells us. ‘My daughter Holly absolutely loves Santa Pod so we’ll probably do that again, and my youngest daughter is turning four this year, so it’s a bit of a better age to go camping and whatnot. We’ll be all over the place, I’m sure.

‘I’ll probably end up buying another car as well – I seem to have a habit of buying rusty old Fords! It’s just been in my blood for so long. I’m not opposed to anything else, but there’s just something about the Ford community of people; it’s a little bit like the VW community, everybody understands one another. Ford weekends are safe and everyone’s there for a common reason: to enjoy themselves and help one another out.’

Blue Ford Fiesta MKII
The blue Ford Fiesta MKII

Would you like the chance to be part of our Customer Stories project?

If you’re a Heritage Car Insurance customer and you’d like your classic drawn on one of our live drawing sessions, please send a maximum of 150 words about what your classic means to you and at least 2 images to marketing@heritagecarinsurance.co.uk. We’ll send the original drawing to you for free, as well as a printed T-shirt and mug. It’s a wonderful project to be a part of, so if you’re interested simply get in touch!

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Blue Ford Fiesta MKII drawing by Ian Cook @POPBANGCOLOUR
Ian Cook’s drawing of Alex’s Ford Fiesta MKII