Episode 257. Ford StreetKa. WU04 ZLV. (Part 3).

 With no sign of coming to my senses in sight, I've been plodding on with my little sCRAP nugget StreetKa. I have been trying to source the remainder of the bodywork, and while I can find pretty much all of the panels, I can't find anyone that has everything I need so far. Added to that I can only find the bootlid in the correct colour as it appears through my t'internet research that the StreetKa didn't actually come in metallic purple, however the regular hatchbacky Ka did. It would appear that the StreetKa in the UK atleast came in various metalic colours, silver, grey, blue, and green. But if metallic wasn't to your liking, and you prefered solid colours then you were limited to black, red, or pink! Yes, pink, although the pink version was produced to promote the 2004 Thunderbirds film, and supplied by Ford to the producer of the film where it was unveiled at the Birmingham motor show. Ford produced just eight of these Pink StreetKas for the film, five where right hand drive, and three where left hand drive. All eight were signed by Sophia Myles who played Miss Lady Penelope. I've got to admit, that actually, now knowing this I'd kind of like a pink one, I wonder if I can get Sophia Myles to sign mine when it's done... Or better yet, Kylie Minogue... Probably should just concentrate on getting it finished first though to be honest!

 But anyway, back to the plot, or at the very least somewhere near it. With as much of my interior in as I'm planning to fit for the moment, and with the Summer time in full swing I noticed that despite me fitting a new roof to my garage the rain still penetrates it, and my interior was getting damp as I've not got a roof for it yet. Of all the StreetKas that I've had so far I've never had one that is fitted with a hard top roof. By all accounts these only came on the Winter edition StreetKa, however they occasionally turn up on fleabay for sale, so with that thought in mind I decided that I'd quite like to have a hard top roof on this little thing. I realise that the point of a car like this is the roof down wind in your hair (or scalp if you're like me) motoring, and with the roof up they're not too bad even when it's cold and raining. But a hard top is what I'd like so that's what I'd decided to track down. I didn't really know how the hard top attaches to the car, but after casually metioning to my friendly mechanic what my plans are he told me that if I wanted to fit the hardtop, then I'd need to take the soft top from the same car as the brackets to fit the hardtop are part of the soft top framework. With this thought in mind I hit fleabay and farcebook looking for someone breaking a Winter edition StreetKa.

 As luck would have it I found someone, just 122 miles away from BelongaClint in Tiverton, Devon! Crikey, why whenever I'm looking for something is it flippin' miles away? However the picture of the car he was breaking looked pretty complete, and despite not being the right colour I thought that maybe a black roof would look OK on a purple car, I mean the cloth roof is black, and that probably looks OK, so why wouldn't the hardtop work in black too? I sent the seller a message, and asked him how much he wanted for the hardtop roof? I got a one word reply "SOLD". Bugger, that probably meant that he didn't have the cloth one either! But the more I looked at it the more I thought that perhaps despite it being silver it looked to have all the body parts mine needed to complete the bodywork... I could always paint it later if I really felt the need couldn't I? So I enquired about the bonnet, boot and the bit that covers the folding top first, "all sold" was the reply, Hmm, a man of few words I can see. So what about the bumpers, and lights? "Gone" was the reply I got this time. I started to wonder just how much StreetKa he actually had left? I wondered if he still had the wheels, I'm not sure that the StreetKa wheels are my favourite, but they look better than the rusty 14" steelies I've got on it at the moment, but of course they too were "sold" I started to wonder if writing an ad saying you're breaking a StreetKa when you've really got nothing left of it to break might be breaking some sort of trade description law? But foolishly I pressed on. I thought about the interior bits that I needed, and asked him if he still had the doorcards? He said he did, but I could only have them if I had the seats too. I felt that as I was starting to get full sentences instead of one or two word answers maybe I was making some progress. So, despite not needeing any more seats I thought I'd better enquire as to the price of the seats and door cards? "100 quid" Hmm, I see, back to the two word answers I see. Well that was too much for my liking, but I figured if I could get all the dash facia trims, the door speakers, the roll hoops, and anything else I needed for the interior of mine for £100, then I'd probably go for it. But no, for all these bits he was going to be after £200. For me, if I'd have needed to get the complete interior I would've probably gone for that, but as it's basically trim I'm after I guess I'll wait. Most of these parts are in the regular hatchbacky Ka anyway, so probably not too difficult to find.

