FORD BRIDGEND

We join hun­dreds of Ford fans as they take over the Bridgend en­gine plant for a great day out – it’s what Sun­day’s were made for.

Fast Ford - - Contents - Words and pho­tos DAVY LEWIS

Ford's fam­ily day at Bridgend en­gine plant had loads to of­fer...

The Bridgend Ford en­gine plant may be a ma­jor in­dus­trial oper­a­tion, but that doesn’t mean Ford has for­got­ten about the peo­ple who re­ally count (that’s you lot by the way). There may be im­mense pres­sure on global car man­u­fac­tur­ers in 2018, but I for one say a hearty well done to Ford for throw­ing open the doors of the Bridgend plant for their pop­u­lar fam­ily day.

Th­ese free to at­tend events are a must for any self-re­spect­ing Ford fan, giv­ing an in­sight to the pro­duc­tion process, as well as the op­por­tu­nity to check out some stun­ning cars. Add to this a live ac­tion arena with Paul Swift mak­ing fast Fords do things they re­ally shouldn’t be able to do, and you’ve got the recipe for a top day out.

This year, the turn out was huge, bol­stered no doubt by the spell of Mediter­ranean weather to hit the UK. The event was split into two ar­eas, with the en­gine plant tour and car dis­plays in­side, while a large club area took pride of place on the grass in front of the build­ing. It was the lat­ter where we set up our Fast Ford stand, com­plete with some very spe­cial cars in­clud­ing Ceri Mor­gan’s Fo­cus RS from last is­sue and ‘ELE’, Mark Hudd’s deeply im­pres­sive 700bhp-plus 4x4 Sierra Cos­worth.

It re­ally was a sight to be­hold; row upon row of highly pol­ished Fords, with pretty much ev­ery per­for­mance model from the last 40 years rep­re­sented. From im­mac­u­lately re­stored Se­ries One RS Tur­bos, to big-power Fo­cus RS Mk3s, there was some­thing for ev­ery­one. The clubs re­ally pulled out all the stops for this one and it was great to chat to so many happy (al­though very sweaty) Blue Oval fans.

In­side, we got a rare chance to see the lat­est EcoBoost en­gines be­ing pro­duced with the sheer scale of the oper­a­tion some­thing to be­hold. A large hall at the end of the tour had been taken over by cars or­gan­ised by the West Wales RSOC, and what a line up there was. Things kicked off with the lat­est Ford GT tak­ing pride of place,

while be­hind it sat some iconic Blue Ovals in­clud­ing the cur­rent WRC Fiesta, as well as se­lected treats from the Ford Her­itage fleet.

Out­side, Paul Swift took some lucky pas­sen­gers out in his mod­i­fied Fo­cuses to give a text­book demon­stra­tion on car con­trol, be­fore tak­ing them for a drive on two wheels.

Af­ter a full day of blaz­ing sun­shine, hot Fords and great en­ter­tain­ment, we left happy; a lit­tle sun­burned, but happy. A hearty well done to Ford Bridgend for putting on such a great event and to all of the clubs and Fast Ford read­ers who helped to make it such a crack­ing day out. We’re al­ready look­ing for­ward to the next one.

The sheer vol­ume of en­gines the plant pro­duces is mind-blow­ing The grass ar­eas out­side played host to a se­lec­tion of Ford clubs from across the UK Paul Cox’s con­cours RS Turbo is a reg­u­lar at RS events Ford GT may not have been a run­ner, but it looked beau­ti­ful En­gines ga­lore!

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