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Journey of Influence: Why Japanese Ford Enthusiasts Choose Fiesta ST-2 After Importer’s Exit

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TEXT: 長尾 循(NAGAO Jun)  PHOTO: 長尾 循(NAGAO Jun)

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Ford Japan was known as the largest car manufacturer in Japan

Ford of Japan was known as “Japan’s largest car manufacturer” since the establishment of its Japanese subsidiary in 1925. The Japanese people had such a strong connection with Ford vehicles that many Japanese mistakenly believed that Ford made the automobile. However, as you know, Ford withdrew from the Japanese market in 2016. There are still many deep-rooted fans hoping for a comeback.

European Ford lovers are also welcome at this event

On Saturday 04 November 2023, the European Ford Meeting (EFM) 2023 was held at Hamanako Garden Park South Rotary in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka.

The event is organized by the European Ford Meeting Executive Committee. It is a spontaneous organization created by owners. The fact that this event has continued for many years after the official importer withdrew is probably due to the attraction of the European-made Fords themselves and the energy of the enthusiastic owners who are attracted to them. As a young staff member of the organizing committee, Mr. “Farrar,” introduced here, was in charge of the event proceedings.

“Two years ago, in 2021, I bought myself my first car, a Fiesta,”

he says.

A beautiful 2019 Ford Fiesta ST-2 with a chic shadow black body. But why a Fiesta in Japan after the withdrawal of an authorised importer, at such a young age? We asked him why.

“Partly because successive generations of European Fords were active in the WRC, but also because my father was a heavy European Ford user for a long time, so that might have had a big influence. My family’s daily car was also Fiesta.”

Upgraded to the owner’s liking

“I bought it from FLC Ford Yokkaichi, which was originally an authorized Ford dealer. My current job is in Kanagawa, so I asked a shop near my hometown for maintenance. It’s a modern car, so I mainly use it for everyday use, and also for events and touring like this one.”

“I’ve always had a sporty driving style,” says Farrar. The ST has always been known for its sporty performance, but it has been upgraded to the owner’s liking in terms of driving with the installation of a power-up Smart Flash made by Mountain Tune in the UK, stock 18-inch wheels, and four-pot calipers on the front brakes. Incidentally, there are only two Fiesta ST-2s in the Kanto region, including this one.

“In addition to the charm of the car itself, the Fiesta has created many connections and memories for me.”

translated by DeepL

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