Goes To VW Show, Finds A Ford

While there were plenty of cars worth highlighting at Dubshed, it’s just not possible to cover each one in detail. Instead, I tried to pick a few cars which best show the variety or at least something you haven’t seen before. So far there’s been a untypical Impreza STI and a zombie Beetle pulled from a field.

The final car I want to share with you from Ireland’s premier VW show is a Ford.

2017 Dubshed Cortina Zetec Spotlight Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-16

To be honest, it’s not even a particularly nice Ford, either. Even from a distance, it didn’t look good. The matte yellow paint – which I couldn’t tell whether was rough on purpose or had just come from years of neglect – did little to disguise the imperfections all over the body.

2017 Dubshed Cortina Zetec Spotlight Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-5

In the UK, the Cortina was good seller for Ford across its variants, this particular car being the Mk2 version. There are many cherished and cared for examples about, although I think that as time has passed, the Cortina’s appeal has been overshadowed by that of the early Escorts. But it’s maybe because of the popularity of the Mk1 and Mk2 Escort, and the corresponding rise in prices, that people have started to look for alternatives.

2017 Dubshed Cortina Zetec Spotlight Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-10

Despite the bonnet being open and revealing the car’s true nature, I knew there was a reason for this Cortina to be on the main show floor at Dubshed. It wasn’t an iconic car, and the organisers would have had their pick of pristine concours-condition cars if they absolutely had to have a Cortina. The wonky badge on the back would be the only real clue that something was amiss when the bonnet is closed.

2017 Dubshed Cortina Zetec Spotlight Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-1
2017 Dubshed Cortina Zetec Spotlight Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-2

At the heart of this ’60s-era saloon is a much more modern Ford Zetec on twin carburettors. The Zetec engine is to the Ford scene what the 4A-GE is to the Toyota world, albeit a slightly more modern engine with more capacity. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet gained the ability to measure cubic capacity by sight, but going by the position of the oil filler cap it’s likely a 1.8-litre or 2.0-litre with a power figure somewhere around 150-160hp. Nothing crazy, but it’s in keeping with the spirit of the car and is likely more than double what it originally would have come with.

I could only peak through the glass, but the interior appeared to be quite contrasting to the exterior. It’s been stripped of its carpets and repainted white, with lines neatly running along the length of the gearbox tunnel. Mounted to the steering column, I could just about make out a mappable Nodiz electronic ignition system.

2017 Dubshed Cortina Zetec Spotlight Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-4

So it’s not the prettiest, but in a sea of perfect paint and polished engine bays, this old Cortina put a smile on my face. It was maybe the contrast between the best VW show cars or the subtle execution of a modern engine swap, but it’s always nice to find something where you would least expect it.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Dubshed related content on Speedhunters

Cutting Room Floor
2017 Dubshed Cortina Zetec Spotlight Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-7
2017 Dubshed Cortina Zetec Spotlight Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-8
2017 Dubshed Cortina Zetec Spotlight Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-11
2017 Dubshed Cortina Zetec Spotlight Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-12
2017 Dubshed Cortina Zetec Spotlight Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-13


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Ireland has got some funky builds.

Eliezer Messias



OK - this has been building up for a while, but can't hold it in any longer. Time to RANT.

Why do you keep talking about the "VW" scene, yet continuously fail to represent the 'aircooled' side of the "VW" scene in any meaningfull way?

You find some aircooled cars at these so called 'VW' shows, and think you better feature something aircooled to keep the aircooled guys happy - or maybe help substantiate Speedhunters reputation for variety?

Well, whatever the reason(s) you pull out your ass (to feature these cars) you need to stop....and what's more, you REALLY need to get yourself someone that has just the slightest knowledge or interest in the aircooled side of things i.e. someone who might be going to the biggest aircooled shows of the season; Volksword @ Sandown or VW Action at the Pod, or can point you towards cars that really are worth a mention.

