Style & Balance: Fiesta Perfection
Speedhunting the big and small

I’ve said many times that the greatest thing about Speedhunters is the variety of automotive material that we cover. We work tirelessly to bring you guys the coolest cars, events and more from across the world and from just about every subculture there is. This also means we give equal appreciation to cars from the lowliest compacts all the way to the latest hypercars. It’s what makes Speedhunters, Speedhunters.


Whether it’s touring the McLaren or Pagani factories to see the latest in supercar technology or a working class garage tucked away somewhere – we are there. While I can dig the supercars and exotics as much as anyone, for me it’s always the more accessible machines and builders that I find the most inspiring.


Take the Ford Fiesta for example. From its inception in the mid 1970s right through to today, the Fiesta has served as an affordable and practical gateway to automobile ownership. This front-wheel drive compact is about as un-supercar as it gets, yet when put in the right hands a car like the Fiesta can be built into something just as interesting as the latest mid-engined exotic.


That brings us to a Mk2 Fiesta owned and built by Scott Matthews of the UK. We came across the car at Snetterton Circuit at the same time we found the Ford Escort featured last week.


Scott has owned the Fiesta for nine years now, originally acquiring it as a stock project car and working year by year to build the machine you see here. As with the Escort, Scott’s Fiesta has become a well known car in the UK Ford scene with its keen style and attention to detail.


And like the Escort, this Fiesta has received attention in all areas with no single part of the car being overbuilt in relation to the others.

Show and go

To those that aren’t familiar with Fiestas, that exterior of Scott’s car might look stock – but Ford fans should easily be able to pick up the minor changes. The original steel fender arches have been widened and the locks and badges have been shaved off. The number plate recess has also been shortened and the bumpers have been replaced with those from a 1.1 liter model Fiesta.


All of the bodywork on the car was handled by Carrera Bodyworks, which is owned by Jeremy Bonner – the owner of the Escort featured last week. Along with the subtle body modifications, Jeremy’s shop also coated the Fiesta in an understated hue called Woodland Brown.


The paint and bodywork are just the beginning though. Once you pop the Fiesta’s hood, you really begin to see just how much time and thought Scott has put into the car.


The engine is a 1.8 liter 16-valve Zetec with a MkI Focus exhaust manifold and a custom-made stainless steel exhaust system going all the way back.


Induction comes from a pair of Weber 40 carburetors on a Weber manifold. There’s just something great about carbs on modern twin cam engines, isn’t there?


To handle the extra power, the Zetec motor is mated to a Mk6 Escort GTI gearbox. The engine bay has also been smoothed for a cleaner and simpler look.


As for footwork, the Fiesta is riding on a set of adjustable Gaz coilovers with polyurethane bushings and an adjustable panrod. Braking is handled by Black Diamond vented and grooved discs with matching Black Diamond pads.

Small touches

Having the right set of wheels is crucial on a car like this, and there’s really no arguing with Scott’s choice of ATS Classics. The wheels measure 13″x7 in the front and 13″x8 in the rear, with 175/50/13 Pirelli P6000 tires all around.


No surprise here, but Scott has also approached the Fiesta’s cockpit with the same enthusiasm as he did the rest of the car.


One of the key changes inside is the dashboard, which was sourced from a Mk4 model Fiesta…


… along with a Momo Corse steering wheel.


There’s also a six-point roll cage in the car, which has been painted Tango Orange to match the coloring in the engine bay.


The seats are Corbeau Revolution buckets with four-point Luke harnesses – which should be more than enough for any spirited driving that Scott decides to do.


Other details in the cockpit include custom carbon fiber panels for the doors, rear quarters and boot cover. What about audio equipment? In that department Scott says the sound of the twin cam motor and the Webers is all he needs.

A family affair

As you can see, over the nearly 10 years that he’s been building the Fiesta, Scott has been able to share his automotive hobby with his family. There’s no doubt these kids are well on their way to becoming the next generation of Matthews Family car enthusiasts.


Besides being one of the coolest and most complete Ford Fiestas we’ve ever seen, Scott’s project is a perfect example of a car being whatever you make it.


It may have started out as a simple and cheap commuter car, but through nine years of patience and hard work Scott has made his Fiesta into so much more than that.


