Across America in the Focus ST. No interstates allowed Issue 232 – this month in 2012
Coast to coast, LA to NY, 3,300 miles (5,311km) all in, five days to do it and interstates – you know, those multi-lane fast bits – were not allowed. This was the imbecilic challenge we set ourselves in the new Ford Focus
ST. Turns out, America is bigger than we thought.
First things first, the car was immense. “We feared Ford might have lost its chassis magic with the MkIII Focus, but I’m delighted to report it’s still there. This car is touched by genius,” said Sam Philip, although he was suffering from “Guantanamo Bay-grade sleep deprivation” at the time.
It all started so well, cruising through the deserts in the West, a flying visit to the newly paved Pikes Peak, a race with a train along Route 66, an encounter with the Mega Canyon. And then there was Kansas, a storm of biblical proportions and the kind of “flat, featureless landscape” that sapped our will to live... still there was 1,700 miles to go.
Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania: “I know we crossed them but they’re a grey blur,” reported an increasingly grey Sam. Turns out the scenery wasn’t the only repetitive element: “We ate a lot of jerky. I discovered an exclusively jerky-based diet does dreadful things to your insides.”
Suddenly, JFK airport and the torture was over. “Ten minutes to spare. I got a bit teary.”
Sam’s advice if you fancy it yourself? “Give yourself more than five days, watch out for cops, avoid the jerky and do anything – anything – you can to avoid Kansas.”
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