Rob Sawyer - Ford Focus ST170 - The BeaST
I automatically wanted to make it the most recognised mk1 Focus on the Island.
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Bar man at The Yarbridge Inn
I’m 34, originally from Portsmouth and now live on a small island in the south of England, the Isle of Wight and daily an imperial blue modified Ford Focus ST170, lovingly known as the beaST.
I don’t really know what or who got me into cars, apart from I remember seeing a mk4 Escort at the primary school I went to and always remember calling it a happy faced car and it stemmed from there. My family was always massively into formula 1 though, but never pushed or influenced it. The love for cars and motorsport just grew from there.
I have, I suppose, like many, seen a massive change in the car scene, some negative and some not so. I’ve always loved the max power era cars for the individuality and creativity the guys and girls always put into their cars, no 2 cars were ever the same and I wanted a car just like that. I had a mk4 Escort Eclipse as my first car, and like every 18-year-old of the time, had big plans for it, but underneath it was a complete rust box, so that never really saw the light of day. Being a fan of unique body kits and the like and also the severe lack of surviving st170’s over here, when I took this car on back in February this year, I automatically wanted to make it the most recognised mk1 Focus on the Island. I absolutely love the attention the car gets and seeing people’s heads turn to look at her.
Good or bad reactions, or comments just pushes the want even further plus the waves and nods from fellow modified ford owners is awesome. One thing I have learned during this project, build your car for you and don’t listen to the negativity and hate that is unfortunately rife in the car scene. Anyone willing to do this automatically has my respect. Don’t get me wrong, I have met some amazing people and made some epic friends with this car.
So as the car stands, I have added a lower bumper spoiler and splitter, some max power era arch extensions from, I think it was called the titan body kit, a set of side skirts that I will be making some moulds to blend to the bottom of the arches, lower rear bumper spoiler. There is also a small homage to knight riders as I have put a scanner in the lower grill.
I have swapped the wheels over from the stock 17inch ST wheels to some old school Wolfrace 5 spokes with an offset of 35. This presented issues with the stock 215/40 profile tires as the rears constantly rubbed on the arches, so I sourced the current tires running 195/40. They have a very slight stretch and feel much better suited to the car, despite being 20mm thinner.
My boss, Rich ’foxy’ Fox had a hand in the styling, he wrapped and applied the bonnet vents for the previous owner. Inside, there is a deep dish Momo wheel, blue gear knob, ST stitched gear and handbrake gaiters, factory fitted footwell lights with all interior lights now blue and some custom WickedArt floor mats.
I have a few ideas floating around on a rear spoiler, as a lot of my focus has gone into the front end and the back of the car looks a bit neglected. Further plans for the ST are possibly some bucket seats and harnesses next year and I am about to start work on sorting the boot build. There are early plans in the pipeline for some form of metallic blue plasti dip on the exterior with a shiny finish and also changing the decals.
All the modifications have been carried out by myself and my grandfather, Rodger, on his driveway, very mighty car mods style. I couldn’t have gotten this far without him and his vast range of knowledge and problem solving skills.
There have been several mechanical issues, it’s a ford at the end of the day. Most of it has been taken care of by a very special mechanic whom I now consider a friend, Paul Salmon of Motors R Us IOW Ltd.
This car was being built during lockdown and with me being on the road for a community food delivery service to elderly and vulnerable people that The Yarbridge Inn had organised, my mechanic, Paul, came on board and was working on our cars for free, to keep us all moving. He has saved me more times than I can count. Big hats off to him.
I think if I was to pick a dream car, I know I will get a lot of hate for this from the guys and girls, but it would be a Nissan r33 gtr 400r. ever since seeing one on gran turismo many moons ago, I just fell in love with it.
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