WHEN a classic red Ford Escort is sold at auction this weekend it is expected to raise thousands for charity.

The 1989 convertible has been totally restored by mechanics at Cross Street Garage.

The crew – led by Ford enthusiast Dave Petrie – have worked alongside TV presenter Mike Brewer to completely overhaul the 30-year-old car.

When it is sold at the Classic Motor Show on Saturday it is expected to reach as much as £30,000.

The money will be divided between the Marie Crawford-Boyd Foundation, which helps those suffering with terminal illness Wegener’s vasculitis, and Harrison’s Fund, a charity fighting Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

The car, a Ford Escort XR3i, is the latest to have been restored to its former glory as part of Mike Brewer’s Classic Rumble, sponsored by Lancaster Insurance

Cross Street Garage got the job of restoring it after Mike was introduced to mechanic Dave Petrie through the classic car club network.

Dave, 48, from Walcot, said: “I have always liked Fords. It’s my passion.”

He is a member of the Oxford RS Owners Club, dedicated to those who own Ford RS models.

Dave, who has been working as a mechanic for 32 years, said: “When it came in it was like a 30-year-old car, covered in dirt and grime.”

The bodywork was sent to a specialist in Northampton, where it was refurbished and sprayed scarlet.

“It came back in July,” said Dave. Since then, the car has been jacked up in Cross Street Garage’s Transfer Bridges workshop – with Dave working on the car in spare moments between jobs.

Every fitting in the car is new, with custom “#TeamMike” fittings and a roaring 1.6 litre engine. Seven Swindon firms have contributed parts or labour to the project, including OMS Upholstery and Euro car parts.

Dave said: “A lot of it – a good 90 per cent – has been donated by different companies, by different people.

“I’ve only driven it up and down the industrial estate. It’s like driving a new car.”

The bright red convertible will be loaded on to a trailer on Thursday, ready to be taken to the Classic Motor Show at Birmingham NEC.

The lucky owner will be in for some envious looks.

Dave said: “I think because of how tidy and clean it is, it’s going to have everybody staring at it.”

Because the car is to be auctioned, it’s not yet known exactly how much it will raise.

Mike said: “That’s the million-dollar question. We don’t know: With a car like this, it comes down to the time and the room and how generous people are feeling for charity.

“One sold recently for £35,000, so you never know.”

If it makes £20,000, I’ll be drinking champagne on the rostrum.”