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Ford Escort MKII RS Mexico – Concours

Ford Escort MKII RS Mexico – Concours

Ford Escort MKII RS Mexico – Concours

Not strictly a Video or a How To article but a little bit about my experience owning Ford RS Cars. And entering into a Novice Concours competition @ Santa Pod’s RS Central Day at the last minute!

I’d been a member of the EYRSOC for a number of years & visited most of the Ford RSOC Club Days around the UK. So my, various, Ford RS Cars had always been clean, really clean. But never what I’d consider as concours clean! They were clean enough outside and the interior was usually spotless but the engine bays & the underneaths were just ok.

I’d been looking for a MKII Ford Escort RS either a Mexico or RS2000 for a very long time, a few years, and I had viewed many. Even travelling up to Frazerburgh & back in the same day to view a supposedly very good RS2000! But of course it was nothing like & I knew within 30 secs of seeing it ?? ?

Eventually, I found the car that I was looking for & it had been rebuilt form the Ground up. It was as clean underneath as it was on the top & the engine bay was spotless. The interior was in very good condition with only a few marks here & there. It was definitely more of a ‘show piece’ than a car that had been used. But I knew that if I was going to have one this had to be it. It still looked way, way better than it drove though! This day & age these cars are very much an acquired taste. They’re a lot of money & leave very little to be desired.

It ‘broke down’ on the way home & we had to be recovered by the AA ? But when we got it back home it drove straight off the transporter no problem?! Turns out it had a Tran X Plated Diff & it was very, very stiff in operation. So we thought it was seizing up, as it made a proper racket, when we stopped for a break on the journey home. But that’s how they are! This is OK when you know what you’re dealing with but the previous owner failed to mention as much.

Over the next few months I did a lot of tinkering with it. The Engine was a Harris Brothers 2.0 HPE that was more suited to a drag strip than a street and this was causing a lot of drivability issues! The Diff was changed numerous times from standard to Quaife & back to standard again. We changed the Gearbox to a 5 Speed. The Cam to one with a smoother profile to try & make it drive better. I tried a different Manifold & Exhaust system, this was after Santa Pod, rebuilt the Carbs & had them tuned to try & sort some running problems but nothing seemed to really work. It just ran rough & didn’t seem to be no where near as accelerative as it should have been. But it did look great, really great! Park it next to another car of the same age & this looked like a New RS Mexico!

I think I cleaned the underneath more than I did the top but when they are this good it’s a shame to not keep on top of them, or underneath for that matter lol. As for the Engine Bay then, wow, it just popped. This is how engine bays should look, not much plastic in here.

So, I decided to go to Santa Pod for the RSOC Central Day car show. I was booked in on the EYRSOC stand as always. So, to be on the stand you should really have a nice clean car for the display. If it rains or your car gets dirty on the way to a show then you should really be prepared to wash & detail your car. It’s basically so that all the Cars on your Stand look clean & well looked after to the general public, plus you have a chance of winning a prize for best stand of the show.

But as soon as I got there the other members were badgering me to enter it in concours, a thing that I’d never even contemplated before. Now, I’m not sure if this was them mainly having me on or what but I said OK I’ll have a go. Thinking, I know my cars pretty clean & it’s not rained on the way down here so how hard can it be to get it cleaned up, right! Bearing in mind that I’d travelled from Sheffield which is a not inconsiderable 130+ Miles, in one of these, that very same morning!

I moved from the EYRSOC stand to the Concours area & set to work, I always carry certain detailing products with me when I go to these events, cleaning my car. I was entered in the ‘Novice’ Old School Class which means I didn’t have to worry about the underneath of my car. The Exterior wasn’t too bad with minimal dirt so I got that & the Wheels / Tyres detailed up 1st. Then set to work on the Engine Bay which didn’t look too bad until you started digging deeper! It was filthy, in relative terms, with dust, oil deposits, fluids etc. Plus it was a windy dusty day so every time I cleaned away the dirt it seemed to come back ? Anyway, I decided I’d done enough & had to concentrate on the interior. Then it dawned on me that I didn’t have a Vacuum Cleaner, aargh. So, I had to do the best I could by picking up bits of dust etc by hand, stuff that you wouldn’t have even bothered about generally but it had to be spotless, under the Seats, in the seat rails, under the dash, in the Boot Area and so on. Then back to checking over the rest of the car again & again.

