Remember the lime green 2010 Ford Focus RS for sale in Mexico? One of our readers bought it and will be importing it to the US. To say we're jealous would be like saying the sun's warm. Complete story below.
Our new best friend who should totally let us go for a drive when he gets the car legalized wishes to remain anonymous, but he was kind enough to provide full details about how he was able to purchase a not-for-US Import Focus RS and exactly what kind of car lunatic he is:
I worked for 15 years as an automotive engineer in vehicle electronics, used to work in Auburn Hills, am a long time Jalopnik, Lifehacker, and Gizmodo reader, and collect cars. I drive about 100 miles each day to and from work, in horrible Chicago traffic, so I spend a lot of time with my cars. All the cars are fully restored or in like new condition. I have a 1964 Lincoln Continental (with suicide doors), a 1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 (Restomod with a blown 455), a 1964 MINI Cooper S, a 1968 Mercedes Benz 280SL convertible (the car my grandfather taught me to drive in and that he used to take down to Mexico on road trips), a 1996 Twin turbo Porsche 993, a 2000 Mercedes Benz ML55 (the world's fastest minivan), a 2002 MINI Cooper S (had to get the modern update of the MINI), a 2005 Lotus Exige S2, and now the 2010 Ford Focus RS Mk2. There is no rhyme or reason to the cars I collect, except that they are or were at the time cars that stood out from the crowd for their superlative engineering, design, and performance. In this regard I think that the Focus RS fits in perfectly to the rest of the collection. I keep them all in a big old warehouse that I purchased and restored a number of years ago in Chicago. It was an old paint factory from the 1920's and is all exposed brick and huge timber beams.
I had been reading and admiring the buzz about the upcoming release of the Focus RS Mk2 in the magazines last summer, and while in Italy last year I saw one in the lime green livery. Although it is arguably an atrocious color, there was something about the blunt power of the car that made me think the gaudy green was appropriate, and actually quite beautiful. After coming home I went about looking into importing one to the US, but finally the logistics and cost led me to abandon the effort. Then in May I saw a Jalopnik post about a a Euro Spec Focus RS with manufacturer plates spotted in Royal Oak, MI, near to where I used to live. This got my hopes up that the RS was coming to American soil.
However, with the economic downturn I figured Ford abandoned any interest in bringing the RS to the US due to the high cost to get the RS certified in the US, the awful dollar to Euro exchange rate since the car is manufactured in Germany, $40,000 price tag, depressed overall sales numbers, government push towards green cars, and low volume niche market that the hot hatch would have in the US.
So I resigned myself to pining for the RS and maybe putting my energies into building a tube frame Porsche 550 or 718 Spyder replicar. So it was with much surprise that I read the Jalopnik post on the Mexican RS for sale on eBay. I had purchased both my '64 Lincoln Continental and '67 Pontiac Firebird (both prior to restoration) on eBay, so I was comfortable with the process. Given the terrible dollar to Euro exchange rate the price was not out of line, it was available to be picked up on US soil in Laredo, Texas, so I went back and forth for about two hours agonizing over if I should buy it and finally was overcome with excitement and clicked the "Buy Now" button and sent Jorge a message to contact me.
Jorge, the GM at the Car One Ford dealership in Monterey Mexico, very nicely called me that night and explained the complexities of the importation process and offered me the opportunity to back out of the transaction. I told him that I was aware of the cost and the time the importation process required, but was still very enthusiastic about the purchase. He said that Ford had imported just one batch of the RS's and that customers could not special order them, nor were they importing anymore. He said that his dealership would 100% stand behind the car regardless of where it was driven and that he was happy to help in any way he could with the importation process. I spoke with Jorge again today and we will complete the transaction tomorrow. He seemed incredibly excited and helpful on the phone and we laughed that it would be easier and cheaper to buy a Ford GT than to import this RS, but that the RS was far more exclusive and exciting than the GT. He said that the RS drew a tremendous amount of foot traffic on his showroom floor and that he would miss the car.
We were only half joking at at that "let's take a ride" business. Stay tuned for more.