Saturday, 3 April 2010

Updated photos for April 2010

A recent batch of shots of the freshly detailed 220 - now the sun has finally come out there will be photos a-plenty lol!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

A one man mission.

Well not quite.One man and his understanding missus lol!!!

But putting it bluntly,im very much geared up with this car to go further with it than any other project i have undertaken.

Dont get me wrong,i wont be handing over 5 grand for a supercharger conversion nor will i commit a good £1500+ for a re spray,but i will be pushing every aspect to select the right choices for this car.

The ST220 as a model of car is very much being elevated by its generation of owners who i feel are not like the original 20 grand plus buying punters the first time round.

What i mean by this is the second wave sale phenomenon which ive seen with the ST24 and ST200 cars.

I vividly recall when nearly all were left standard due to the enormous outlay the car presented when new plus the average age of the buyer of these cars was credibly higher than you might find nowdays.

So an expensive taste just got a lot cheaper.the 220 is a terrible investment from new and im glad i had to wait so damn long for the prices to fall to what is,a sensible deal and gives you a lot of car for the money.

Serious competitive car rolling at very reachable cash.Id even go as far as to say its the purchase of the decade car wise.What else can you buy for 4-5 grand that delivers such a feeling as one of these?

The old 24 and 200 suffered many slings and arrows in there time.Grandads cars and sporty taxi's to name a couple.You were always asked where your pipe and slipper were and some of this crossed over to the 220.

I guess it all begun with the exec/middle management or sales rep image and its grown into a tired stereo type of wannabe racer dads hacking it across country trying to grasp a seam of there youth all the while making trips to Asda and picking up the kids after school.

What you see in abundance is a younger crowd and perhaps more willing scene now these cars have come done so much in price and left a wake or many years to divide them from there costly warranty period.
Would you dare add and modify a 20 grand car during this period in fear of killing all hopes of warranty and being left with parts and fords exorbitant labour charges?

Now days you dont have that.You just need to justify the petrol costs to yourself and then to everyone who asks 'how much does that cost to run then??'

answer .>> > lots lol.
Its my little crusade to elevate the 220 even thou my modding peers are very much in the ranks pushing it along before i even appeared.I wont to give it a nudge more and i believe the recent feature in PF has done this already.

Even if this reward is a small but humble nod from the RS and cossie boys as if to say,your acknowledged but dont get carried away lol.
but then we are gracefully rewarded with a car that isnt spending half its life on the hard shoulder or with smoke pouring from it either and every git in a mile radius trying to race you.

The ST220 hasnt quite had its day yet.Like the 24'200 before it these cars are now being appreciated.Hell,you cant even visit a ford forum of any kind without seeing a clutch of them whereas years ago there might be the one if you were lucky.

Im not a massive follower of mondeo owner clubs athou i am a registered user on many.
Not to make me the greatest hypocrite that walked the earth,ill explain.

As valuable as these sites are and i find them extremely useful on a number of levels,but sometimes it can get a little serious.

Dont get me wrong thou,ive seen serious on a whole other level with some car makes clubs!!!

I like to wander a great deal across all the known ford clubs as much as possible.
The main reason is to get to know other owners of all cars and make friends.
Cos after all the whole scene is pointless without all the characters it creates and it very much does this.
People online are a curious breed and forums seem to bring out the worst in some.
Like being drunk and thinking its ok to blurt out just about everything and anything thats bobbing about your tiny mind and in the belief the whole world wants to know.a little bit like this blog really lol.

But back on track>>>>

I created a forum of my own in network-220 and i think it has its place.If again,it helps elevate a model of car a little more then im happy.If its just aplace people like you 'wander' in and out of,then by jove your just like me!!!

End of ramble

Polish car washs and why you really shouldnt

It never fails to amaze me that the time and dedication that has gone into such cracking motors is being undone on a fortnightly basis by a team of half wits that share the same line of latitude as us and little else.....oh yeah,our housing system but lets not get side tracked.....yet

What is the fascination of spending a fiver to let a bunch of opportunists who are using this job as a quick means into the community who use the same rags,sponges etc to lacerate your fine ride.

When you weigh up all the time you put into the cars build from ICE to fitting suspension and when it comes to the final finish,you allow a pack of baboons arse's to wipe over the motor.

Lets get some facts straight.There not Polands finest detailing export nor do they actually give 2 sh*Ts about the car.Its cold hard cash nothing else.
The speedy ambush this clan of dodgers bestows on you isnt a sure sign of expertise or willingness to work.

