Retro Styled Perfection

If there’s one thing that can be taken as a learning from wandering around cars shows, it’s that things are not always what they seem. Whilst checking out the Fast Car stand at TRAX, I wandered past this Mk5 Fiesta in the centre of the display and initially didn’t pay much attention - it seemed to follow the usual recipe of a drop, smooth bodywork and nice paint. Glancing into the interior though made me double take, instead of the usual standard seats retrimmed or an aftermarket sports set, a single bench spanned the width of the car, much like the classic American cars of the 50s and 60s. This was trimmed in beautiful red leather and completed with lap belts.

I then noticed the dashboard - gone is the standard item and in it’s place sits a completely custom one, loosely based on the mk1 Audi TT. The modern gauges are substituted with classic looking Auto Meters mounted centrally, along with period matching steering wheel, billet door handles and pistol grip gear knob. Even the speaker grilles looks straight out of a 50s Cadillac. The whole thing is almost entirely devoid of switchgear. There are no stalks on the steering column and just a single bank of three toggles to the right of it. The handbrake is now electric, like a lot of modern cars.

Moving from the interior to the engine bay and it’s equally as impressive there. A 1.7 Puma engine sits in a pristine candy red bay, fed by Kawasaki ZZR600 carbs (not throttle bodies). The brake master cylinder is gone, replaced by small reservoirs and a pedal box. Custom alloy tanks replace the plastic ones and a complete wiring tuck ensures the whole thing is obsessively neat. As a final detail the slam panel is trimmed in the same red leather.

Externally, you start to notice things as you walk round. The arches are wider than usual, custom fabricated. LED bulbs in the headlights, custom round bar grilles and completely shaved doors without handles. Cup style mirrors on custom baseplates. Then even more subtleties - the fuel filler flap no longer has the notch for your finger, it’s totally flat. The side repeaters are now flush fit LEDs.

The whole package was constructed with flawless craftsmanship and beautifully thought out and executed. Easily the car of the show for me. On my return home I was able to find out a little more about it from this Fast Car feature, and obtain the spec list which I’ve duplicated below.

Car Spec. Retro Styled Perfection
Styling Range Rover Kaikoura Stone Pearl paint; custom wide arches; smoothed sideskirts, front and rear bumpers; custom copper round-bar front upper and lower grilles; fully shaved doors; front indicator delete (replaced with flush LEDs); smoothed tailgate, aerial and washer jets, mirror baseplates; bad boy bonnet; filler cap smoothed; hidden door pop buttons; LED headlight conversion; custom fuel filler popper; neons; smoked headlights; red tinted rear lights.
Tuning 1.7-litre Puma engine; Kawasaki ZZR600 bike carbs with 30mm custom alloy trumpets; Malpassi fuel regulator; stainless braided fuel lines with AN fittings; stainless 4-2-1 manifold; EMP Performance exhaust system; DriveTorque Stage 1 clutch; brake servo delete; hydraulic pedal box with copper brake lines; modified JS Performance silicone hoses; shaved alternator; custom power steering lines, throttle cable setup and injector blanking plate; Land Rover Firenze Red Pearl engine bay; smoothed and wire-tucked bay; slam panel cover trimmed in Autolux St. James Red smooth-grain leather; engine block and gearbox sprayed in Kaikoura Stone Pearl; gearbox mount and water pump pulley sprayed in Firenze Red Pearl; various mounts and ancillaries powder-coated gloss black; polished rocker cover, alternator and engine mounts; bespoke aluminium header tank and power steering tank; custom hoses; custom engine loom, custom aluminium reservoir covers.
Chassis 8.5x15in (front) and 9.5x15in (rear) copper-plated OZ Turbo 2-piece split-rims with Radinox dishes and custom-length chrome spike bolt hardware, custommilled flat OZ Turbo centre caps; 185/45 (f) and 195/45 (r) Nankang Ultrasport NS-2 tyres; hydraulic suspension; app/Bluetooth-connected hydraulics and door, boot and fuel filler poppers; MK2 Mondeo V6 calliper conversion, 280mm dimpled and grooved discs; Wezmoto braided brake lines; extensive chassis shaving and notching; chassis floor dropped to allow battery relocation; Powerflex bushes; chrome powder-coated subframe, powder-coated anti-roll bar, custom extended drop-links.
Interior Mk1 Cortina front and rear bench seats; all panels trimmed in Autolux St. James Red smooth-grain leather; headlining and custom A, B and C pillars trimmed in Alcantara; electric handbrake conversion; custom TT dashboard and centre console; bespoke polished steel steering column; billet aluminium steering wheel; bespoke aluminium tweeter grilles; SoCal Bullet switches; AutoMeter American Muscle gauges (speedometer and tachometer); bespoke billet gear gaiter surround; extended gear shifter with chrome pistol-grip gearknob; custom doorcards; Lokar billet interior door pulls; bespoke speaker grilles and wing plates; custom sill panels; custom rear quarter panels; custom boot audio install with bespoke billet subwoofer ring; hydraulics spring box and switch box powder-coated and sprayed in Kaikoura Stone Pearl; professional sound deadening throughout; lap-belt conversion; control box for all car functions sprayed in Kaikoura Stone Pearl; Clifford G5 Concept 470 alarm; custom interior wiring loom; RetroSound Model 2 headunit; Hertz HX300D subwoofer with copper hardlines; Hertz HDP5 digital amplifier; Hertz HSK130 2-way component speakers; Audison Connection RCAs and speaker cable.
Thanks to “We would like to thank everyone who had a hand in helping us along the way: Luke, Stewart, Mark, Webb and Dean; Ollie at Motion Factory Finishes for the exterior paint; Will at TH Automotive for the engine bay paint; Phil at Bespoke Auto Interiors for his work on the interior; Simon at Kustom Kleen for his detailing work before Mod Nats; Our mates at Fitment Junkies; last but not least the other halves, Charis and Natalie for their incredible patience.”


The second 20th Anniversary article, a dive into the history of how the site came about is available here:

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