Nick Hedley has a thing about eye-catching vehicles. This Carlisle-based roofer’s vans are hard to miss on Cumbria’s roads with their red, blue and yellow livery.

But they look positively muted compared with another of his four-wheeled wonders.

This bright orange supercar, named Bullet, is - believe it or not - a 1960 Ford Anglia 105E.

Well, that’s what it started life as.

Nick’s modification has taken on a life of its own. “It’s a mad thing,” he says with a smile. “It’s nuts. I must be mad.”

Nick’s first vehicle was a Bedford van. His work vehicles have to be sensible, in performance if not in appearance.

But the 54-year-old says: “I’ve always loved speed. I’ve always been mad about cars. Super cars.”

He designed Bullet. It was built for his 50th birthday and took two years to complete.

“It was going to be a hill-climbing car,” he says.

“It was going to perform on the hills. It got to a certain point and we decided it was too good. The amount of hard work that’s gone into it...

“I just wanted to do something that was different really. People don’t really put a Corvette engine in a lightweight car like an Anglia.”

They do now.

Its original 1.2 litre engine has been replaced by a modified Corvette V8 6.2 litre.

The original shell has been modified and strengthened.

Some of the body panels are fibreglass and carbon to keep the weight down.

There is a back spoiler for improved aerodynamics.

Inside, Bullet is built for speed, not comfort.

The interior is stripped down. In the roof there’s a roll cage.

You’re not likely to sink into the full carbon Tillett race seats.

A fire extinguisher sits behind the front seats: there are no rear seats.

The car has technology found in Formula 1 cars.

“It’s got variable traction control, so you don’t slide it everywhere,” says Nick.

It also has launch control: an electronic aid to help drivers accelerate rapidly from a standing start.

There’s a control panel in front of the gear stick which looks very much like something you’d find in one of James Bond’s cars.

Pressing the green button marked ‘launch’ initiates launch control and allows Bullet to go from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds.

There are six gears and twin 4-inch exhausts which give a throaty growl.

The colour also demands attention: Lamborghini orange.

“They’re one of my favourite cars,” says Nick.

The Ford Anglia that this used to be had a top speed of about 60mph. This version can go three times faster.

“It is geared to do 200 miles an hour, although I don’t think it will do that because of the aerodynamics.”

It has gone to 140mph on the rolling road - a piece of hi-tech indoor equipment to test cars’ performance - at JDM Dyno Engine Tuning at Kirkbride Airfield.

JDM also did Bullet’s electrics. The car was built by another local firm, Richard Clark Engineering and Motorsport Preparation.

There are plans to do more miles on the rolling road and on a race track next year.

“I probably won’t drive it. Martin Wilkinson of CA1 Sport will probably drive it for us. And Richard Clark, the lad that built it, he drives it.”

The transformation has not come cheap, with a meticulous attention to detail.

“Attention to detail is very important to me in general. The devil is in the detail. Things have got to be right and they’ve got to look right. Same with my day job and vans.”

So far Bullet has been driven only 30 miles outside, to an enthusiastic response.

“The reaction is good - they just can’t believe it,” says Nick.

This was apparent at last year’s Cumbria Auto Show in Borderway Exhibition Hall, Rosehill, Carlisle.

It was Bullet’s first show, and it was voted best car. “It won the people’s vote. That’s the most important one for us. There was a massive and fantastic response from the public.

“People were in awe of the car. They were saying ‘I’ve never seen anything like it.’ ‘Amazing.’ ‘The colour’s beautiful.’”

Next month Bullet will be among the attractions at the UK’s biggest classic car show.

The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show takes place at the NEC Birmingham on November 8-10.

More than 80,000 visitors are expected to see hundreds of favourite vehicles: some of them, like Nick’s, with a twist.

“The Ford Anglia 105E Owners’ Club invited me to help celebrate the 105E’s 60th year.

“I’m not sure what the reaction will be. Some people might still see it as an Anglia. I think there’ll be a few who don’t.

“For the show the car will be set up in full race mode, as low to the ground as possible with all the rear spoilers set, like a Formula 1 car basically.

“Being invited there is fantastic for us. It’s great having a Carlisle car there. It’s a good showcase for the car.

“It would be nice if Cumbrian classic car enthusiasts came along to see us there.”

This will be Nick’s first time showing a vehicle at the NEC.

He has won shows with another of his customised cars: a Mark 1 Ford Escort with a Cosworth engine.

As for Bullet, Nick says: “It’s good to keep the old cars alive, whether they’re modified or standard. I see it as an Anglia, just heavily modified.

“My son Max loves it. He’s 14. He comes with me to shows. My daughter Mia is 11. She’s more into horses.”

And what about Nick’s wife, Julie?

“She thinks it’s too noisy,” he admits.

Those who love Bullet really love it. This souped-up version of a classic but sensible car - this Ford Anglia on steroids - has brought a smile to many faces.

Does Nick have plans to conjure up a similar transformation for his work vans?

He smiles at the idea.

“Not for the time being,” he says.

* Martin Wilkinson is director of CA1 Sport, Cumbria-based specialists in the building and support of rally cars.

He has written a testimonial praising the work of those who created Bullet.

‘I have been involved in building some of the most successful cars in motorsport, many of these cars have won World Rally Championship events.

‘The level of preparation and expertise that has gone into this Anglia can only be categorised as outstanding.

‘I have seen many so-called professional companies turn out projects to a far lower standard than this car.’