No April Fool’s jokes this time. While the valance in the last post may have been a fake, the truth is that they actually do exist. This has been a long time coming, and I am excited to not only finally have one, but am also honoured that my car is one of two being used for its announcement.
Obviously I have been working to convert my Focus into a four-door version of its hot hatch brother. Fortunately most of the exterior conversion has been straight-forward as the sedan and hatch share a number of parts, so up until now no serious custom work had been required to disguise my SE as the ST sedan Ford never built (the exhaust took some, but at the end of the day that’s mainly just extending a section of pipe). However, the rear valance was one required OEM piece that would never work without some surgery and no one had taken on the task of making a version that fit.
The hatchbacks feature a much shorter rear bumper than the sedans so the ST rear valance would not directly swap onto a four-door. As a temporary measure I had a standard sedan valance partially colour-coded which looked pretty good, but it wasn’t accurate for the conversion.
Rebel Devil Customs (RDC) has now brought to the aftermarket the piece that owners like myself have patiently been waiting for. An OEM ST valance was lengthened and adjusted to fit the longer sedan rear bumper, after which a mold was made and now new pieces can be produced. Sedan owners finally have another option to make the rear more aggressive!
This particular piece is the second production copy of the valance; the very first went to José as it was actually his sedan which was used for the construction of the master. He had to wait until this reveal to be able to share photos of it which I know has required a lot of patience! It had actually been painted and installed a while ago but it had to stay a secret while mine was being finished.
Naturally, along with the valance he also had an ST exhaust installed to complete the conversion. Fortunately for those who are interested in installing the valance, OEM ST exhausts aren’t too hard to come across and there’s always the option of something custom too.
The new valance will be offered in either full fiberglass (like mine) or with a section of Carbon Fiber in the center, which is what José opted for. He decided to leave a small amount of CF showing which as you can see above, looks phenomenal.
While we weren’t allowed to post online about the new part before now, we were able to drive our cars around and get some reactions. I had the chance to attend a couple of local gatherings and get some initial feedback from fellow enthusiasts and owners, and all of the responses were really positive. We’re looking forward to seeing/reading all of the reactions now that these have been officially unveiled.
For those interested in knowing more about the valance, there’s more than just this post that will be coming to ThreeTwenty. A formal review will be posted as well, and I also have some notes and photos from the testing and install. Be sure to check back for those!
José also has information posted over on his blog, http://www.officialfivethirty.com.
Beyond the valance though, there’s still a bit more that has happened around here lately which ThreeTwenty needs to catch up on. First up, eagle-eyed readers may have noticed another change to my sedan. You see, since the new valance had to go in for paint anyway it was the perfect time to bring in more parts for a coat of yellow; so that’s exactly what I did. More on that soon!
Also, Mike at RDC has been quick to point out my previously fitted ST exhaust needs have its tip brought out a little more to better fill the opening in the new valance. It looks like that’s the next project!
To close I’d like to say thank you again to everyone involved in seeing the ST Sedan valance through from the initial idea to the finished product, and an extra thank you to Mike at RDC for allowing me to be a part of the process. We all hope that our fellow sedan owners like the new piece – José and I definitely do!