Then you get judged! And they don’t miss a thing! They told me that my interior could have been cleaner & they’d found some dust / dirt on the underneath of the seat rails. Oh well I’d tried my best with the tools that I had. Tbh I can’t say that it was a totally awesome experience as you are tied to your car for virtually the whole day & you do miss seeing the rest of the show. It was OK for a one off but it’s not something that I’d personally want to do even on a semi-permanent basis. I like clean cars & I also like to see the Concours Cars @ Car Shows but I think that it’s better to be able to look at them at your leisure than to compete. Oh, and that’s even after winning my class on the day ??

The story doesn’t quite end there though. As I was about to set off home on the long journey back the Drivers side Seat Backrest decided to fail on one side. So I had a 130+ mile journey in an Old car having to lean to one side whilst driving ? Oh, and the dust / dirt that the judges had found turned out to be the Seat Cushion that was deteriorating & breaking up. Something else to fix ?

It was an experience owning a car like this but I miss the look of it more than the driving experience. It looked great on the driveway & I enjoyed keeping it in A1 condition but it was only good to drive on very short blasts or to a local meet & then get it home before something else broke on it. Don’t even mention the Alternator, I had more than enough trouble with that ? I sold it local & still see it now & again but I’m not pining for it or regretting selling it, yet (& that was 5+ Years ago!).

A few more photos of it in various stages whilst I had it.


Chemical Guys Detailing Flow Chart – Videos

Chemical Guys Detailing Flow Chart – Videos

Chemical Guys Flow Chart Videos


Chemical Guys Flow Chart Videos give you information on the Correct Way to Detail your Car for Beginners & Established Detailers if you simply need a refresher of the correct process.

Step 1: Proper Car Wash with Two Bucket Method – Nissan GT-R – Detailing and Car Wash Flowchart

Step 2: What is a Clay Bar and How To Clay – Nissan GT-R – Chemical Guys Flowchart

Step 3: How to Polish out Swirls and Scratches – Nissan GT-R – Detailing and Car Wash Flowchart

Step 4: What is a Glaze and How To Apply Glaze – Nissan GT-R – Detailing and Car Wash Flowchart

Step 5: What is a Sealant and How To Protect Car -Nissan GT-R -Detailing and Car Wash Flowchart

Step 6: What is a Wax and How To Apply Wax to Car – Nissan GT-R – Detailing and Car Wash Flowchart

Auto Finesse Ford Focus RS

Auto Finesse Ford Focus RS

Starting at £32,765 the Ford Focus RS is the cheapest of direct competitors such as the Mercedes AMG A45 and VW Golf R.
TECH SPEC BREAKDOWN: Engine: 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost
Transmission: 6-speed manual, Power: 345bhp, Torque: 470Nm
Max speed: 165mph
0-62mph: 4.7seconds
Economy: 36.7 mpg (combined)
CO2: 175g/km

Introducing the Ford Focus RS; the latest model to wear the famous RS badge. Those letters follow a long line of affordable high-performance Fords, starting way back in 1968 with the introduction of the 15M RS, with the Escort RS1600, Sierra RS Cosworth and Escort RS Cosworth arriving later.

The very first Focus RS model was front-wheel drive and arrived on UK roads back in 2002, complete with a wider body, Quaife limited-slip differential and increased power to shock the masses. In 2009 came the Mk2. Again featuring front-drive and an increased power of 301bhp, along with RevoKnuckle front suspension. Seven years on, here you have the Mk3.

