FT EXCLUSIVE! Question - How many colours can one car be? If the car in question is this stunning RS Turbo belonging to Jason Ripp, then the answer is six. It’s impossible to describe in words how utterly amazing the paint on this car is. As the sun catches the panels the colour morphes from green right through orange and blue to purple.
Today is RSOC National Day and I am having trouble photographing the car due to the sheer number of people flooding round to get a glimpse. People’s jaws drop as they walk round the car, the colours following them as they move.
Most of you will have heard of Jason through his involvement with Ripspeed, Xtreme and his own new R-Tec venture in St Albans, as well as a number of previous feature cars including a Mercury Grey FRST and a WRC style Escort Cosworth. Until mid last year this Fiesta was standard, white and very average. It was taken off the road and the transformation began.
The engine was stripped down and rebuilt with low compression pistons, head work and a cam. 701 beige injectors were deemed insufficiant so higher flow items were specified, along with an uprated fuel pump and hybrid T3 turbo. Finishing touches to the already spotless engine arrived in the form of chromed parts and an array of Bailey Motorsport alloy tanks, including the very neat chargecooler reservoir which sits in perfect symetry as a mirror image of the header tank. The whole lot is piped up with blue Samco hoses and includes the first example of the company’s new FRST coolant hose set. The battery tray has been removed and finished so neatly you’d swear it was never there. The battery itself now resides in the boot, making space for the huge air filter bolted to the T3, which sucks through the vented wing.
Moving onto the bodywork, the standard vented RST bonnet was discarded and in insted sits a louvred item with the welded on ‘Bad Boy’ lip. The badge and swage line have been filled an a stick on front plate takes there place. The front bumper is a heavily modified Escort Cosworth item from Fibresports, with a large section cut out and meshed over to provide airflow to the chargecooler pre-rad. A Laguna splitter adds vital depth to the front and provides flexibility in the event of splitter / ground contact. At the rear the standard tailgate and lights along with the spoiler were given marching orders and in replacement came the curvier mk4 setup with clear lights and a mk3 spoiler adapted to fit the mk4 tailgate. The mk3 Si rear bumper has a raised flat section to mount the plate on and underneath sits the rounded, rectangular Carisma tailpipe of channel tunnel proportions. Due to it’s dimensions being similar to that of an opening more commonly found on the front of houses, Jason is able to have road tax reminders and servicing invoices sent directly to the car…
Choosing a set of wheels is not an easy task and Jason went through four sets before finally settling on these Techomagneso Detroit’s. A full 18” in diameter, they are shod in 215/35 rubber and precisely dialed-in Avo coilovers allow them to sit just inside the arches. Behind each front wheel is the disc and caliper from a Mondeo ST200 provides ample stopping power to match the engine. Jason deliberatly didn’t go too big with the discs as he intends to run 15”s for quarter miles. A few test runs on the 18”s will decide if the brakes stay or the 15”s go and some larger discs appear in place. A rear disc conversion is also planned and is just awaiting parts.
Opening the doors reveales acres of black leather, the rear bench and door cards matching the Cobra Sidewider seats who’s backs have been sprayed body colour. As you’d expect, the prerequisite Momo steering wheel and gearknob are present and correct, as is a Nomad Racing A pillar pod housing two white faced gauges, a third sitting in the recess in the centre console underneath the window switches. The original 150mph clocks have been mounted into the curvy mk4 dashboard, and a TV headunit pops out, providing visual entertainment from the selection of videos stored neatly in the boot, next to the player itself. A Rockford Fosgate amp and sub acompany the setup.
Not many people love Fiestas enough to sell an Escort Cosworth for one, Jason is one of a hardcore few who is pushing the boundaries of modifying the Ford hatch with fresh and original ideas. At the time of writing several other rather special Fiestas are nearing completion and are due to hit the magazines soon. Jason has thrown the gauntlet down, let’s see what the rest have to offer…
18 photos, click to enlarge.