Builds>> 350z Powered Mki Escort

One of the – many – great things about working for Speedhunters is we can justify hours and hours of random internet browsing and YouTube videos as 'research'. For a change, my 'research' actually turned something up in the shape of this Ford Escort MKI which is currently being rebuilt in the UK.

Billy Sutton (user driftescort on the Driftworks forums) recently unveiled the progress being made on his dream build. Just want to say a big thanks to Billy for letting me use his photos to share the build with you guys and girls.

The premise of the build is pretty simple – it's about a guy building something that he has always wanted to build. This build is for Billy and no one else. 

As you can see from the images, the MKI Escort shell will sit atop of a spaceframed chassis. The use of a spaceframe will obviously keep weight to a minimum but it also allows Billy to have his choice of running gear and suspension. Billy has acquired a Zakspeed bodykit for the car so it will have quite an amount of presence once finished.

The engine is a mildly tuned VQ35 which is currently producing over 300BHP. The reason behind the 350Z engine choice is its large capacity coupled with its relative light weight. The VQ35 also has a lot of aftermarket tuning options and conversions available should he want to extract more power from it in the future.

Billy considered a couple of options for an independent rear suspenions setup but settled on an S14 rear end due to its low cost and availability. An S14 rear end can be made fully adjustable for pretty cheap and with GT-R parts can handle large amounts of power with ease. An S14 front end was also chosen for the same reasons.

The car is not being built with any specific purpose in mind, just as an all round fun and fast car to drive.

Billy is under strict orders to keep us updated on the build as this is something we will definitely be taking a closer look at in the future.


Paddy McGrath

More Builds on Speedhunters

Project Zedspeed on Driftworks



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My attention is caught. I'm very curious about the end result. Good luck with the build, Billy!


It seems very promising building!


I like VQ35


its not very often you see a VQ35 being used in builds!!


Awesome! This is a large reason why I come to speedhunters. I love seeing the crazy things people are building.


What isocyanide says... definately caught my attention!


I think the coolest thing about these sorts of builds is the building it just for the fun of it attitude, whether it is a world beater at any particular event is unimportant it will be a uniquely cool and all your own. Good luck with it Billy.


Sleeper candidate!

These guys are just crazy for doing swaps!


I love projects like this. Between this and the Ute frame build I'm enjoying life hehe!


awesome. we definately need more "builds" articles.


anyone know what that yellow car is in the background of pic 4?


wait.... an actual car feature on speedhunters and not some rinkydink toy model or RC car!? STOP THE PRESSES!!!


Rad. I'm feelin this


Oh my, where is the engineering in this thing? where is the torsional rigidity? will flop round like a wet rag.


Nice! I like the build posts


It's cars like this that bring Me here... Don't stop now!


I think it's a bit early to be criticizing the engineering work considering the space frame is no where near complete. Let's give the build chance first before getting on our high horses, okay?


@roustenvega: I think the car in the fourth picture is a Renault 5, possibly a GT Turbo. Would be very interesting to find out about that too. Wonder if that has also had an engine swap? Mind you the 1400 turbo motors shifted the little things already!


On the subject of builds... What happened to the drift Hilux?


is it just me or doe it look like those r just rope that hung the motor??!?


@Ray C

It is, I noticed that as well!

I am in Manchester UK, I really want to see the car being driven once it's done!


broooo never seen this b4 a VQ35 enegine in a ford never seen that b4 wanna see what it will turn out to be


I just finished a vq35de swap in my AE86 coupe and its a awesome combo for these light chassis.


Any update Paddy? Sean


Any update Paddy? Sean