Thursday, May 28, 2015

14k: Saffron Sleeper: 2001 Ford Focus V8 swap

Is a sleeper still sleepy if it's wearing an eyeball-searing color? This rear-drive Focus uses a 5.0-liter Windsor V8 and transmission from a 1993 Cobra, plus a ton of custom fabrication to make it fit under the stock Focus bodywork. It all comes together with exceptional handiwork that looks like a factory job. You can't miss it, but you definitely won't expect it either. Find this 2001 Ford Focus with SVT Cobra V8 swap for sale here on eBay or craigslist in Philadelphia, PA for $13,500 via craigslist. 

Interestingly, the seller ditched the Cobra's stock GT-40 heads for E7TE units that have been ported and polished with a five-angle valve job. Factor in cams, 24lb injectors, and supporting breather mods, and the claimed 330 horsepower - a 100 bump over stock - is quite plausible. It sits with room to spare in the engine bay, secured by a tubular engine cradle. Shifting is accomplished with the classic Borg-Warner World Class T-5. Out back, the Mustang's 8.8" rear end has been custom mounted, and a Kugel 4-link rear suspension replaces the stock multilink setup.

Some brief digging shows a for sale thread for this car on Focus Fanatics from 2008. After six pages of Focus owners chanting "Sick car, man... good luck with sale... free bump..." while holding hands around fouled O2 sensors and vinyl headlight appliques, no buyer could be conjured up. But the thread contains pertinent information for potential buyers: The car had just 50k miles before the two-year-long build, the seller is a Ford Master Technician, and there are over 700 pictures of the build process.

Another gem from the forum: "Ford has done testing on the focus chassis and it can handle 700 HP before it would twist" (all in a day's work for some lucky Ford engineer!). In other words, bring on the forced induction, baby. You've got room to grow. Except for the Autometer gauges that only go to 120.

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PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


  1. Wow, that is a very clean-looking build. If it drives like it looks, the price is probably quite fair. If this was a wagon, I would be sorely tempted. This would be a nice addition to my current "accidental Focus fleet".

    1. I agree the price seems decent for the amount of build time/quality. Then again, the last one of these we featured , which appeared to have been equally well thought out, took a couple of trips to the block before finding a home.

    2. I had forgotten the green one. I could not see what it eventually sold for. The parts breakdown on that one sure proved that you are lucky to break even on such a build, excluding all the time and effort. I would like to drive one of these conversions to see if they are "fully sorted" or not.

    3. Road trip to Philadelphia, B? Bring the 2CV?

    4. Yeah, I thought of that as soon as I noticed the location! To paraphrase the guys on Focus Fanatics "It would be EPIC, dude!"

    5. Truly. The weather here is marvelous. And by marvelous, I mean it's hot and humid. But at least there are a few less bugs! You are welcome, anytime. Bonus points for using the word "dude" in a sentence.

    6. B, would you choose an FWD or a RWD Focus, if such things were options from Ford?

    7. For summer fun, RWD, but as a year-round hauler, sadly I would have to opt for FWD, due to winter. But if I had a 300+ bhp Focus, it would ONLY be for summer use anyway.

      A few weeks ago I test drive the latest Focus ST. 252 horsepower, and FWD. Once I stopped giggling, I have to admit that I found the car kind of stupid, and the idea of turning it over to "She who tolerates me" scared the heck out of me.

    8. Ha! I hear you. Sometimes stupid is the right answer...and still acceptable! Thus, Hellcat...

  2. I'm trying to figure this one out.

    200 miles on it, and he's selling, and there's not much chance he's going to recover what he's got into it, though my guess is that he scraped together the parts for cheap.

    Definitely built more for a pure-stock-sleeper look than to go fast, right down to the four-lug wheels and the compromised intake setup.

    Might be a lot of fun, might also not be sorted very well and no faster than a chipped WRX. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting.

  3. Car was sold today. He just emailed me back...I had asked him why the miles are so low. When he listed it in 2008 it only had 100 miles since the only another 100 miles in 7 years? That's a pretty big red flag to me.


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