There may not be many teenagers out there dreaming about having a Ford Fiesta in their garage, but in my eye Scott’s humble creation is every bit as exciting as the latest exotics from the world’s most prestigious manufacturers.

If I thought otherwise, this probably wouldn’t be the job for me.



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That is a beautiful build. The wheels work perfectly and the fitment is just what I'd want. The orange on the brown looks great too. Love it!


MilesHayler  I agree. It is a very well executed build. Nicely done Scott.


This is very clean and very different, color me impressed. Love to drive this thing one day. We never hear of these...ever.


Beautiful color! 
Something I love about builds like this is how clearly you can see the transformation. Especially on older, more...mundane looking cars. Customizing something like an S2000 or 350Z is great and all- but these cars are pretty nice looking from the factory. With a car like a Feista, you may have the hint of something attractive there, but it's not as obvious. It takes a gifted eye to say 'If I lower this car, give it some nice wheels and a nice paint job I will make it into a piece of art".

I always get a little stoked when I see older Fiestas driving around, especially in that insane eye-burning teal (complete with some nice Palm Tree decals and the word 'Fiesta' splattered beside in a rainbow of colors). They really are kind of a cool shape for a little commuter car.


Nicely done!!


WOW !! What a amazing well done project... Fantastic !!


Never thought I'd like a Fiesta.
That's awesome.


I love these little builds, they're everything self-customisation should be about =) question: any cool (non stance-centric) Peugeot


I couldn't agree more, please speedhunter, find us a practical oriented peugeot 106 gti or Saxo VTS. Im from France and here they are something of a legend when it comes to building an efficient and fast little GTI. Soo much potential.


MidshipR I could not disagree more with this particular statement:
>It takes a gifted eye to say 'If I lower this car, give it some nice wheels and a nice paint job I will make it into a piece of art.'
It takes much, much more work and dedication to turn an econohatch into a work of art. IF it all it took was a drop, wheels, and a paintjob, then we'd be all over those Golfs that we see pop up countless times on STANCE|WORKS forums. But we're not, because we know that those cars have the bare minimum done to them.


Dat engine bay. Really like the contrasting brown and orange color scheme too. Very nice Fiesta.


This is the second of these 'classic' Fords that has been featured in as many weeks and I'm baffled as to why. Cars like this aren't seen anymore and for good reason. The way people build and style cars has moved on from this years ago. If this was a history piece saying look where we've come to now then fine but it isn't and to say that this car is as formidable as a mid engined supercar is plain wrong. It is a brilliantly clean car but from being a fan of S/H for a few years now, it's just not what it's about.


@OhJay Are you saying you find this dated? Or out of touch?
I for one am happy that Mike has come out as a 'throw away'* Ford fan.
*Yes I'm aware UK Escorts are not so throwaway


@OhJay  he didn't say as formidable, he said exciting.  big difference


DaveTI'm saying it isn't what Speedhunters is about. As I said, if it were an entry about the roots of customising in UK and where it started using this Fiesta as its example then fine but it isn't. Mikes sign off here says that "Scott’s humble creation is every bit as exciting as the latest exotics from the world’s most prestigious manufacturers" but it isn't. Although this car is super clean and there's clearly a tonne of work in it, it's nothing new and it's been done so many times previous on this and countless other platforms. I'm not trying to be personal to Mike about his post, if that's his view then great but it's not the sort of thing that Speedhunters is about. Have a look back at his previous posts and not one of them includes a car like this.


@byron I'm talking about the article as a whole


@OhJay Why dont you stop beeing a jerk? i bet you drive a corsa or something and you go around talking crap when you see someone making a project car like this! i give more value to a car like this made by someone in a garage in 3 or 4 years then a million dollar super car that is made by the so called experts! Next time just shut the F up!


@OhJay Your opinion is valid but I must disagree. While you may see something that's a little old hat because you're surrounded by it, where I live the only time I see this modification style is on VWs and confused Hondas and then It's poorly executed because the builders didn't care to spend the time to iron out the details. For someone to spend nine years with the same car slowly taking care of each little detail till it comes out this clean. That's the passion, that's the love, that's speedhunting.