Have you featured either of the Porsche powered VDubs (the crazy orange/black single cab, Brian Burrows Squareback), what about Ritchie Webbs record breaking convertable, the blue 'rag that won best of show at Volksworld last year, the crazy 500+bhp wheelstanding panel van that broke it's drivers spine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dItXqMsntyU), the 'Fire bus' , Richard Merriman's turbo type IV powered '68 that is 100% streetcar (no weight reduction of any kind) which runs 12's at the strip and won it's class in the VWDRC about 3 years ago https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5GL08vMaME

That's just the speed side of things with cars I can think of off the top of my head whilst being blinded by total frustration. How about checking out the 'other' side of things going on i.e. the insane restorations being done by guys like Matt Smith https://www.facebook.com/smithsvw/posts/1294440487286891

I used to really look forward to paying Speedhunters a visit, albiet with just a little chip on the shoulder about how you portray the 'VW' scene, but that chip has just grown and grown over the years until there was no choice but to vent with a rant (that you guys deserve TBH)...

Either sort it out and start representing the VW scene with a bit more accuracy or stop being so complacent and pretending your covering the aircooled scene by avoiding the major aicooled shows and putting up a eature or 2 about the aircooled cars you just happen to come across at these so called 'VW' shows.


Who died and made you president of Speedhunters? Here's an Idea Dillon. Why don't you get out there and take the photos. Or better yet. Think about where you are posting this. This isn't a VW forum, of which I'm sure you're a member of every one. I for one don't care much for air cooled veedubs. Kind of less with attitudes like yours. But I still have a look when they do come up, because I have a varied interest in cars. So maybe sit down and have a think about what you're doing with your life that this get's you so riled up. Or have yourself a nice fresh mug of cement and harden the f*@k up.


Sorry, Dillon, but I can only shoot what's in front of me. If you read the main Dubshed event report (http://www.speedhunters.com/2017/04/dubshed-the-pride-of-an-island/) you might have read this line: "Maybe I missed them, but there was a surprising lack of air-cooled Volkswagens this year"

Still, I did spotlight a '53 Oval from Dubshed: http://www.speedhunters.com/2017/04/resurrecting-the-dead-bugly-the-zombie-beetle/

Also, a Cal-Look '72 Karmann Ghia at a recent event: http://www.speedhunters.com/2015/04/waiting-20-years-for-the-right-car/

If you look through the VW tag, you'll that there's a decent representation of air-cooled features, where 13 of the first 24 stories are air-cooled: http://www.speedhunters.com/tag/vw/

You're right in that I'm not an air-cooled expert, so I've been apprehensive of attending any dedicated air-cooled shows for that reason. There's also the issue that they're not particularly popular with our readership, where even the best of the air-cooled features receive only mediocre numbers at best. That doesn't mean we're ignoring the air-cooled scene, it just makes it harder to justify covering something that - figuratively - no one will read when we're on a finite budget.

I do take exception with the level of self entitlement in your comment, and how your opinions appear to be those of someone who believe themselves and their interests to be more worthy than others. The world does not revolve around you.

Dubshed is not a 'so called' VW show. It is a VW show, and it's a pretty damn good one at that. I'm just thankful that attitudes like yours are an anomaly in what is otherwise a fantastically friendly and welcoming scene.


Keep doing what you're doing Paddy. I love seeing your posts. You're a super busy man at the moment and the amount of different stuff you're covering is awesome. I think Dillon just has a major case of sandyvagitis.


10/10 would drive till wheels fell off


Fairly certain the panels will go before the wheels, mate


Peek not peak. There was something else but this is now blacklisted in Google feeds. I'm literally pooping right now and proud to share that.


Pooping and proofreading, you multi-tasking hero.


Not even kidding when I saw I'd rather have this than most of the vws at the show lol. Of course that's only if you can't sell it, I'm sure there were plenty of V Dubs worth much more


I'd take the Subaru to add to my collection out of all the cars there though of course, I'm pretty certain I could do something with it lol as if I need yet another Subie