Sometimes things have a funny way of working out. The interior is an area of my Focus that I feel I really need to work on more moving forward, as the other areas of the car overshadow it in my opinion. One thing in particular that I wanted to change was the shift knob – one of the smallest individual parts but one which I wasn’t going to overlook. I had determined that I was going to pick up an SS Tuning piece, but they’re fairly expensive and I was waiting to do so because of that.
However, around Christmas time SS Tuning held a contest which I decided to enter – because why not? The first place prize was one of their custom steering wheels and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a shot at winning it. It was held through Facebook and we (the entrants) posted photos of our cars which were then ‘liked’ by others – as these things often work. At the end of it all the 20 most-liked cars were put into a randomized draw and Mustard fortunately made that short list.
I woke up one day to a message from SS Tuning saying that I had won a prize – specifically the second place prize which, as it happened, was a shift knob! I had the opportunity to choose from a selection of pre-made pieces and with my choice made, I sent the information back to SS Tuning and it was sent out. The next week a parcel arrived with my prize inside! I immediately grabbed it and went to open it up.
“Unwrapping” the shift knob feels like a special experience because it’s so much more than just opening a bag or a cardboard box. The shift knob arrived in its own wooden box, the lid of which was matched to the chosen accent colour. Said box is actually still sitting here on my desk because it’s a rather nice piece in its own right.
Sliding the lid open revealed the shift knob and boot, separately wrapped. The inclusion of the latter was admittedly a surprise to me – when purchasing a shift knob from SS Tuning a boot is included but I actually didn’t know that it was coming as part of the prize; as far as I was concerned I had won the shift knob and nothing else!
Also included of course, were a couple of decals.
The goodies unwrapped – the leather boot features yellow stitching (again to match the chosen accent colour) and even has a nice little SS Tuning tag as an added detail.
The shift knob I selected features a carbon fiber insert, Tangerine Scream trim ring, silver shift pattern, leather grip, and a yellow ST logo.
I couldn’t put this post together without some shots of the new piece alongside the OEM ST shift knob of course! Naturally, the latter is what I had been using following the conversion since my old shift knob didn’t have a recess for the reverse lockout.
The SS pieces feature a molded shape for your fingers, so they are a a little larger around than the OEM counterparts. I wasn’t entirely sure what I’d think of it but it’s actually really nice.
The reason the trim ring on the shift knob is Tangerine Scream – aside from because it was a pre-made part – is because Tangerine is the ST’s paint; the colour of my car is Yellow Blaze, a less vibrant shade. Therefore there is a slight difference between the two (though this shot shows it as more pronounced than it actually is) but it’s not perceptible when the shift knob is inside the car as there is no YB paint immediately next to it – the closest parts are the door panel trim pieces.
With the above photos all taken the shift knob then promptly went in and I rowed through the gears to see how it felt. Please excuse the gravel in the footwell, it is winter after all! I can’t wait to give the interior a proper detail after the snow and rocks go away.
Before I do wrap up though I should quickly note why the boot isn’t in too. It would definitely be a welcome replacement to a stock piece but I already have an Alcantara boot with silver stitching to match various other pieces in the interior. I feel a bit bad not using it at the moment but the other boot was already specially ordered to perfectly match its surroundings. I did ask Dom to look for another 5-speed Focus boot for me however, as he should be making a run to the junkyard soon. If he finds one I can then take the plastic base from it and install the SS boot onto it so that I could at least quickly and easily switch them out; but that’s for another day.
After making myself take it easy for the latter half of 2016 (because expensive ST conversion) it feels good to now see some small parts here and there making their way onto the Focus. Slowly but surely some items are being crossed off of the 2017 to-do list!