Its getting your sorry ass out as fast as possible so they can set there scratchy tools onto another unsuspecting numbnut and make "money".you know the stuff dont you?? the paper stuff you get every week that pays bills and sometimes allows you to fit lovely additions like big exhausts and elaborate ICE know,the stuff you have been doing 'yourself'!!!!

you scoff at the sheer sight of some soap dodger trying to clean your screen at a traffic light especially when hes asking for a quid for the pleasure yet you will part with 4 more because 'i hate washing mycar'



come show day,people like me will be looking and thinking 'that would have been a nice car if it wasnt for the cobweb sh*t scratchy f*ck finish that you couldn't bothered to attain'

but on the flip side,you will be emailing people like me asking for a machine polish which i will then undertake for many many hours of passion and the old cliche blood sweat and tears.

I would imagine the brisk reward for the ole jelopy at this point is to take it.....yup,down to the Poles and then them undo everything i just strived to achieve.thanks.

Its a small but significant rant in a world that constantly blows my mind.hypocritical weirdness at its best.

Performance Ford Vs Fastford

Ok so we know these are the UK's 2 leading ford mags.What they offer seems to differ from sheer brute force to more accessible cars.

But lets get one thing straight from the get go.There does seem to be a divide in the buying public for these publications and from all the comments ive read over the years,it isnt just 2 camps of people.Its more like three.

So who are you???

1:the complete motor sport big budget track nut who wants to see more of the same.
they relate directly to big budget,big boost crazy ass cars is seemingly no limit.

2:the aspiring owner who owns just about any spec ford but likes to read the above and aspires to own something very special.

3:the day to day car owner who modifies to a budget and has a respectable fast road car.this owner relates more to features that are within reach.

So what i have found now,is you are constantly pulling in one of two main directions which is clearly the unreachable motors and the very accessible with a little saving and a lot of home grown talent.

If you go too strongly in either direction,you alienate the other group.And if you strike a balance,there are still those who are literally counting off whos featuring and what type of car it is.

Im standing firmly on the side that says a mixture of everything is best and to behonest i feel the comments of late are innaccurate and out of date!!!

The mags have evolved as the cars have changed in line up.People arent tolerating just RS and cosworth features anyway.The new wave of ST cars has swept the board and the focus RS has carved out a deserved place for itself albeit largely unfeatured as of yet as a modified car.

Ive been very lucky in that 3 of my main projects in a row have gained a feature and ive been asked many times what would make a feature car??
Hoenstly?? i havent got a clue other than to follow your gut feeling on something and dont be too aggresive with your ideas.

Dont be dated before its had a chance to shine.Be clear what your after and then slowly and surely build it up.

Lots of fine detail always wins over rather than big bolshy add ons.A car that you have to stand back and appreciate due to its accumalated features is far more credible than a big lairy paint job and a huge body kit.

There are cars that havent been featured heavily and this will always stand in your favour.Cars that are otherwise seen as dull or middle of the road also play the under dog card and therefore what you go and do will have an automatic impact.

The sheer fact is,dare to be different needs to be thought out and this can never be rushed.Its not a race!!!! The more complex the process was to accomplish a modmeans it stands a chance of not being duplicated nation wide in the blink of an eye too.

I personally found the following to be true:

Be completely open to all ideas and search far and wide.World wide searching for inspiration and even twisting existing ideas that didnt come together right on other motors.

Wheels maketh the car or so they say.This to me pins down the whole look.The wrong choice means your fighting against a style that they are dicatating.
Dont stick on massive motor sport wheels if you want a euro dub look cos it will take a genius to make the clash go together.
Unless this is your big idea in the first place,choose wisely.

Once the right set of wheels have been pinned down,think about how subtle or how agressive the overall look will be.Take your time choosing all manner of ideas.

The ride height of any car can massively chance its look.even down to an inch at a time it can start to look very different.
Exhausts send out a message and some times classic ideas are best followed,too many mixed model shapes and designs can elevate the car to a more fad status rather than well thought out.

If you want a cheap project dont worry.It can be done and usually come off looking just as good if not better,than a lot of expensive builds.

But crucially,everything you add must be perfect.No scratchs,digs,cuts,blemishes,scuffs,marring etc.If you want anyone to take seriously what you have done,make it the best you can do.follow guides,ask for help and re do a bad job till its right.

i have put my money where my mouth is numerous times and the lasest one is my rear lights.

there not perfect so guess what?? i bought another set masked them up,polished them and added the carbon they ARE perfect and no one will find any flaw of any kind in them.factory spec modified and thats my term lol even if the mags are pushing OEM+ 1

If you spend several 1000 and leave the rust bubbles,more fool you.
always clean the car up when you kick off.The better the paint,the better the base you have to create something.

Even this can be done in stages so you can save for one area and move onto another.

my bottom line on this is,feature cars are chosen because you have the passion and its clear to see.Ive been critisised once or twice for over posting pics or getting too carried away updating it but imo this is what people thrive on.

Its what i thrive on when i see all the cars online.If someone is so excited about something so simple,then im usually hooked!!! If its a cheque book car that doesnt have the personal attachment of the average Joe on the street,then it usaually leaves people cold cos they cant relate.