Succumbing to pressure from competition such as the Mercedes AMG A45 and Audi RS3, Ford has changed up the front-wheel drive tradition of past RS-badged Focus’ and fitted a new electronically controlled twin-clutch four-wheel drive system for optimum traction.

Powered by a Cosworth-tuned version of the Mustang’s 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol lump and adding a twin-scroll turbo with a larger compressor for better airflow, as well as a larger intercooler, the car has an output of 345bhp and can reach 0-62mph in just 4.7-seconds, before hitting its top speed of 165mph. It has four drive modes to choose from including Normal, Sport, Track and Drift, of which you can select via a button to the right of the centre console.

If the aforementioned power levels aren’t enough for you, tuning specialists such as Mountune and American performance company Hennessey have both created upgrade packs taking power to 370bhp and 405bhp, respectively – at a cost, of course!

This car gets a lush set of Race Style Recaro RS shell seats – an option at £1,145 – as well as 19-inch black forged alloy wheels (£975) and the exclusive Nitrous Blue paint (£745). And the Brembo brakes have been colour coordinated at an extra cost of £100. Inside, you get Ford’s Sync 3 system, meaning you get an 8-inch touchscreen display, satnav, smartphone compatibility, DAB radio and Bluetooth, along with ten Sony speakers, and good storage to the centre console and door cards.

while in terms of emissions it’s not as bad as you’d think for a car of this type and power output, at just 175g/km of CO2.

All in all the Ford Focus RS is a cracking driver’s car to boot!

The New Car Treatment – Auto Finesse Guide

The New Car Treatment – Auto Finesse Guide

The New Car Treatment.

When a shiny new car hits our fleet, the first thing we we is perform a ‘new car prep’. This is a walk-through guide to that process.

Those of you that have acquired a new vehicle will be familiar with the immediate excitement you feel, but more often than not disappointment shortly follows. The condition of the paint and overall finish is never as good as you’d hoped for or expect. It’s no secret most new cars turn up in what most of us would class as a substandard condition of finish – now don’t get us wrong, not all brands and dealers are the same, there are some exceptions and companies leading the way on delivering a new car the way we would expect it to be. However, for the most part, mass production of vehicles and the high-flow nature of most mainstream car dealer franchises means they simply don’t give your new car the same care and attention you would yourself.

Here’s the low down on what to do when ordering your new car; all you have to do is simply ask them not to prepare it. Don’t even let them wash it. If possible, take it home with the protective coverings still in place (we get that this is not always possible, mind).

The problem we have here with this BMW 3 Series is it was a pre-reg car that had been sitting around in the dealership for a while, 4-6 months in fact and had been subject to its fair share of “quick washes” and the odd forecourt wipe down. None the less, we got it for a steal and lets face it, if it turned up perfect we wouldn’t have a lot to show you.

So, we picked the car up with just 200 (delivery) miles on the clock. First thing’s first, we changed the wheels and fit some new adjustable Bilstein suspension.

To kick things off we begin at the wash stage, it’s worth noting our wash on a pre-detail differs from that of a normal routine maintenance wash.
Starting with the wheels, we first cover the entire wheel face, barrel, callipers and tyres with Imperial wheel cleaner.
Using an array of brushes, wooly trios and a microfibre mitt will ensure you get to every part of each wheel. Leave the solution to dwell for a minute before jet washing off.

Repeat this process to each individual wheel. It’s worth noting we also clean the tyre walls at this point.

With the wheels clean we move on to washing the rest of the exterior of the vehicle. The first step is using our pre cleaner Citrus Power on the grubbier areas, such as lower seals, wheel arches, front, and rear sections, before jet washing. This helps to rid bodywork of as much of the larger particles and lose dirt as possible.

Before we go on to contact washing, there’s another vital step to removing as much dirt and road grime (ahead of making contact with it). This is important because the majority of paintwork swirls and scratches are caused at the wash stage. Snow Foam helps to break down a further 50-90% of road grime present, we apply this to the entire vehicle from top to bottom and leave to dwell for as long as possible – rinsing off before any drying out begins to occur. We also use this as an opportunity to work on intricate areas such as grills and panel gaps, using our specialist brushes.