I own a 206 gti, bone stock, and I want some ideas =P


@OhJay DaveT It's really interesting hearing a reader telling us, the people who make up Speedhunters, what Speedhunters "is about." If anything I'd say that your comments reveal how little of the site you've actually read.
Speedhunters isn't "about" one thing or another, one style or another. Speedhunters is Car Culture At Large. Always has been, always will be. We're about all forms of cars and builds. If it's badass and on four wheels, that's what Speedhunters is about. 
Furthermore, Speedhunters is about wonderment and investigating. Experiencing the new and unknown - and while this car may be very ordinary to people in the UK, for someone from the states I had never seen anything like these two. That's why I shot them. They amused me, and I wanted to learn more. I met the owners, I talked, I discovered and I enjoyed. That's what Speedhunters is about. Connecting enthusiasts. Sharing knowledge. Enjoying cars.


@OhJay DaveT Yeah dude, Mike's not obligated to do what pleases everyone else. His job is to find cars that he thinks deserves the spotlight, cars that he thinks contain the automotive excellence that he believes he's been looking for. Not to please the audience of speedhunters, and especially not to please you. I personally liked this article, so did many others, and personally I think that if you dont like it, you should just leave. Because you clearly don't know what Speedhunters is about.


I'm wasn't aiming to anger anyone. You'll notice I did say originally that it was a "brilliantly clean car" I fully accept the monumental amount of work that's gone into it and my comment had nothing to do with the quality of what the owner has done because that is without question. And although I'm sure you won't be interested, I drive a supercharged E92 M3


As someone who's damn near religiously visited this site for the past 3/4 years and read pretty much everything that's posted on it, I'd say I've got a pretty good idea of what goes into it. I was under the impression that the comments section was for opinions and a bit of discussion from your readers but seeing as a moderator is accusing me of having no previous knowledge of the site as a whole, I'll keep it to myself next time.


This thing is awesome, super clean and really well put together. The only thing I can't get behind is that dash swap, but hey, it's not my car. I love seeing builds like this on here.


RafaelCasanova I must say this car is clean and I have no doubt the owner put lots of hard work put into it. However I do not find this car inspiring at all compare to some of the modified VWs, tuned BMWs, 'confused Hondas', Scobbies, Evos, GTRs and others that featured on S/H. If the Fiesta as a car is meant to be as inspiring or legendary that captured the mindsets of car tuners around the world then why haven't we seen other examples of 'inspiring' and tastefully modified Fiestas around the world? Before you correct me I do know that Ken Block now do his amazing Gymkhana in the current Fiesta and I am sure that enhances the image of the car however it is still only a Fiesta. FYI I currently drive a FD2 Civic Type R.


@OhJay Of course you're more than welcome to share your opinion, I just find it interesting hearing a reader telling us what our website "is about" and that with such an eclectic mix you could think of anything that we "aren't about."
My point wasn't that you can't or shouldn't find a certain car boring or uninteresting or what have you, but simply that by definition, anything that we post is what our site is about. If the car is on the page, we're about it. Plain and simple.


I usually despise 'Euro scene' hatchbacks - like the Mk1 Golfs with Bentley wheels and Lamborghini brakes - but this is actually quite nice. Maybe it's the fact it's so clean - everything is impeccable, yet practical (no chrome and shaved engine bays). Maybe it's the fact it looks so clean, but is also pretty functional (it's low, but the wheels aren't 18 inches outside the guards). Whatever it is, I rather like it. That's something I never thought I'd say about a modified Euro scene hatchback.
I also have to say, I dig the GT3 RS style door pull straps. Sometimes it's the little things that catch your attention the most.


sean klingelhoefer I've not said I find the car boring and uninteresting, the car itself is fine and the owner has clearly put a tonne of work into it to get it to where ut us now. And if this was Stanceworks it would have been one of the cleanest and well worked cars they'd shown on there because there's more work in it than just a set of wheels and a drop. But this is Speedhunters and the reason I've refered to what it's 'about' is because just to look back at the hundreds of articles previous posted that have been spotlights on 1 car like this is, there is always more to them than that, something that makes them rise above the rest and that just doesn't apply here. For example, the BMW E21 with the M3 engine and 1000hp featured earlier this year was just as clean as this but had so much more character to it and a Gatebil story to go with it. This doesn't and that's what I'm saying and the reason why I used the 'what it's about' phrase.