I like to think people relate to me cos they know i work silly hours,sacrifice so much and work so hard on getting it right.i appreciate each and every car thats online as long as its done with conviction and belief.

Now the clincher.If you dont submit your cars,how will anyone know to feature it??

i have this gem straight from the editor of PF when we were chatting at my last feature shoot.

He said in no uncertain terms,they arent getting enough every day fast road cars cos you arent sending them in!!! so how can they broaden the publication with some balanced motors.its up to you!!!! so get stuck in,believe in yourself and your vision and see it thru.

Friday, 12 February 2010

New exhaust plus mag feature!!!!!!!!!!!

Its been all go go go the last few weeks.What can i say other than i was very pleasantly surprised to be asked if we would like a feature with performance ford magazine for there monthly show stoppers section.

Obviously in sheer disgust we actually i bit there hand off for it because i had no plans to submit it for a feature entry for at least another 8-10 months.

There has been so much to tick off the list i would have felt cheeky to put it forward,but then to some degree your car is never 'ready' and this alone means alot of people dont get to see it at shows nor a publication.

This is however,our 3rd foray into the world of car features.I feel somewhat spoilt in this department and very humble that we have had the chance to shout our corner for a 3rd time in a row now.

A side note to this and perhaps worthy of its own blog entry is the hierarchy that a lot of people pick up upon with these types of magazine.What i mean to say is,you do have a level of car that seems to go into the performance car mags and it usually rides along with double the bhp or more,a track like set up and a budget of a small third world country.

So after several pages of arguing the toss on passion ford,its clear you will always have 2 camps of people.Those who want every day realistic fast road cars,and those who pay there hard earned to read motorsport track weapons where the sky is the limit.

So where do we fit in????

From my perspective i think its because there hasnt been more than 2-3 mentions for a car thats been around for 8 years now.So the ratio of ST220 per rolling magazine year has been unbelievably poor until now that is.
Barely a month back PF featured a ST tdci and mine will be out for aprils mag and prior to all this we had Martins ST24 with 220 engine project.So to some degree its getting more exposure thru what ever means.

So then...exhausts!!!! this is food for thought and the whole subject still raises a few grins and is a never ending hot bed for argument and contention but i still maintain little to no gains are made from the cat back.

So why the hell did i rush about like a loony getting one fitted??? you may wonder.

This is purely from an aesthetic point of view seeing as it was being shot in a studio for the feature and i felt a standard 8 year old wafty looking system wasnt the best foot forward when everything around it has been dealt with.
Plus its 8 years old and could do with a freshen up as its fords finest er...mild steel jobbie.

Th choices at such a short time frame were limited to a custom pipecraft system but this meant leaving the car for days to find a slot to get it on the ramps.
Then it was a mongoose system for a lofty £600!!!! fitted no less but still...

Then finally AmD came to the rescue as it were.£490 fitted for a milltek system and that was that job done.2 days to spare!

Must admit im loving the perfect balance of volume and tone.Nothing too overbearing and a lovely pop and burble on over run.

So nearly 500 sheets poorer we trek down the A21 and finally reach the studio.We are greeted by large security gates and then greeted by a rather finger licking good aston DBS sitting in the grounds car park.

It was a long ole day then followed by a near rear ender and a puncture!!! but,it was worth all the hassle.

The mag comes to us in a couple of weeks and i feel its been a stunning journey from the escort RS2000 thru to the st200 and now this car.Deserved??? juries out,but is it a good feeling??? hell yeah

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Dodolly Blue 2010: Whats instore??

This for me is a big looming mother of a question and id like to say i have it all mapped out in my head,but in truth i really dont.

I have a series of little ideas i want to see and bits and pieces that would make a nice addition,but whether the missus can stomach more spending or i run out of steam,we await to see which arrives first.

i dont think in all seriousness ill lack in enthusiasm.Its a cracker of a car to live with and the fact its coming together makes you push even further forward with just as much vigour as when you began.

The main things to do:

full cat back stainless exhaust system.ideally a hayward and scott but looking likely to be a pipecraft system due to it saves me £150-200 using piecraft but you dont suffer for quality quite as much as you would think.

a fully enclosed induction kit which i have all sorted in my head.

remove and colour code the centre radio and gear stick surrounds perf blue.
either a flip out DVD radio or a suitable double din stereo to fill the current 1 din and below void setup.

Wolf make a rather nice rook lip spoiler which id normally turn and run a mile at,but this is rather nice.

id love to get the roof panel carbon sheet skinned.but its another 'will it wont it' look ok kinda mod.

the list is actually very long and most of which is going to be made up as i go along like always.

There are things ive done which are being made common place.whether this is to do with me or total co incidence i dont know for sure but its a pain and maybe i need twist on some ideas currently in place