All you need is a poor condition shell, a little bit of vision and a hugh amount of skill and experience – and the result is a transformation from metal junk into to a classic car ready to rally.

First step was to remove the roof to get rid of the sunroof. Severn Classics tries to retain as much of the original car as possible, sourcing replacement panels where necessary. In the case of the MK1 that meant that the rear panel had to be retained as that is simply not available any more. But other parts could be obtained. The shell had a new floor, boot floor, rear valance, sills inner and outer, inner front arches, complete front end, door skins and inner bins.

As the build continued, Severn Classics replaced all the subframes, added a rebuilt Cooper S engine with a modified cam to improve torque, a straight cut gearbox, and a limited slip differential. Wheels were 10in Minilites and brakes were 7.5in Cooper S. Inside, Severn Classics fitted a custom cage – Steve Griffiths is certified to custom fit FIA cages – fire extinguishers etc.

The car needed to be ready for rallying and all work need to be to completed to MSA Log Book standards.