February seems to be turning into a Mk3-themed month on the blog which I won’t complain about. Following up the mirror how-to and Coin Drawer unveiling, for this weekend I have a brief project update combined with a brief photoshoot – it’s time for Mustard and Dijon to make an appearance!
In regards to the updates, the car we’re looking at specifically is Dijon – the hatch. It didn’t see much work last season but there were a few subtle changes made which had been mentioned or seen in photos, that I wanted to properly highlight before we kick off a new car season and it possibly sees some more revisions take place. The first update for 2021 was the switch to some sequential LED mirror turn signals (note the difference here, next to Mustard) which tie in nicely with the darker finish (deep purple) of its mirror caps. The second update, a little later in the season, was the switch to some new headlights – but not anything aftermarket.
It’s easy to forget that the early Mk3s are now almost 11 years old; both Mustard and Dijon passed the 10-year mark (from their build dates) last year and Dijon’s original lights were showing some age at last. Some small marks and cracks could be found in the lenses as well as numerous little chips from gravel, from the continued (semi-regular) winter usage. They were never wrapped in PPF because myself and others had experienced some issues with the OE lenses being affected when wrapped back in the early days, so since then we’ve all run without film.
It was no surprise then that they’d eventually look a bit tired, and last year they had enough marks that my mother made the decision to replace them. I ordered in a set of brand new blackhousings for her and set them aside, so that they could go in right before Driven and be as brand new as possible for the show. Some months after their arrival I pulled them out of hiding and set about fitting them for her.
You can see some of the original light’s marks in the photo, but this was never going to be a very noticeable change unless you were looking at the car in person.
And that in-person difference was incredible. The new lights were quickly bolted in place, the protective film was removed, and that was job done. The old lights were then put into the now-empty boxes, and I put them in storage for her as a spare set. The hatch seems to move ever-closer to being fully stored for winter but it’s handy to have a spare set around as backups, or to refit if it’ll see heavier winter usage in the future.
The last update then, was something a little more noticeable. As noted in the Sorority Row coverage, after seeing the Billetworkz vents Mel had just added to the Jellybean my mother decided to order a set for Dijon as well.
There are a number of possible configurations but she selected round vents, purple hardware, and mesh in the openings.
The finished pieces were very nicely made as we expected – based on what we’ve seen with friends’ vents – and she now keeps them handy to fit to the car when she feels like it. Worth noting though (as we knew ahead of time) is that anyone with a Mk3 featuring one-touch windows on all corners will have a slightly more…patience testing…install as the windows will automatically roll back down if they detect too much resistance (anti-finger-pinching feature). Lower-model owners can set these in place and just hold the window switch until they’re wedged in, but Titaniums for example will require a bit more precision so you have to be very delicate with the window switch.
Anyway, that brings us now to the mini photoshoot I’m adding to the mix – you’ll see the vents in place here as well. This was one of the times we happened to both have our yellow Foci out so we took them to Glenmore Park, a place we have regularly used for Thunderbird Club gatherings over the years. The leaves were turning at this point and matched nicely with the cars.
As for the title of the post, in case you were wondering, that has to do with the paint colour of these two. Yellow Blaze Metallic – despite almost always being mistaken for the ST’s Tangerine Scream – is actually one of the rarest Mk3 colours as it was only offered in 2012, and even then only available on SEs (but only if fitted with the Sport Package) and Titaniums. Thanks to some pestering from the forums, after its conclusion Ford relayed that 4,123 Yellow Blaze cars in total were built.
Surprisingly, sedans greatly outnumbered hatches. 2804 sedans left in the colour, with 1319 hatches (880 Titaniums, 439 SEs) joining them. Unfortunately we never got further breakdowns for trim level or transmission.
That rarity is a large part of why my mother bought Dijon when she found it, despite the fact that it would mean we would both own a Focus of the same year and colour.
Of course, since then they’ve each received some similar modifications as well which only makes it a bit funnier still.
However, while details have still yet to be finalized my mother has had the itch to change up the hatch for a little bit so 2022 could possibly see them become a bit more varied, visually. One of the Integrales needs to be refinished so she’s looking into changing them to another colour entirely, and some ideas are being discussed for a graphics change as well.
Being mid-February now it won’t be that long before car season starts up again though, so she’d better get to finalizing those plans and whatever else she has in mind!