I understand the appeal behind more dramatic builds, but I think you missed his point when he mentioned this site being about more than just what interests you. This being an obvious subjective matter, you need to accept that there are some readers (And writers) out there that believe this belongs on here and I for one am grateful it is.


Apex Mutt If you're refering to my BMW example when you say dramatic then I've used a poor example because that's not what I was aiming for. That car had a story alongside the fact that it had a huge amount of power. This doesn't and is just a feature about a car just like you get anywhere else.


I like the fact that this is an "every-man's" build, not something that need 1.3M euros thrown at it like the Pagani also featured recently. Keep up the variety chaps, good words and pics Mike and Sean, and great build Scott - the completeness is very impressive and the colour suits it perfectly!


Oh gosh, I'm sorry. I definitely didn't want to imply that this was some sort of Stanceworks build.
I think you misunderstood me (or I didn't explain myself well enough). I was referring to how I felt that it may take a bit of something special to look at something like an older Ford Fiesta (or any unusual platform) and turn it into a work of art, as opposed to something like a Golf, where there may be quite a bit of inspiration for your build before hand. Any build, on any car, regardless of how popular or how rare can be amazing and inspiring, for sure.
I think my comment was a bit blissful, haha...I was speaking purely of just, like...the outward appearance of this car. I am not particularly mechanically inclined, so my greatest appreciation for a lot of builds is visual. I should have praised the builder's attention to detail, fabrication and interior work as well, all of which are amazing, along with every aspect of this car- but I was honestly just awed by how good this looks from the outside.


@OhJay Apex Mutt


@OhJay In a way you've kind of made my point for me. The idea is that a Fiesta is such a basic and cheap car me is part of the reason why I like this one so much. It was designed to be legendary, but Scott sort of made it that way. Making something from nothing you know? 
While you might not like the look or style of this car, I and many others can totally be about a super clean vintage Ford with a ton of attention to detail and a healthy twin cam, Weber-equipped swap under the hood.


@OhJay sean klingelhoefer I see where you're coming from, but as the author and photographer of the E21 story you're talking about I can tell you I had the same amount of excitement shooting that BMW in Norway last year as I did when I found and shot this Fiesta. In fact, if anything, I was more intrigued by this little brown hatch. 
With a reputation and lineage like BMW you come to expect people to build them up. When you think of a Ford Fiesta you don't necessarily associate "the ultimate driving machine" with it, but to see someone else re-thinking this platform I think is brilliant. 
Anyway I know it's hard to get a sense of mood through an Internet comment section, but I meant no hard words nor was I upset by your comments and I certainly didn't find what you said disrespectful in any way. I'm just trying to re-iterate that at Speedhunters we don't really want to be "about" one type of car or another, we want to be about all types of cars. Ya dig?


A good friend of mine owns a 206 rc (gti in the uk) Have a look at the PTS catalog for performance parts. PTS coils, PTS wheels, grN brakes etc... A lot of potential on these little cars, they can keep up with soo much more powerfull in tight roads.


Thanks, ill check that out =) they are very underrated here in Aus, all my friends are into big domestic v8s or Nissan S-series, and then there's me with my little French underdog. But I love it, especially as here it's pretty much a police state when it comes to cars, and my pug never even gets a second glance from the boys in blue ;)


This is special, I don't care if its out of fashion, which it isn't. its simple, clean and beautiful also an expression of the owner not to please other people.


Nonsequitor: I had a 78 Fiesta, Kamei front spoiler,ANSA muffler, "COCO" mats, Monochrome factory RED (spoiler,mirrors,wheels, eyerthing RED, Tan interior in the early 80's.  One small problem, every now and then this little set screw on the Carb would fall out and instant Wide Open, very intresting ( I finally put Loctite on it,DUH)  Worse traded it for a 85 Escort (already had a 82 Escort), white/tan 5spd w/HO engine . Ansa and Kamei installed like the Feista. Fun but ultimately Crap cars :(


Remember seeing scotts fiesta at a small village show in 2011 looked awsome then as it still does now