Tick­ford re­turns

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle News -

Tick­ford is back as Ford per­for­mance takes on a new look fol­low­ing the death of the Fal­con. The iconic name, which was used by a fac­tory hot-up shop that pro­duced a long run of tweaked and tizzied fast Fords, is now be­ing ap­plied to the top-sell­ing Ranger ute.

It’s been picked up by Pro­drive Rac­ing Aus­tralia, the com­pany that fields four Fal­cons in Su­per­cars rac­ing, as it di­ver­si­fies for the first time into road cars.

The new-age Tick­ford crew has plans to work through the Ford Aus­tralia range over com­ing years, start­ing with the Ranger but mov­ing quickly on to the Mus­tang and then the Ever­est and other im­ports.

The man be­hind the move is Rod Nash, a co-- owner of PRA, who is do­ing the deal with back­ing from race team boss Tim Ed­wards and mem­bers of the PRA team in Mel­bourne.

Tick­ford can do ev­ery­thing from a $105 cos­metic tweak with door sill pan­els through to full­house up­grade with 15 per cent more power and 20 per cent more torque for close to $20,000.

The plan is to have Tick­ford Mod­i­fi­ca­tion Team Betta Elec­tri­cal backed Triple Eight

Cen­tres in Mel­bourne by the end of Oc­to­ber, Race En­gi­neer­ing Ford BA Fal­con Syd­ney in Novem­ber and Bris­bane by the start of 2017 that will han­dle the Ranger and Mus­tang up­grade work.

The Mus­tang pack­age should also be ready in the first quar­ter of next year.

“We felt the time was right to pro­vide a fresh take on things and give blue oval fans some­thing ex­tra to be pas­sion­ate about,” says Ed­wards, who is the CEO of Tick­ford.

But it’s Nash who has the in­side story on ev­ery­thing from the cars to the choice of the Tick­ford name.

“Ba­si­cally, this pro­gram started two years ago with us work­ing to­gether with Ford Asia-Pa­cific and in par­tic­u­lar through their per­son­al­i­sa­tion re­quire­ments with Ford Per­for­mance Parts. That’s where it orig­i­nated from,” Nash re­veals. “We’ve been de­vel­op­ing parts with them. And then, along the way, emerged the con­cept to fill the void in the Aus­tralia-New Zealand mar­ket where there are lim­ited per­son­al­i­sa­tion pack­ages for Ranger, and Mus­tang and Mon­deo and Ever­est and the like.

“That got us work­ing with Ford, and also within ourselves. We didn’t want to be just a shoddy af­ter­mar­ket op­er­a­tion, we wanted to keep the qual­ity in the prod­uct.” And what about the Tick­ford name? “We had a com­pany called PRA Garage but we thought that was a bit boring. So the boys went to find some­thing ap­pro­pri­ate, and the Tick­ford name was part of a com­pany we pur­chased that used to have it. It had rel­e­vance to the Ford prod­uct.

“I was won­der­ing ‘Do you dig up the past?’ but there is so much his­tory and it’s rel­e­vant to what we’re do­ing. We had over­whelm­ing sup­port. So we got our le­gal peo­ple to look at the global stage. It was all de-reg­is­tered ev­ery­where. So we’ve got the world trade­mark, which took about three months.”

Nash says the Tick­ford busi­ness has re­quired a big com­mit­ment that has not come cheaply.

“We’ve al­ready plugged a cou­ple of mil­lion dol­lars into the R&D. We’ve used in­ter­nal re­sources and we’ve got an as­so­ci­a­tion with Prem­car in­ter­nally. Through the Ford li­censed ac­ces­sory pro­gram the Ford en­gi­neers are also in­volved,” he re­veals.

In the case of the Ranger, the re­sult – be­hind the gi­ant Tick­ford grille panel – is ev­ery­thing from the door sills to a $7995 pow­er­train up­grade that takes in the in­ter­cooler, ex­haust, en­gine tune and driv­e­line war­ranty. There is also a Tick­ford sus­pen­sion pack­age with tauter springs and Bil­stein dampers, 20-inch al­loys and even leather seat trim.

Tick­ford will only work on cars which are al­ready with their own­ers and has no in­ten­tion of be­com­ing ei­ther a tier-two man­u­fac­turer in Mel­bourne or a di­rect out­let from Ford Aus­tralia.

In the near fu­ture it’s go­ing to re­veal its Mus­tang pack­ages for both the V8 and Eco­Boost four, tak­ing a sim­i­lar ap­proach to the Ranger. A Tick­ford-en­hanced Mus­tang was dis­played at Bathurst over the race week­end.

“We are cer­tainly look­ing at ev­ery con­ceiv­able op­tion for them, in a num­ber of ways. En­gine tun­ing, for starters, is a big-ticket item. It’s a re­ally good pack­age the way it is and don’t have to do a lot to make it bet­ter again,” Nash says.

“Ex­haust, sus­pen­sion, car­bon pieces. The catch­phrase at Tick­ford is ‘Per­for­mance driven by pas­sion’, but what we mean is that don’t want to throw in a bunch of af­ter­mar­ket things. We want to de­velop our own stuff to en­hance the cars in a nice tidy way with the ap­pro­pri­ate cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and test­ing to meet the qual­ity level of the ve­hi­cles we are en­hanc­ing.”

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