PHOTOGRAPHY & WORDS: Tom Horna
Marcus isn’t your average car guy so no wonder that his passion for cars turned into a business. With significant contacts in the racing industry built up over the years, he had the pleasure of buying, and selling all sorts of machinery including not one but four of the Jordan Formula 1 cars. Today Marcus and Rowan specialise in the sale of rare racing car memorabilia under the name RidleyDidleyRacing.
Their latest project is a race prepared Ford Mustang with an FIA compliant roll cage which has been built from scratch. Every inch of this beast has been attended to with love, care and detailed workmanship.
The car is currently for sale through our own AutoHouse London so please contact us for more info.
I had the pleasure of meeting the duo and their masterpiece (which visually and mechanically blew me away), and here’s their story in Rowan’s words:
Where did your passions for cars originate?
When Dad was a teenager, his Grandfather, who usually had British sports cars, went out and purchased a bright green 1971 Mach 1 Mustang. From then on Dad was hooked and spent most of his 20s buying and selling Shelbys, Mustangs and other Muscle cars with his friends.
I guess I inherited that passion and could apparently identify Cobras and Mustangs under a car cover from the age of 3. Although my path was probably pre-defined when given ‘Shelby’ as a middle name.
After I came along at the end of the 80’s and our cars were sold to buy a house, we moved away from most of dad’s friends that were in that scene. When the idea of getting a Mustang project for us both was raised, it had been 15+ years since dad had owned any muscle cars.
Where did RidleyDidleyRacing come from?
The name was a joke originally, Dad needed a business name when he was importing/exporting Shelby and Cobra parts, and a friend suggested RidleyDidleyRacing.
Just before we bought the Mustang, Dad had bought 4 of the Jordan Formula 1 cars after the team went bust. This had started a shift towards a more motorsport related business and we were starting to work with a few more of the teams to help them clear backlog of clothing, parts and cars at the end of the seasons, so it felt like a good time to revive the name and create a brand out of it.
Now we are working closely with Aston Martin Racing and some of the other teams and even moving in to sponsoring promising drivers and supplying a lot of the market with genuine crew clothing and safety equipment, as well as engineering companies and smaller teams with wheels, engines & parts.
How did the Mustang build start?
About 6 or 7 years ago I was talking to Dad one day about the idea of getting another Mustang. It seemed like a great idea for us to build one as a father-son project, but at the time most of his money was tied up and he made the mistake of making a flippant comment that there was no way I would find a Mustang for the £5k budget that he would give me.
Well, that was all of the encouragement that I needed, and I came across a solid V8 car that had spent its life in a dry state. It was already in the UK and in need of full restoration – for a little less than £5000!
Why are you selling the Mustang then?
When we started building the car, it was meant to be a restoration. As time went on and we explored the idea of a track car, it became clear that we should build an all-out race car to promote the business. The plan was originally to race it ourselves, but we have decided that with other projects on the go, it is best to let someone else have that pleasure! The end result of the 5-year build is a car that has seen no compromises in terms of function or design. Every decision was made with function as the primary driver, but with an aesthetic approach to each element of the car.
What projects are next?
Well, Dad and I each have a car on the way from the US (it’s a bit of a race as to which arrives first ha-ha). I have a 1970 Chevelle coming, which will be a frame off build, uprated brakes, lowered and eventually I think I will switch it from the 5.7L 350ci engine & auto box to a 7.4L 454 motor with a 4 speed! Dad’s is at the other end of the spectrum and is a 1965 International Scout (similar to a Ford Bronco) with a 5L 304ci engine and 4×4 which will essentially become his daily driver.
We are also in the middle of building a rolling show car out of one of the Aston Martin Racing cars from the China Cup. Once complete, this will be the only one on the market and available to purchase!! So watch this space!
The most exciting project, however, is the 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo that we just bought, which is one of the actual stunt cars from ‘The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift’. By the looks of things, this car was used on a rotisserie, most likely to get the shots of the car rolling at the end of the race. We plan to restore it back to screen condition. (You can follow the build on Instagram – @fastandfurious_montecarlo). I have always been a massive fan of the Fast & Furious franchise as it really opened my eyes to car culture when I was growing up, so to own a car from the actual films, is just fantastic – especially as it is a muscle car!!
1966 Ford Mustang Coupe Race Car – Fresh Build, FIA Cage
Engine: 302ci 5.0L, originally built by Mike Huddart
Gearbox: Toploader 4 Speed Gearbox
Colour: BMW Agaish Blue on the outside with white ‘Shelby stripes’ and a custom gunmetal grey colour on the inside/engine bay.
This car was finished at the end of 2017, after a ground-up build to the very highest standard costing approx. £80k, with a view to it being a simple conversion to FIA / HTP if desired.
GT350R Dash with Autometer gauges
Entire chassis has been seam welded and lightened wherever possible, with a full FIA spec roll cage built by Custom Fabrication.
Full Cobra Automotive suspension and brakes – Aluminium hubs, aluminium bushes, 11” brake rotors, 1-3/4” drop across the whole car.
Cobra Automotive side exit exhausts with Tri-Y headers
Fuel Safe cell mounted in place of the original tank to keep the weight low, with Facet fuel pump and hard lines throughout the car.
FULL SPEC IS COMING SOON VIA AUTOHOUSELONDON.COM
PAINT AND BODY WORK: in perfect almost like-new condition.
LIGHTS: Standard bulb headlights, LED conversion tail lights.
WHEELS, TIRES AND EXHAUST:
General look inside the cabin:
Power supply, controls, dash and dials:
ENGINE BAY AND FUEL TANK:
FRONT AND REAR ANGLE: