Archive for the ‘Ford’ Category

It is easy to get carried away with numbers. Life seems to be measured in millions or billions these days and when Barclays Bank announced a recent drop in quarterly profits from £1.15 billion to £793 million the media led us to believe that bankers were were about to throw themselves off the top of the company’s HQ in Canary Wharf. Time to get a grip we think.

Numbers have got a little out of hand in the car world too now and we have seen deals closed at 1 million pounds plus at a rate never seen before in our time as ‘supercar’ brokers. That is fine and dandy of course but in reality the vast majority of petrolheads have now found themselves following the pursuits of car-spotters and dream-chasers on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram in search of car-pornography to satisfy their lust for automotive nirvana.

We thought, therefore it was time to challenge ourselves to find out which cars can provide the necessary ‘supercar’ fix for car-lovers who don’t happen to have access to the cash reserves of a Russian oligarch but also want a car they can drive without being ‘papped’ on the way to the supermarket.

The initial criteria for creating the ‘affordable’ short-list was as follows:

  • A purchase budget of no more than £50,000
  • Ideally at least 300 bhp power output (or power to weight ratio)
  • a zero to 60 mph time of less than around 5 seconds
  • Modern-ish without being called a ‘modern classic’
  • The car should be a crowd-puller (that was the hardest part)
  • A car that people will give way to at junctions with pleasure (actually that was the hardest part and unlikely to be the case with a few of these cars)

Of course £50k is still an awful lot of money for the vast majority of British citizens but we are assuming that a car-fanatic will be prepared to sell his grandmother in order to acquire the car of his dreams (sorry Nan!). That figure is also roughly a third of what you might expect to pay to become a junior member of the ‘supercar club’ if you were buying a brand new car.

So not in order of preference but in order of the alphabet here we go, including a link to one we have found for sale in order to prove the point:

alfa-romeo-4c-1-75-tbi-2dr-tct-158137613-1Alfa Romeo 4c – the company appears to have found its mojo again with the 4c and hopefully Alfa will start producing great cars again. The 4c has the looks, the noise and the pulling power to compete with its Ferrari cousins without the need for the driver to wear his shirt open to the navel. Drives like a dream and looks cool in any colour. For sale: http://bit.ly/21fCM7e

ariel-atom-all-models-S2188351-1

Ariel Atom 3 300 – a left-field choice but certainly one that would get you noticed parked next to an alien spaceship from Mars. For those drivers who have a masochistic tendency and enjoy being exposed to the elements of nature. This car will try to tear the skin off your face and an Aventador would do well to keep up with an Atom in any drag race. Dare to be different! For sale: http://bit.ly/1UhRZE1

aston-martin-vantage-v8-2dr-n400-limited-edition-33-240-141948863-1Aston Martin Vantage V8 N400 – actually for £50k we could have opted for a DB9 (Coupe or Volante) or a Vanquish. Anything with an ‘Aston Martin’ badge is super-cool anyway so our choice is academic. The V8 Vantage N400 is fast, has a manual gearbox, just enough toys, made in limited numbers and ticks all of the right boxes for us. For sale: http://bit.ly/1rAohPA

audi-r8-4-2-fsi-quattro-2dr-157881774-1Audi R8 – really didn’t think it would be possible but in fact there is a surprising number of R8’s available on the market for less than our target buy-price. It is nearly ten years since the R8 was first launched and yet it still looks fresh today. There probably isn’t another car in our top twenty that can emulate the R8 and look like it is worth twice the price. The family-man choice, however, would be the RS6. For sale: http://bit.ly/1VVSbKd

bmw-m6-S2324909-1 (1)BMW M6 – More of a Grand Tourer than a street-racer but none the worse for that. A stonking 560 bhp on tap means that progress will be rapid and a trip to Monaco can be done in the blink of an eye. The roomy cabin means you can take three mates on the trip with you too! If, on the other hand, you really do need four doors then an understated F10 M5 can be bought for similar money. For sale: http://bit.ly/1VWgCY7

bentley-continental-gt-gt-speed-08my-S2326448-1Bentley Continental GT Speed – Formerly the chariot of choice for Premier League footballers the Conti GT has matured very nicely and fitted with the 600 bhp W12 engine you won’t find another car in this list with a badge that can rub shoulders with the best company out there. The shape still looks current too because thankfully Bentley has kept the cosmetic updates to a mild make-over level over the years. For Sale: http://bit.ly/1XWP0jt

ferrari-360-S2315344-1Ferrari 360 Modena – Trying to buy a fairly modern Ferrari for less than £50k was always going to be tricky but we were determined to get one on our list of favourites. However we did cheat slightly because that budget will get you a left hand drive 360 and nothing else right hand drive will come close. Get one in Rosso Corsa with Crema interior and your mates will think you have just won the lottery. For sale: http://bit.ly/1YVhomc

ford-mustang-S2221654-1Ford Mustang GT500 Shelby – In the 60’s Steve McQueen made us all fall in love with his Highland Green GT 390 Fastback in the film Bullitt and the name Mustang still conjures up the stirring car-chase footage from the film. The car you can buy today will definitely be quicker with anything from 600 upwards available depending on which version you buy. The American V8 soundtrack is worth every penny! For sale: http://bit.ly/1XWSdPU

honda-nsx-honda-nsx-3-0-v6-non-pas-earliest-in-uk-149072729-1Honda NSX – Massively under-rated initially but the NSX turned out to be a giant-killer with Ferrari very much in its sights. The fabulous engine, superb handling and sensible list price meant that in spite of its mass-market origins Honda had managed to produce a proper supercar of its own. Technically because of its age now it is technically a ‘modern classic’ and shouldn’t be in this list – but it is, so there. For sale: http://bit.ly/1UiXL8u

jaguar-f-type-5-0-v8-s-quickshift-2dr-meridian--sport-exhaust-154073136-3Jaguar F-Type V8 Supercharged – We could have equally gone for the Supercharged V6 but the V8 F-Type just tips the balance on the mental scale. Over-the-top explosive exhaust note will have pedestrians running for cover and a rear-wheel-drive set-up that makes for some of the easiest rubber-burning wheel-spins on the planet. Smile factor is huge and with the roof down the search for tunnels will be high on the agenda. For sale: http://bit.ly/1qXh4s1

lamborghini-gallardo-5-0-v10-coupe-2d-494-bhp-148500251-1Lamborghini Gallardo – Disappointingly we couldn’t find anything to fit below our budget in the classifieds but there are some that come close. Lambo’s are holding their values well these days and a Gallardo can still pull a few glances when it is out and about. We think that if you were determined enough to haggle with a dealer and not too fussy about the mileage of the car then there is a Gallardo out there for you. For sale: http://bit.ly/21gPmDg

lotus-exige-s3-s-race-and-premium-S2319035-1Lotus Exige S 3.5 V6 – Lotus has come a long way since the Elise of the late 90’s and in spite of the turbulent history of the company over recent years there have been some interesting developments in product development and big improvements in build quality. Lotus has produced some of the best chassis designs ever since the beginning of time and the Exige will embarrass almost anything on the track. For sale: http://bit.ly/1qXkj2L

mercedes-benz-c-class-saloon-mercedes-amg-c63-156232639-1Mercedes Benz C63 AMG – Like many of the other cars in this list the 6.3 litre V8 C63 AMG makes a delicious sound. Start one up from cold and and the ferocious bark sounds like an angry demon stirring from its sleep. At first sight the C63 looks a little like a C250 with an AMG kit but that is half the attraction really because you can poodle around and blend in with the traffic knowing you have 500 bhp on hand. For sale: http://bit.ly/1XX9NDr

morgan-aero-8-aero-8-S2330125-1Morgan Aero 8 – It doesn’t get any more old-school than Morgan but the company knows how to produce a fast car when it wants to and they are a familiar sight on many race tracks around the world. The BMW V8-powered Aero 8 packs a punch in standard form for the road and is another soft-top in our selection that produces a glorious sound. Its quirky shape means you will get lots of friendly waves too. For sale: http://bit.ly/1rlgdBU

nissan-gt-r-black-edition-159531207-1Nissan GT-R – Another Jap that has spoilt the party for many of the premium brands amongst the high-performance pack. The GT-R has been developed to within an inch of its life and the result is that it shows you don’t need to spend a six-figure sum to buy a car to scare the life out of you whilst losing your driving licence. The GT-R takes on all-comers – just check out the YouTube drag-race videos! For sale: http://bit.ly/1TyR7IY

noble-m400-S2322831-1Noble M400 – If speed is high on your list of priorities then a rare, low-volume production Noble could be right up your street. Zero to 60 mph will be in the 3 second category and if you are brave enough you could push the car to 200 mph. The car is built by the same people who build the Superperformance GT40 and they know a thing or two about fast race cars. Your individuality will be applauded with a Noble. For sale: http://bit.ly/24n03WY

porsche-cayman-24v-s-pdk-148377119-1Porsche Cayman 3.4S – We couldn’t have an Exige in our list without including it’s nemesis the Porsche Cayman. Everything the Lotus can do , the Cayman will try to better it. Not always successfully but in a way that appeals to the more conservative buyer who has build-quality and longevity as their main priorities. The Cayman also threatens its big brother, the 911, in terms of value for money these days. For sale: http://bit.ly/1UjM4hO

porsche-911-turbo-997-turbo-tiptronic-s-S2240456-1Porsche 911 (997) Turbo – Porsche has produced so many variants of the 911 that the choice at £50k is mind-blowing. However, putting aside the GT3 and RS offerings, a 911 Turbo is a wet-dream for any car enthusiast. The performance figures are academic because most people will never have the chance to test the car to its limits and too many will not want to even use it to protect its residual value which is a shame. For sale: http://bit.ly/1WtnP0L

tesla-roadster-S2265010-1Tesla Roadster – Yes there is an electric car in our list and because we wanted a Tesla our choice was limited to the Roadster. You simply can’t buy a Model S (our preferred choice) for anywhere near £50k, at the moment at least. The Roadster is, however, related to the Lotus Elise, has set several world records for electric-powered cars and can get to 60 mph in less than four seconds. That’s why we chose it. For sale: http://bit.ly/1NXEEKx

ultima-all-models-S2050340-1Ultima GTR – it is a coincidence that the ultimate car on our list should be an Ultima. However, it might also be literally the ultimate of our car choices for £50k because it is the fastest car here. Designed originally by Lee Noble (yes, the very same of Noble Cars) the Ultima GTR can blow most ‘hypercars’ into the weeds for acceleration, including the Veyron. Need we say more? For sale: http://bit.ly/1UjTiSU

So there you have it, these are our, albeit subjective, choices for an alternative supercar for around £50k or less. You might disagree and if so, feel free to tell us which cars either shouldn’t be in our top twenty or point out some we may well have over-looked.

The links to the cars for sale have all been taken from the Pistonheads classified listings and you may indeed find better buys from other sources. Some of the cars we have found may also have been sold by the time you have read this article.

Let us know if you need any help looking for your ideal supercar for £50k by giving The Car Spy a call on 01892 506970 – we will be happy to assist you.

Superperformance GT40

When we saw the new Ford GT at last year’s Geneva show it completely blew us away. Floating on its revolving stand the metallic blue car looked a million dollars but (whisper it) the anticipated list price was to be less than £200k. That is a lot of money to spend on any car but in the world of supercars and hypercars you could be spending close to that on a new set of alloy wheels and a service. The owner of a P1 or LaFerrari would probably have that in small change down the back of the sofa.

OK it’s a Ford which doesn’t quite have the panache of a Ferrari or Lambo but it certainly does have the pedigree. Books the size of War and Peace have been written about the track successes of the company so engineering prowess is a given with any fast Ford. The latest Focus RS is a good example. ‘Blue-collar’ heroes they are calling them because badge-snobs wouldn’t be seen dead in one, even as a passenger. Their loss entirely. Incidentally, there will no less than four Ford GT’s competing at Le Mans this year. Look out Porsche, Audi et al.

But maybe the tide is turning. You see the so-called ‘blue-collar supercar’, the new Ford GT, is sending the car-collecting world into a right tiswas. Word is that only 28 cars will be available to UK buyers out of the planned 1000 to be built over four years and this has caused some anxiety amongst those who not only like their cars but also have lots of money to invest in their cars.

There are stories of individuals flying to the Dearborn HQ to see what strings they can pull to secure one of the first cars whilst shouting “Do you know who I am?!” Well that’s just hearsay but Ford has responded by saying that buying a fleet of Mondeos or offering free use of a Gulfstream jet will have no bearing on your chances of buying one. Maybe it will just be the old-fashioned short-straw routine or a gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Ford-style.

Suddenly the company has gone a bit shy on the exact sales price too. Quite likely one of the most sensible comments made at an HQ board-meeting since Geneva 2015 was that the car was possibly a tad too cheap and rumours are circulating now that you could be looking at Aventador-like pricing. If you think you can get away with it, Ford, then why not?

No doubt the car-collectors and ‘investors’ will be looking to double whatever they pay for their car in a few years time so any list price is quite frankly academic. Given the new GT is a spiritual successor to the original GT40 which is likely to be conservatively worth in excess of 10 million US dollars these days it is no surprise that the new car has created so much attention. Looks like Ford will be competing with Ferrari in the auction rooms as well as on the track.

However, there is an alternative option where the sensible money might be heading. The Superformance GT40.

The SPF GT40 story is not new of course and the South African-based company has been producing ‘authentic’ GT40’s for well over a decade now. So authentic in fact, that the company can legally use the name ‘GT40’ and each car carries the GT40/P chassis number and therefore is eligible for the official GT40 registry. So there.

The appeal of this car to ‘collectors’ and ‘investors’ of course is non-existent. But to somebody who would like to get as close as it might be possible to the Le Mans-winning cars from the 1960’s and who actually wants to drive their cars instead of moth-balling them in de-humidified cocoons then it is quite timely to put the spotlight again on this curious ‘replica’, ‘re-creation’ or ‘continuation’.

Each SPF GT40 is produced by Hi-Tech Automotive in Port Elizabeth, South Africa who just happen to produce cars for Noble. The Superformance brand is owned by the Hillbank Motor Corporation who just happen to be the US distributor for Caterham. Petrol (or gasoline) runs through the veins of the infrastructure.

If you want to buy an SPF GT40 you stop by your local dealer – Le Mans Coupes Ltd in the UK for instance – and tell them what engine you want installed (a choice of three from 430 to 580 bhp + as we write this) and your favourite colour for the bodywork. Hand over around £150k (more or less) and look forward to owning a 200 mph+ hand-built, re-creation of one of the most iconic sports car ever made.

For a car created in the 1960’s there is nothing else that can come as close to a Ferrari from the same period that could draw a crowd in a high street. The shape of the original GT40 has defied the ageing process and can hold its own against the forthcoming Ford GT. It looks like a brand-new re-creation will be a lot cheaper too. A proper race-bred sports car for the price of a modern supercar?

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Ferrari and Ford have both been in the news lately. A record euro amount was paid at auction for a 1957 335 Sport Scaglietti and Ford are back at Le Mans after 50 years with an ambition to win again.

The success of the Ford GT40 from the 60’s is well-documented and today remains one of motor racing’s all-time great successes. Thanks to Signore Enzo Ferrari.

So the story goes, the great man was willing to consider the sale of his company to Henry Ford II back in 1963 but because of a disagreement over how the motor racing division would be run Enzo cancelled the negotiations. HF II had spent a fortune in lawyer’s fees up to that point and was pretty miffed that EF just upped and walked away from the table.

As a result of the falling-out of the two alpha-males the racing division of Ford were tasked with building a Ferrari-beater to give Enzo a good spanking for his tantrum. A partnership with Lola ensued and the creation of Ford Advanced Vehicles Limited in England whose first-born was the fabled GT40. The rest is history as they say and now we look forward to the new Ford GT.

At about the same time Mr Ferrari was having another spat with a gentleman called Ferruccio. The chap who was making tractors had a few tips for Enzo to improve the ‘drivability’ of his cars which resulted in him receiving a bloody nose from the man from Maranello. Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to start building his own cars. Oh dear, Enzo did it again but we really should be grateful for the Miura, Countach, Gallardo, Aventador, Sesto Elemento etc etc.

On the face of it, if Enzo Ferrari had been a mild-mannered, passive, congenial individual neither the GT40 or the multiple creations from Lamborghini would have ever existed. Quite fortunate therefore that he wasn’t and not only did he create some of the world’s greatest cars himself but he also had a hand in the creation of some that did not wear a Ferrari badge.

Grazie mille Enzo Ferrari!

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12 months is not a long time. Only yesterday, it seems, we were waltzing through the airport terminal in Geneva and turning left into the Palexpo to ogle the latest automotive eye-candy. And now it is 2015.

Last year was okay and kind of worth the trip but this year we were gagging to get there. Over 70  new models on display plus the inevitable bunch of interesting concept cars that never see the light of day. So on with the show.

With so much to see we’ll just focus on the cars that were of particular interest to us which means you can exclude most of the mass market offerings.

Cutting to the chase our show hero was the Koenigsegg Regera – ‘robotic’ body panels, 1500 hp, 0-60 mph in minus 2 seconds, brain-mashing top speed, everything about the car is mental. The car is from Sweden and is the antithesis of ABBA. It is Black Sabbath on acid. Everybody now go back to the drawing board.

Koenigsegg Regera

Next up is the Ford GT. Only 250 cars will be made and the launch date is some time in 2016. For a car that looks this good and performance will be up there with the best it is hard to believe that it will cost around £200k. Speculators and investors form an orderly queue now.

Ford GT

Aston Martin. They really are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The brand is bullet-proof, up there with Apple in terms of global recognition and Bond’s perennial favourite weapon of choice. The cars are drop-dead gorgeous and yet they struggle to persuade die-hard Porsche buyers to consider AM as a viable alternative. The GT3 (Aston Martin) is all sold-out – yep 100 cars gone in the blink of an eye without a single car being built so there are some real fans out there. The Vulcan, to be honest, does not look like an Aston Martin. It looks like it came from the planet Vulcan and driven by Mr Spock (RIP). Designed for those who have enough money to have a spare car for track days (at Paul Ricard not Donington) the detail of the car is truly impressive. The rear light assemblies are a work of art and deserve a place in the Louvre. Bravo Aston Martin for surprising all of us!

Aston Martin Vulcan

Yes the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 is a concept but the car is real and very likely to be gunning for 911 customers in the very near future. The car on display was rotating gracefully while the crowds gawped and wiped the dribble from their mouths. The EXP is a truly lovely design and there is a little bit of Aston Martin in the profile. The interior is lovely too and you know they will sell zillions of them if they actually start making the car which we think they (VW) will. It is a no-brainer so all they have to do is come up with a sensible name for the car.

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6

If we all accept that the internal combustion engine will one day no longer exist but at the same time pray that we will not be driven around by a car made by Google there is a ray of hope in the form of fuel cell technology from nanoFlowcell AG. The Quantino F is a concept right now and maybe a little too avant-garde for mass market tastes but it bodes well for the future of green motoring. With a range of 1000 kms and a top speed of 200 kph we can all put away the razor blades – cars can survive without petrol.

Quantino F

Other highlights for us were the Alfa Romeo 4c Spider (prettier than the Coupe), Ferrari 488 (even more desirable than a 458), McLaren 675LT (they seem to going from strength to strength), Lamborghini Aventador SV (how can you make an Aventador even more terrifying?), Sergio by Pininfarina (not a game-changer but such a perfect design and future classic), Audi R8 (looks the same but then again doesn’t – if that makes any sense), Lotus (shouldn’t they be dead by now? The Evora and Exige still look damn good), Porsche 911 GT3 RS in orange (they couldn’t have picked a better colour), Porsche Cayman GT4 in yellow (they couldn’t have picked a better colour) and Renault Sport RS 01 (the bastard child of the Caterham/Renault love affair? At the right price this car will sell well).

There are even more exhibits that are probably worth a mention and we did manage to take a few shots of nice cars during our visit to the show so please take a look at our slideshow when you have time.

For now then we have stocked up on Toblerone, Swiss cheese and cuckoo clocks albeit with less Swiss Francs left than last year but roll on 2016 – not sure if it will be as interesting as this year though!

Fifty years ago Ford launched a car that they thought would take away some of the market share that BMC were stealing with their revolutionary Mini. Instead their brand-new ‘Consul Cortina’ created a marketplace all of its own which has pretty much endured to this day in the form of the current Mondeo and the multitude of similar-sized cars from most of the world’s manufacturers – all chasing the same market segment.

Their Cortina (still not sure why they insisted on using the ‘Consul’ moniker) appealed to the 2+2 family of post-war Britain that were hungry to escape the dark past of two world wars and were ravenously consuming the renaissance in music and design that was taking place during the 1960’s. Think Beatles, Mary Quant, Conran and the beautiful E-Type Jaguar as part of a tidal wave of newness that knocked the population off its feet.

The Cortina offered the family man in 1962 a car with clean, modern lines, (relatively) willing engines and performance for a reasonable amount of his hard-earned Pounds, Shillings and Pence – ‘new’ money didn’t come along along until the early 70’s. But there was more to come.

Ford had created a GT version of the Cortina with lowered suspension and – wait for it – 78 BHP over the standard 1500cc engined car which produced a weedy-sounding 60 BHP. Today of course we would expect more power from a sit-on lawnmower but in those days there were very few road cars that would achieve more than 100 BHP. Anything on offer to the general public producing more than that would have fallen very much into the ‘sports car’ category and was often far too expensive for ordinary folk. The Cortina did indeed put a smile on Family Guy’s face.

I had an uncle who once owned a Cortina GT and he drove it hard and fast. I blame that particular car for the love affair I developed later on in life for all things Ford including a Cortina 1600E, a 3.0S Capri in Daytona Yellow and a Scorpio Cosworth (sigh).

Four individuals were the catalyst for the birth of the Lotus Cortina – Colin Chapman, Harry Mundy, Walter Hayes and Keith Duckworth.

Colin Chapman owned Lotus with all of their chassis engineering expertise; Harry Mundy was an engine designer who joined Lotus from Coventry-Climax; Walter Hayes was head-honcho at Ford and Keith Duckworth a highly talented engine tuner (ex-Cosworth).

The four men created the cocktail of ingredients that created a true ‘sports saloon’ that distanced itself from its cousin the Cortina GT and its nearest rival the Mini Cooper. Press reviews were full of praise for the car’s handling and road-holding capabilities comparing it to the track-day Lotus 7 at the time.

On the track the Lotus Cortina inevitably blew everything else into the weeds and quickly became THE car to beat. The Ford Cortina-Lotus (as Ford preferred) is now firmly rooted in the folklore of saloon car racing and will still often make an appearance at classic car racing events today.

There was a simplicity in the approach that Ford took in the overall look of the car that is tasteful and pleasing to the eye. No fancy spoilers or wide arches just quarter-size bumpers, 5.5″ Wheels, Lotus badges and any colour you wanted as long as it was white with a green stripe. However, there is a story that one customer insisted on a blue stripe because he was superstitious about the colour green!

Today most Lotus Cortinas still running would have received an enormous amount of loving attention (and expense) to keep them on the road and their rarity value means that they are achieving high prices when they change hands. Figures in excess of £30000 would be readily paid for cars in top condition and concours examples could write their own cheques.

The forthcoming Baron’s auction on the 28th-29th May happens to feature a Lotus Cortina which has been described as follows:-

“This 1965 registered, Airflow model, Lotus Cortina,  underwent a full restoration in 2008/2009 meaning that GRO 28C is in very good order throughout. The car was produced in July of 1964 but was not sold and registered until March of 1965, Originally an “A frame” car, which was later converted to the more popular leaf spring set up, when used for group 2 historic rallying by the Ecurie Ten team from 1990.  Among the car’s six previous registered owners are the above mentioned Ecurie Ten team and well known and well respected  motoring journalist, Richard Hudson Evans. This car is known to the Lotus Cortina Register.”

The guide price is quoted as £30000 to £40000.

Click here for further details of the car that has been entered plus details of the auction

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Ford’s first global performance car will take centre stage next year with a starring role in new film blockbuster The Sweeney.

Flying Squad detectives Jack Regan (Ray Winstone) and George Carter (Ben Drew aka Plan B) will lead a cast of crime-busting officers as they give chase to London’s criminals in black Ford Focus ST hot hatchbacks.

Thanks to the Ford Focus ST’s 2.0-litre 250PS four-cylinder EcoBoost engine and explosive acceleration, the criminals will always struggle to make a clean getaway.

The new Ford Focus ST, which goes on sale in 40 countries from next year, was shown in final production-ready form at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

Anthony Ireson, Ford Britain marketing director, said:  “The new Focus ST is a hugely exciting car for Ford with terrific dynamic credibility.  It will be a car for real driving enthusiasts, so Regan and Carter won’t be disappointed.”

Last month special early-build Ford Focus ST models were secretly delivered to The Sweeney set, joining Ford Mondeos, Galaxys and Transits also being used as unmarked vehicles.

Director and co-writer Nick Love, whose prior films include The Football Factory and The Firm, said:  “It was important for me to collaborate with Ford on The Sweeney as their legacy with the original TV show is so strong – they’re the perfect partner.  I like the Ford Focus ST so much, I want one!”

Ford’s strong link with the 1970s Sweeney TV series saw Regan, Carter and their Flying Squad colleagues using a string of Ford Granadas, Consuls and Cortinas to make the streets of London a safer place.

Production company Vertigo has the use of six Ford Focus ST models during filming, which is continuing until Christmas.  Set in modern day England, The Sweeney movie also features Hayley Atwell (from Captain America), Damien Lewis (The Escapist), Steven Mackintosh (Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans) and Paul Anderson (The Firm).

Next year The Sweeney will be edited ahead of the Focus ST going on sale in the UK in the summer, followed by the film premiere in September.

“Da dah daah, da daah daaah”…wonder if they will stick to the original theme tune? 

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Five of Ford’s most memorable vehicles to feature on film and television have been brought together at Elstree Studios, London to celebrate 100 years of Ford of Britain.

The Ford Anglia 105E from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, lined up alongside the pink FAB1 from Thunderbirds, James Bond’s Ford Mondeo from the 2007 film Casino Royale, a Ford Granada as seen in The Sweeney TV series and Dr Who’s yellow Edwardian vintage car.

One of the most watched vehicles in film history is the turquoise Ford Anglia 105E seen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. 

“I’d been involved with Ford Anglia clubs for 30 years when I was asked by the film makers to provide a car for the movie,” said owner John Colyer. “After that it just took off and I ended up supplying around 15.”

One of the most eye-catching vehicles at Elstree was the six-wheel Ford-badged FAB1, that starred in the 2004 live action film Thunderbirds. Famous for its multi-function ability on the road and in the air, FAB1 is, of course, road-legal and fully operational.

For Daniel Craig’s debut as James Bond, in Casino Royale, which debuted ahead of the launch of the production Ford Mondeo in 2007, he took to the wheel of a hand built prototype.  Following the film’s release, the car was donated by Ford to the Ian Fleming Foundation and can now be seen at the Bond exhibition at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu.

On the small screen, Ford vehicles have featured in many series including two popular British programmes − gritty police drama The Sweeney and science-fiction drama Dr Who.  The familiar car chases of The Sweeney helped the Ford Consul GT and the Ford Granada achieve cult status with car fans − and are still loved 40 years on.

The canary yellow Edwardian vintage car with unique WHO 1 number plate and indicator ‘hand’ makes regular appearances at Dr Who conventions, and several Dr Who fans have used the car for weddings.

The summer’s Ford Centenary Tour covered a distance of over 2,200 miles across Britain, from Inverness to Southampton and Cardiff to London.

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