Anyhoo, I thought I was probably wasting my time, but I figured I'd ask if he had the cloth top, and he did, as long as I wanted to part with £100!! But there was a catch, I could only have the top if I stripped out the soft bits of the interior so they didn't get wet if it got rained on. I told him that if he accept £75 plus the interior getting stripped out I'd come and get it as long as he sent me some photos of the top so I knew it was in good shape.

 He agreed, and sent me some photos, and there in the pictures I could see that not only was the roof in good shape, but it had the bit where the hardtop would bolt on should I ever find one!

The following day as I left BelongaClint for my 122 mile trip to Devon in the Navara the sun was shining. By the time I reached Tiverton  the weather had reverted to standard British Summer weather, and it was lashing it down! I met with the seller who showed me where to put the interior after I had taken it out, took my money for the roof, and said he'd leave me to it, but under no circumstances should I remove the roof before the interior is out if it was raining, which it was... A lot! With that agreed I stood in the mud, and for the next two and a bit hours I removed the interior, and stowed it carefully in his barn. Then I was on to the roof, just six bolts hold this thing on, and so after about ten minutes it was in the back of the Navara, and I was sat behind the steeering wheel soaking wet, and ready to head for home.

 Four and a bit hours later I was pulling up outside my garage, the sun was back out, and my clothes had dried out on the way home. I figured that I could just put the top in the garage and head for home, I was pretty tired, and hungry. But as it was only held on by six bolts I might as well put it on, atleast then it would be water tight, right? Wrong! Without the panel that sits over it when it's folded down there is quite a large gap!

 Still, never mind, atleast that's another peice bought, and another part checked off the list. I've got to say that I really like how this is coming together, and to be honest, I'm quite enjoying building it back up. But the more I looked at it, the more I think that those wheels need to be replaced, they just look terrible to me, and they're only 14" diameter, whereas the StreetKa should have a 16" rim as standard. I decided to consult my fairly extensive wheel colection to see if I had anything in a 16" diameter with a 4x108mm P.C.D. Of course I didn't, but I did have some Sierra wheels that, although only 14" diameter as well I  wondered if they would poke out too far. I tried one on, and to my surprise I felt that even with the bumpers on when I eventually get some, the Sierra wheels would probably fit. However I still needed a larger diameter. One thing for it, back to fleabay. Although the fleabay was being a bit fruitless for StreetKa body panels in purple, or even hardtop roof, for wheels with a pcd of 4x108mm the world really was my Blue Öyster. Although I didn't want to go down the standard Street or SportKa wheel route, I still wanted something that was still standard(ish) in diameter. What I really had in mind was a set of 40th anniversary Wolfrace wheels, this thought was very swiftly removed from my mind when I saw the sort of money people thought they were worth! For a little while I toyed with the idea of having some pcd adapters made up so that I could fit a set of five spokes from a Focus, but in the end I gave that idea up as it seemed like extra faff, and it might make the wheels poke out too far anyway. But then a set of four Valbrem 931 alloy wheels showed up just 18 miles from BelongaClint in Basingstoke. I asked the seller if I could come and look at them, and he said I could. After a quick measure up to make sure that the P.C.D. was correct I handed over just £60, and I was on my way home with a set of four 15" Valbrem 931 alloy wheels complete with some very sketchy old tyres.

 I'll be honest I'm not completely sold on these wheels, and would've really prefered the 40th anniversary Wolfrace slotmag type wheels that I'm still sort of half hearted searching for. This being said, I do think the Valbrem 931 alloy wheels look way better than the rusty Focus steelies which they replace. I dunno, maybe they'll grow on me.

However, even though they are an inch smaller in diameter than the standard StreetKa wheels I think that the tyres are a taller profile, and therefore they do rub a little on the inner wheel mudgaurds when I'm turning on full lock. So no doubt this will need to be rectified when I take if for a MOT. That being said, even though the tyres do appear to be holding air, there appears to be some quite big cracks in the tread pattern, and they probably should be replaced before I start driving this thing on the road.

So this is where I am currently at. I think that I've got to give up looking for the bodywork in the correct colour now, as with the exception of the boot, which I am going to collect soon, it would appear that I won't able to get the right colour so going to need to get used to the idea that whatever panels I find they probably won't be the best match for the purple paint. I've been thinking about it, and I think that pretty much any colour will do, although red, pink, and green probably won't work as well as say black, silver, grey, or even blue. So those are the colours I'm really after I think, unless by some miracle purple ones show up really quickly.

TOTAL SO FAR... £301.