Stun­ning, well-specced ST was built in and im­ported from Oz...

An­dreas Tatt shipped his Fo­cus ST project half­way round the world to avoid sell­ing it. Want to know why? Read on…

Fast Ford - - Contents - Words EMMA WOOD­COCK / Pho­tos JA­SON DODD

Liv­ing large, spark­ing with the pur­ple-or­ange-bronze tints of a 3M Satin Flip Vol­canic Flare wrap, there’s noth­ing or­di­nary about this Mk3 Fo­cus ST. The colours drag you in, ac­cen­tu­at­ing each curve and tweak with a satin flour­ish, but it’s the shapes that

keep you star­ing. Up front, an SS-Tun­ing split­ter punches out to its end plates, lac­quered car­bon fi­bre teas­ing up un­der the lower grille while, out at the rear bumper, the same styling house pro­vides a rear dif­fuser which wraps around the twin loud­hail­ers of a three-inch Cus­tom Ex­haust Spe­cial­ists sys­tem. The tinted LED tai­lights might grab you next, or the high rise rear spoiler, or the 19-inch Niche Misano al­loys, and there’s only con­clu­sion left to reach: this build is fire. Once you’ve seen it, you’re hooked. There’s no way you could leave it lan­guish­ing on the other side of the world.

Luck­ily, An­dreas Tatt – the build’s owner and master­mind – com­pletely agrees. Af­ter five years in Aus­tralia, dur­ing which he bought the car and added most of mods you see to­day, he re­cently re­turned to the UK and the Fo­cus just had to come with him. “I’d con­sid­ered sell­ing it lo­cally in

Western Aus­tralia be­fore I left,” he says, “but I’d put so much money and so much time into the build, I had to keep it!” Bun­dled into a ship­ping con­tainer with most of the Tatt fam­ily fur­ni­ture, the Mk3 ST has since floated a full 9000 miles to ar­rive at its new life in Eng­land.

Be­fore the Fo­cus could touch­down on UK soil, bring­ing a month-long voy­age to a close, An­dreas was con­fronted with the full weight of Bri­tish bu­reau­cracy. “The pa­per­work for leav­ing Aus­tralia wasn’t that bad,” he says, “all the dif­fi­culty was in try­ing to get it reg­is­tered in the UK.” An­dreas’ first at­tempt at pass­ing an IVA was un­suc­cess­ful, forc­ing some al­ter­ations and a hec­tic turn­around to get the car suc­cess­fully re­assessed, reg­is­tered and granted an MOT to achieve road le­gal­ity. Oh, and did we men­tion An­dreas had to han­dle all of this just weeks be­fore his wed­ding?

Now the Mk3 can fi­nally get back to what it’s good at: snap­ping necks and in­spir­ing se­ri­ous Blue Oval envy. An­dreas checked in at Ford Fest and a re­cent Mid­lands STOC event, but the car made its Bri­tish de­but a cou­ple of months ear­lier at Ford Fair 2018. Stand­ing on the Car En­hance­ments UK dis­play, it wasn’t left want­ing for at­ten­tion. “A lot of peo­ple have been fol­low­ing my progress in Aus­tralia and were ask­ing about the car. It got a lot of at­ten­tion!”

Four years ear­lier, An­dreas had never even seen his ST. It didn’t take long for the pair to meet though: on ar­riv­ing in Perth, An­dreas im­me­di­ately started look­ing for a new car. He wanted a hot hatch, he wanted to buy new and, if pos­si­ble, he wanted some­thing in his favourite colour, or­ange. All of which led him to a two car short­list; it was time for the Mk7 Volk­swa­gen Golf GTi to face off against the Mk3 Fo­cus ST. A pair of fac­tors swung him to­wards the Ford: it felt like a bet­ter car for the money, and it was avail­able in Tan­ger­ine Scream. Brand new and com­pletely stan­dard, the ST swiftly set­tled into the role of en­joy­able daily driver.

Then An­dreas joined WA 5 Pots and EcoBooST 4s. Pop­u­lated by lo­cal XR5, ST and RS Fo­cus own­ers, the group turned An­dreas’ head with all the pos­si­bil­i­ties to mod­ify his mo­tor. “I was one of those guys who thought ‘I’ll wait un­til the war­ranty’s over’,” An­dreas laughs. “That didn’t hap­pen!” Just three months af­ter tak­ing de­liv­ery, our guy was split­ting in­ter­na­tional ship­ping costs with a friend to buy the Cus­tom Per­for­mance En­gi­neer­ing cold air in­take, Cobb in­ter­cooler and Cobb rear en­gine mount that are still on the car to­day.

Vis­ual changes came next, thanks to an SS-Tun­ing bodykit which in­cluded a front split­ter, side skirts and a rear dif­fuser. Rounder and less ag­gres­sive than the car’s cur­rent kit, it nev­er­the­less added sub­stan­tial aes­thetic in­ter­est and kick­started a re­la­tion­ship with the firm. “As soon as I’d fit­ted that kit, the SS-

Tun­ing team of­fered me the chance to be their rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Aus­tralia,” An­dreas ex­plains, “I took them up on it, mar­ket­ing their prod­ucts and co-or­di­nat­ing sales, so that’s why the car wears so many of their parts. It’s al­ways eas­ier to sell the stuff when it’s on your own car!”

As 2018 ar­rived, so did a new bodykit from SS-Tun­ing. The build was about to go big. Sharper and more ex­ag­ger­ated than be­fore, the new kit adds flared whee­larches to the split­ter, skirts and dif­fuser combo. The re­sult is a hard­core track car aes­thetic, yet the fit­ting process also pushed An­dreas to con­sider a colour change. “Tan­ger­ine Scream isn’t easy to match,” he ex­plains, “and paint­ing the kit was the same cost as wrap­ping the car.” Af­ter speak­ing to a cou­ple of friends, one of whom hap­pened to be a 3M rep, An­dreas was choos­ing between the lat­est vinyl shades. “He had ac­cess to all the new sam­ples and I re­ally liked the chameleon colours. It made the choice pretty clear! Even though it’s darker than the or­ange, it turns way more heads.”

An­dreas’ work with the Ukrainian tun­ing house ex­tends to the in­te­rior. The car­bon fi­bre gear knob and the car­bon fi­bre and al­can­tara hand­brake pro­vide a high gloss lift, as do the Stream­line Car­bon car­bon fi­bre door sills, yet it’s just too hard to tear your eyes from the steer­ing wheel. Fea­tur­ing a flat top and bot­tom, both wrapped in lac­quered car­bon, it evokes the GT hy­per­car and in­vites com­ments wher­ever the car goes. “It was a gift from pro­mot­ing sales,” he says, “and it’s one of those mods that, though it’s aes­thetic, re­ally makes you want to drive the car more: it’s so nice to use!”

Away from shim­mer­ing weave, An­dreas has also in­jected the cabin with a shot of his per­son­al­ity, com­mis­sion­ing Gauge­face to cus­tomise the in­stru­ment bin­na­cle with the logo of the New Jersey Devils, his favourite ice hockey team, and the out­line of Mar­tin Brodeur, one of the team’s great­est

SS Tun­ing flat-top steer­ing wheel re­ally sets off the cus­tomised in­te­rior

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