The White 2i
“Everything”. “Everything?” “Yes, right down to sump plug and washer”
It’s quite amazing just how organised some people are. Martin is leafing through a folder of bills and receipts, filed in chronological order, for every single penny he has spent on his car. To say Martin likes this car would be the understatement of the century, he lives for this car.
We’re stood outside in the bright, warm April sunshine in a car park in Crewe. Stood before us, the light reflecting off it’s immaculate paintwork, is probably the cleanest XR2i on the planet.
Every single aspect of this car is mint. The exhaust is polished right the way underneath the car to the engine, and inside the tailpipe. Not a spec of brake dust is to be seen on the 16” BK Eclipse rims. The gold painted Cosworth front and RS 2000 rear calipers shine as spotlessly as the chrome XR2i badges on the wings.
Stripped of it’s underseal the underside of the car is painted the same Diamond White as the bodywork, with the suspension components powder coated blue. The impeccably high standards are carried into the engine bay, not a splash of oil or dirty blob of grease to be seen.
Martin bought the car as standard just over two years ago and it wasn’t long before the modifications began. His first mission was to swap the ickle 13” alloys with 15” TSW Imolas and Yokohama 195/45 rubber. Much improved looks resulted although the ride height of the car now bore an uncanny resemblance to that of a Land Rover. A set of Spax springs knocked the all important inches off and closed the wheel / arch gap nicely.
Minor exterior and Interior tweaks followed, colour coding, white dials, clear indicators and side repeaters. Then the exhaust, filler cap, spoiler and so on. The Mondeo spoiler looked good but the front needed something to balance it out. Looking through old car magazines Martin spotted a red XR2i with an Escort Cosworth style splitter attached to the front bumper. Much to his disappointment he discovered the company that manufactured them were no longer in existence and the item was unavailable. One day when glancing through the classifieds Martin spotted a Fiesta RST for sale in Northern Island with the splitter on it. After a bit of arrangement Martin had soon arranged for a mould to be taken from Robbie’s RST so he could get a replica made.
The Cobra seats were bought from a friend for a bargain price and after locating Fiesta subframes, fitted a treat. A neat touch is a couple of Vauxhall seatbelt presenters, which along with the colour coding and leather gear and handbrake gaiters, finish the interior off perfectly.
The car was now getting to the stage where it was starting to attract the magazines. A few pics to Fast Ford hooked their interest and led them to invite Martin to display the car on their stand at Ford Fair for them to have a closer look. Shortly afterwards the car was shot for the magazine feature and appeared a few months later.
It soon became apparent that the 15” rims were too small for the car. 17”s were considered but rejected for driveability reasons, so a set of 16” BK Eclipse’s were purchased along with 195/45 Pirellis and an Avo coilover kit to tailor the ride height and sort the handling. It’s astounding what difference an inch makes and Martin was well chuffed with how the car looked now.
Next on his list was to sort the brakes out. The components were obtained from various sources, Escort Cosworth front calipers, Greenstuff pads, Maxtorq drilled and grooved discs and the ‘piece de la resistance’, a complete rear disc and caliper setup from a mk6 Escort RS2000. The kit was painted gold before fitting and cleaned up to concourse standard. Now the car stopped as well as it looked.
Of course Martin has a whole host of new mods up his sleeve, details..? Well, as they say so often, Watch this space….
20 photos, click to enlarge.