Along with his (proving to be controversial) “downgrading” of the RS this season, via fitting of various lower-model parts both inside and out, Mario also decided to simplify the exterior by way of removing the roof’s vinyl and having a few pieces colour-coded. Not that we care at all (we find it funny in fact), but here’s hoping these revisions don’t upset some of the other RS owners out there.
ST wing on an RS? Mario’s such a fool.
Anyway, the biggest change – in terms of how noticeable it is as well as its actual size – would be the roof. The “carbon” roof had been a nice accent – and a good throwback to Ketchup – but it was time for a change so he and I each took a side and started peeling up the vinyl. Whomever had wrapped it originally had done a really good job, fully covering all of the edges, but this made our lives a little bit harder as we tried to fish out every last bit of the material. Before too long though all that was left was a just a little glue residue to clean off.
With the roof going back to Nitrous Blue however, it meant that the roof rails would stick out like a sore thumb being two strips of black breaking up bright paint. Fortunately Mario had prepared for this, and also was finally able to bring a bit of Ketchup into the build. Ever since he’d picked the RS up we’d been trying to find a way to include a bit of the ST in it, but up to this point still hadn’t. Simply refitting some of the aftermarket parts didn’t count, because it had to be OEM pieces that were originally fitted to the ST at the factory (yeah, I know. The silly rules we make for ourselves). However, at last we could transfer something over while at the same time addressing that “issue” of the roof rails being black.
Among the small number of Ketchup pieces that I still had in my collection were its roof rails, which had been smoothed and painted body colour. No one had ever claimed them in the last 4 years so Mario took them back and dropped them off at the body shop to be resprayed Nitrous Blue. Given they’d already been prepped and painted once, it also made the task quicker and easier for the shop as compared to starting the process over with Selsun’s pieces.
Soon the rails were back, sporting their new blue hue. Underneath there happened to still be traces of the old Race Red coat though as proof of their provenance, which we liked.
As with the wing, the shop nailed the colour match! These rails simply clip into place so fitting them was effortless. This is a change that I’m surprised more Mk3 owners don’t carry out, especially those with brighter cars!
With the roof back to blue and the new rails in Selsun was looking quite different, but Mario wasn’t through with colour-matching quite yet. As shown in the cover photo there was another piece that was thrown in the booth for some paint. See it?
On Ketchup Mario had fitted an aftermarket emblem delete panel to rid the ST of its rear Ford oval. That was possible on prefacelift cars given that the hatch featured the separate piece for the emblem, but as part of the 2015 update Ford switched the 5 doors to a one-piece hatch meaning that deleting an emblem now requires custom bodywork and a respray of the entire panel.
Instead of going with this much more expensive and time-consuming (not to mention permanent) route, I picked up a brand new emblem for Mario which he had colour-matched instead. Here the new oval is sitting next to the shift knob he also had painted, as seen in the car’s last update; he made a few deliveries to the paint team this season.
Not only did this method achieve a similar look, but the retention of the emblem (even being body colour) keeps a bit of detail on the back of the car instead of having one large, blank panel. At a glance it looks like one unbroken piece but with a closer look you can still make out the Ford logo.
ST wing, unwrapped roof, colour-matched rails and oval, and a full debadge. There’s a lot less going on back here now!
The final exterior change of note is one that could be considered to go against the “simplifying” theme a touch, but it does tie in to the yellow foglights that the car already had and that would be the new banner. The banners on our cars often see some rock chips each winter and we’ll use that as an excuse to change them up every year or so. With the black roof gone Mario decided to ditch the original black banner and when I brought out a selection of vinyl he chose a highlighter shade for the new one. A lack of text or additional designs still keeps it low-key though, or as low-key as it can be given the vibrant shade.
Another result of the last winter was that the front bumper’s mesh had developed some surface rust, so we took the opportunity to pull the bumper off and pop all of it out. The pieces are now in my care so I can clean them up and refinish them with a (hopefully) more durable coating. Canadian problems.
With that though, all of Selsun’s exterior updates have been covered so this is where I will wrap things up today. I specify exterior updates because there have been some more subtle changes made to the RS since – inside – to be looked at in the next update on the car once we finish up one more tweak. Mario and I made a couple of junkyard runs to pick up some spare OEM pieces and I’ve been busy since with the spray cans, playing around with some ideas we had…