RE-WRAPPED

Jamie opts for a colour change as part of the RS’s new look…

Fast Ford - - Fast Fleet -

QUICK SPEC mountune M380 up­grade Vel­gen Clas­sic5 al­loys Toyo R888R tyres Pu­maspeed/Eibach low­er­ing springs 3M wrap mountune axle-back ex­haust Max­ton split­ters H&R anti-roll bars TAROX brakes Mishi­moto in­ter­cooler kit Mishi­moto in­take it Quaife ATB I said big changes were com­ing for the RS, and they don’t come much big­ger than a com­plete colour change. But why? What was wrong with the pre­vi­ous wrap? Well, ab­so­lutely noth­ing. But, the fast Ford scene is con­stantly evolv­ing; it’s a con­stant cy­cle of new ideas and trends, so if you want to make sure you stand out then you need to move with the times and keep re-in­vent­ing your­self (or your car!). If you don’t, the scene will leave you be­hind and you can quickly start to look a bit out-dated.

That’s why, af­ter two-and-a-bit years of own­ing the RS, I de­cided the time was right for a freshen up. First up were new wheels; the su­per-rare Vel­gen Clas­sic5 (only avail­able from Steeda UK) is a time­less de­sign that com­bines style and ag­gres­sion, and in my opin­ion suits the Mk3 RS per­fectly. I’ve al­ways liked clas­sic five-spoke de­signs, and this is def­i­nitely one of my favourites. And, when cou­pled to the awe­somely ag­gres­sive Toyo R888R tyres, the RS’s looks (not to men­tion grip) had been sig­nif­i­cantly beefed up. Talk­ing of the tyres, I’ve now cov­ered ap­prox­i­mately 1000 miles since fit­ting the R888Rs, and while they do make a bit of a din when cruis­ing around town, the noise at mo­tor­ways speeds is much more bear­able – an en­cour­ag­ing and faint lit­tle whine in the dis­tance that serves as a con­stant re­minder that your driv­ing some­thing pretty spe­cial. And my God do they grip! I’ve preached about the im­por­tance of good tyres for years, but even I never thought they would work this well on a road car. I’m ex­cited to see what they’ll be like on track!

But while the new wheels and tyres looked good along­side the old wrap, they were only the first part of the facelift. Be­lieve it or not, the pre­vi­ous Satin Glacial Frost wrap had been on the car for al­most two years, and as the car has at­tended nu­mer­ous shows and events dur­ing that time, as well as ap­pear­ing in the mag and on our web­site, it’s fair to say that it had been seen by a few sets of eyes.

And the beauty of a vinyl wrap is that when you de­cide it’s time for a change, you can sim­ply peel the old wrap off and start again. In fact, it’s bet­ter than that. When we re­moved the old wrap (which, in­ci­den­tally is a piece of cake to do – it lit­er­ally peels off with no real ef­fort. Keep your eyes

peeled for a video from 3M Wraps UK com­ing soon to show just how easy it is!) the paint­work un­der­neath was as spot­less and blem­ish-free as the day the wrap was ap­plied, de­spite go­ing through two win­ters and rack­ing up over 10k miles in the process.

While the orig­i­nal Frozen White was in pris­tine con­di­tion, it wasn’t re­ally go­ing to cut the mus­tard af­ter such an eye-catch­ing colour as the bluey-pur­ple flip wrap. So, I was flick­ing through 3M’s cat­a­logue when a new colour caught my eye – Satin Ghost Pearl. Based on a satin white vinyl this seemed to tick all the boxes for me; it was still a satin fin­ish so would high­light the swoops and shapes of the RS’s bodykit bet­ter than a high-gloss fin­ish, it was based on white so the door shuts and in­ac­ces­si­ble ar­eas around the rear screen, rear tail­gate, and so on (and any stone chips!) wouldn’t show up as much as be­fore, and, fi­nally, it is also a flip-fin­ish which dances with all sorts of colours when the sun­light hits it yet re­mains sub­tle when in the shade.

It all sounded per­fect, so I got on the phone to 3M to or­der some of the film and ask them who they rec­om­mend to ap­ply the new wrap. They sug­gested The Ve­hi­cle Wrap­ping Cen­tre, and hav­ing seen some of their work on ex-fea­ture cars in the past I knew the qual­ity on of­fer. The only prob­lem is they’re in Leeds, and I’m in the South West. And with dead­lines com­ing out of my ears I’ve been so busy re­cently I was strug­gling to find time to take the car up there. Then, while look­ing through the Brid­gend Ford meet fea­ture from last is­sue I stum­bled across Adam Bowler and Se­ries One Re­cov­ery Ser­vices. A quick call, and the RS was soon loaded on the back of Adam’s rather swish low-loader and head­ing north.

The guys at The Ve­hi­cle Wrap­ping Cen­tre have done an ab­so­lutely stel­lar job with the new wrap. I’ve seen a few wraps in per­son now, and I have to say that the fit and fin­ish is eas­ily among the best I’ve seen. The no­to­ri­ously-fid­dle rear spoiler doesn’t even look like it’s been wrapped – there aren’t any vis­i­ble joint lines and the whole thing looks like it could have left the fac­tory that way.

You’ll no doubt no­tice from the pho­tos that I’ve gone for a kind of ‘Fast Ford Edi­tion’ style with the new de­sign, in­cor­po­rat­ing a satin black roof, spoiler, and wing mir­rors to mimic the Edi­tion mod­els. But I’ve also gone one fur­ther, by wrap­ping the side skirts in satin black I think it re­ally beefs-up the over­all ag­gres­sion of the RS, plus the back skirts work re­ally well with the split­ter ex­ten­sions al­ready fit­ted. The black on its own was a bit strong, though, but it pro­vides the per­fect run­ning board to show some love for the brands and prod­ucts we’ve cho­sen to fit too.

I’m re­ally chuffed with the new look. It’s sub­tle enough to go un­no­ticed when on daily du­ties, but when sat gleam­ing in the sun­shine at shows 3M’s Satin Ghost Pearl fin­ish re­ally pops – even if it is an ut­ter pig to cap­ture in a pho­to­graph! You re­ally do need to see this in the metal to ap­pre­ci­ate the ef­fect. And some of your prob­a­bly al­ready have, as the car was on show on the Fast

Ford stand at Ford Fest re­cently, and as I type this I’m just back from TRAX where the RS was part of a formi­dle line-up of our favourite mag­a­zine fea­ture cars on show in the Ford Pad­dock.

I even took the car out on track for a ses­sion while the guys from 3M were film­ing for their next re­veal video, but more on that – and other up­grades ere­centl;y fit­ted – to come next month…

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