With the car now almost clean from the previous two stages, we now move on to the contact wash. Using two buckets (both filled with fresh water), add our Lather shampoo to just one of them.

Using a lambswool wash mitt, we take fresh shampoo to the bodywork. Ensure to work from the top of the vehicle down. Focus on small sections at a time, before going back to the fresh water and rising any dirt from the mitt. Once rinsed, dip the mitt back into the bucket with shampoo to take fresh shampoo back to the car. This ensures you only ever use fresh clean shampoo on the vehicle. Working around the vehicle in the following pattern; roof, bonnet, upper wings, upper sides/doors and quarters, front bumper, rear, before swapping to a microfibre mitt that we use exclusively on the lower/grubbier areas around the vehicle. This is done to minimise contamination for future washes. Finally, we thoroughly rinse the vehicle down.

With the car still wet from the wash, but all soap/suds residue thoroughly rinsed, we set about ridding any bonded contamination from the paintwork. Firstly, spray the entire vehicle with our Iron Out iron contamination remover – this dissolves any ferrous contaminants that are present. It’s best to dissolve these as opposed to removing them with a clay bar as they are among the sharpest type of contaminant found on a vehicle, and removal with a clay bar can lead to these sharp contaminants being dragged across the paintwork causing fine minor scratches known as ‘marring’. Once the car is covered, paying particular attention to the upward facing panels along the rear and sides, a top tip is to lightly agitate Iron Out in to these areas with a microfibre or foam applicator.

Using ObliTARate, it’s time to dissolve another of the commonly found contaminants stuck to our vehicle’s paintwork; tar. More often found gathered along lower areas and behind wheels, simply spray ObliTARate tar and grime remover onto the lower half of the car and leave to dwell for just a couple of minutes before wiping away with a microfibre towel.

Now we rinse and re wash the areas that have been treated with the tar remover to avoid it interfering or dissolving the clay bar (the next stage).

This leads us to the final stage of decontamination, the mechanical stage using a clay bar. Clay baring your paintwork is a vital step in detail preparation and its important to carry this out meticulously.

Working in straight lines, and using plenty of clay bar lubricant, work small areas approx 400mm x 400mm, in the same order we carried out the wash stage; so, uppers, top sides, front bumper, back, and lower sides.

We quickly carry out a final rinse down to remove the clay lube, then dry the vehicle thoroughly, including, gaps, grills and door jambs.

After the “wet work” is all done, we get the car in the detailer’s den (basically a storage barn we can tuck ourselves away in and detail to our hearts content). We start by taping off any “sensitive” areas that we don’t want to hit with polish, such as trim, rubber and other exposed parts.

Now we get on to polishing the paint. Our vehicle is suffering from only very light defects, all be it lots, but none of which are very deep, the combo opted for was our Revitalise No:2 with the according pad. Working on areas of around 400mm x 400mm in overlapping slow passes, starting at speed 1 to spread the polish, and stepping up to speed 4-5 to work the polish in and break it down, before returning to a final slow speed pass at speed 1.

Follow up with our Revitalise No:3 and the red finishing pad to refine the vehicle’s surface further.

With the paint now looking sharp, we set about laying some protection down. As this particular car is a metallic finish, we opted for a gem in the range often overlooked by many; Spirit. Our Spirit wax has been specially developed to enhance metallic flake and it’s also very durable in day to day situations.

Finish up with the finer details such as dressing grills, trims and tyres, and finishing off the glass.

All thats left to do now is roll it outside and admire the finish…

So there you have it, a new car now looking the way it should from the dealership. It’s also now fully protected, meaning that it should only take a careful wash to return it back to this condition.

We hope you found this guide to detailing a new car useful, and please feel free to contact us for further information on the techniques and products used in this process.