The Recaro Fiesta

Adrian T.


This is typical of the reaction from people when they see the numbers on the sidewall of Adrian’s Falkens. The guy can’t believe his eyes. “But it’s so low!” Adrian just smiles and replies.

“They just went straight on after I took the 17”s off”


“Not quite, I had to tweak a few other bits as well, I’m not saying what though, ‘cos then everyone will be at it!” he laughs.

“It did help that the arches had already been massively modded for the 7.5 x 17” the car used to run.” A lot of you will recognise the car from previous mag features, The Revs Fiesta track day and also the website which Adrian runs. The 18” Italia RSR’s sit tightly under the cars modified arches and rubber-band like 215/35 Falken FK451s separate the rims from the tarmac by less than an inch. The Spax RSX coilovers have been wound down for a 75mm drop, leaving the top of the tyres tucked inside with no gap.

“I bought the car already heavily modified, from Steve Smith” Adrian explains, “I first saw it in a Ford mag back in 98, and I fell in love with it then. I had an XR2i at the time and what Steve had done to the car was pretty much what I wanted to do to mine” Adrian had the XR for a year before the lure of a turbo became to great. Initially looking for a standard car and with £7k to spend he began his search. “I’d just missed out on an absolute minter and just when I thinking there were no decent ones anywhere I spotted Steve’s in the back of a mag. I knew I had to have it but the ad had £call and I knew it would be expensive. Despite wanting a standard one it made a lot of sense as the mods Steve had done were ones I would do anyway.”

After a bit of haggling and sorting out nightmare insurance the car was sitting on Adrian’s drive. “The weekend I got it I just drove round with this huge grin” he recalls “I’d never driven a turbo car before and the noises it made were fantastic”.

Adrian knew exactly what he wanted to do with the car and what bits would stay and what would be replaced. The plan was to go for maximum visual impact and make it his own but still retain it’s identity as one of the most famous Fiestas on the planet. “I wanted to combine some of the best Fiesta mods already seen, like the Mondeo spoiler and plate in the rear bumper with some new stuff that no-one had done before.

Almost immediatley the standard rear lights were swapped for a set of clears and the green colour coded interior parts were binned and replaced with new bits painted white. A Momo wheel and gearknob replaced the Nardia items. “Most of the parts were a few years old and starting to show their age, although there were no major faults on the car, just niggling little things like kerb marks on the rims and the odd scratch here and there”.

The mods continued, flush tailgate, Samco hoses, Spax Coilovers, Mocal alloy fuel cap. The biggest change from when Steve had the car is the interior. “Another bonus buying this car was that it already had the 1992 spec black interior rather than the standard naff grey. The Recaros were retrimmed in leather and although very nice, weren’t to my taste”, Adrian explains “I decided to sell the seats and go for a race look” Out came the Recaros and rear bench and in their place now sit a pair of fixed back Sparco Evo buckets and 6 point harnesses anchored to the one-off Rollcentre cage. The rear seats and parcel shelf have gone, with the boot floor and seating area now covered in black carpet. “I wanted to go one better than most people so I got the proper 3” FIA harnesses with the QR realease, the cage is FISA approved as well so it’s not totally for show, it fits very close to the bodywork and the original rear quarter panel trims would no longer fit. I came across these plastic trims from a Fiesta van and they are perfect for the job”. The race theme continues with checker plate on the embroidered floor mats and a trio of Auto Meter gauges are on order. The final touch will be the the Armtech sequential shift lights planned, which illuminate at a preset point in the rev range to signal the optimum shift point. Unlike most race interiors Adrian has kept ICE in the car, “I’m well into my tunes, so I had to keep some in but it was a fine line between a system that would give a good sound and one that would weigh the car down too much. The speakers run off the head unit and I’ve not bothered with any subs, although I am tempted to get a removable box at some stage. Those door builds were too good to loose as well.”

The door builds in question were fabricated by Safe & Sound in Manchester. They are moulded in fibreglass and covered in the same black vinyl as the door cards, and as a result look almost factory. 6.5” MB Quart’s bump away to Alpha Breed’s “Epic Future” while a pair of kick builds sit in the foot wells, dealing with the midrage through 5.5” MBs. The crossovers are located behind the kicks and the tweeters mounted on the mirror bases. The whole lot runs off the Pioneer 8000r CD headunit, complete with funky satellite and cityscape OEL animations. A multichanger is on the shopping list but in the meantime a CD wallet houses volumes 1-5 of the Dutch ‘In Trance We Trust’ CDs, with Reactivate 16 and 17 also making an appearance.

The front of the car hasn’t changed much since it was bought, with the addition of a Laguna splitter to add some depth under the MCR item. A complete frontend makeover is due soon, new lights, bonnet, bumper and a couple of top secret tweaks that will be reavealed as and when. Popping the bonnet reaveals an expanse of chrome. Rocker cover, inlet manifold, crossover pipe, hinges, it’s everywhere. Contrasting the shiny stuff is a full set of blue Samco hoses, with additional water and vaccum piping in matching silicon.

The rear bumper is the result of a fair few weekends of Adrian’s handywork. It’s the original RST item with the green stripe removed and the number plate flushed in. The swage lines and towhook have also been filled and the plate light has been shaved and filled and a couple of mk4 items are set into the top of the pod. The next step is to move the exhust cutout into the centre and lengthen it to accomodate a 12”x4” Carisma centre exit box which is will be mated to a the current Magnex centre section and downpipe.

The engine is fairly untouched, with the exception of the exhaust, Adrian has not tuned it at all. “I’ve left the engine as it is for now. I have been speccing up a 2.1 Zetec to go in this winter, and I saw little point in throwing money at an engine that will be coming out, I prefer to spend the money elsewhere on the car.” The 2.1 will be based on the Series 3 2.0 16v Zetec from the Focus, and will have a hybrid T3 turbo for around 250bhp.

Adrian has no plans to sell up either “I’m nowhere near finished yet, before the engine I want to get it resprayed and seam welded then a set of 330mm front discs and Cossie calipers, rear disc conversion too. After that I fancy going back to leather Recaros and having a nice boot install, TV, DVD PSX2…” Drop us a mail when you get the 19”s on then!


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

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To celebrate being 20 years old this year, I've written a series of articles detailing the…

17:42, 4th December 2021 Twitter Web App

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