“MY NINE-YEAROLD SON, JET, ACTUALLY SAID THAT HE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE REALLY COOL IF WE BUILT SOMETHING LIKE [A GUNDAM].”
seemingly peaceful day is thrown into chaos as a siren wails and tells of an attack by the opposing faction on your colony. You look out into space to see a new model enemy mobile suit has blown through the colony defenses and is reaching to unlock the airlock hatch and gain access to the colony itself. Just before the suit can engage the lock, there is a blur of red, leaving the enemy mobile suit’s arm cut clean off and drifting off into space. You look out to see that your savior is the Gundam Astray Red Frame… Ford Focus?
Jumping to a different timeline, it’s 2015 and Rally Innovations has been challenged with building a Ford Focus for SEMA. They need something that will not only grab attention, but test themselves from a building and design standpoint. Thankfully, Rally Innovations co-owner John Peñano’s son had a suggestion. “My nine-year-old son, Jet, actually said that he thought it would be really cool if we built something like [a Gundam].” Peñano says. “Fortunately, too, the team members who supported and worked on the car were fans of Gundam and the anime as well.”
Peñano himself wasn’t a fan, or too familiar with the Gundam series, but he was about to get a crash course. Rally Innovations’ first move was to decide on which mobile suit from the series they’d focus their artistic vision on. With a storied history of over 37 years, that’s no easy task. The solution, however, came much easier than they anticipated.
Initially, the team settled on the “Strike Noir” Gundam, which features blacks and grays with small red and yellow accents. When this was pitched to Ford though, they thought it was a little too dark and menacing, so it was back to the drawing board. While mocking up the phase two rendering, it was discovered that white was the best base color to work with since it was the easiest to see the car’s bodylines on. After trying out a few different accenting colors, red was decided on, as the team thought it lent to the simplicity of the white. A Gundam that’s white and red? There’s only one real choice there: the Astray Red Frame!
The MBF-P02 Astray Red Frame was one of five prototype mobile suits that were being developed in secret and then mysteriously covered up in the series. The unit was discovered by its pilot, Lowe Guele, who’s a technician from an organization called the Junk Guild, which is pretty much the equivalent of a mechanic stumbling upon a supercar in a garbage pile. The Red Frame was designed with lighter materials and minimal armor to be faster than other Gundams.
Rally Innovations’ Red Frame certainly wasn’t discovered in a junk heap or designed for warfare, but their Focus was developed in secret to be outstanding. To make