Honda owner Roger Grenon wasn't pleased with being turned away from snobby parking lot car shows. Determined, he transformed his lowly econobox Civic SI into a "rare Ford concept" and bluffed his way in. Here's how he did it.
We've seen badge swaps before, but rarely has someone put as much effort as Canadian Roger Grenon has into transforming every identifying mark on his Civic SI. Yes, it looks almost exactly like a Civic SI, but every small detail indicating it's actually a Honda's been replaced with a Ford reference. But what would compel someone to put so much effort into taking what's obviously a Civic and making it into a "2007 European Capri RS?"
Click to view"I was told that I was not allowed to enter my car into an "All Ford" Car Show so I made this up," says Grenon.
Had he just swapped out the Honda badges on the front and back with blue ovals, we wouldn't be impressed. We've seen plenty of Mercedes badges on Hyundais before. What makes Grenon stand out is the attention to small, almost unnecessary details. The steering wheel cover has an authentic-looking RS badge, the engine cover shows off a Ford SVT sticker with "Cosworth 2.0 DOHC" stenciled on top of it. All references to "American Honda" were replaced "Ford of Europe." And what about the strange hose?
"The best underhood part is the chrome Ford Racing Air breather cap. I simply placed it on the passenger side strut bolt, added a hose to it, a few zip ties and clamped it to the air conditioner outlet plug," says Grenon. "I actually told one guy that it was a cold air injection kit I added to take cool air from the air conditioning line to drop the intake air temperature. I had a hard time getting that line out, but he believed me!"
As if that weren't enough, he concocted a hilariously over-the-top vehicle history sheet to post in the window. Here's the text:
2007 EUROPEAN FORD CAPRI RS
What you are looking at is a very rare 2007 European Ford Capri RS Mark IV Concept car that debuted at the 2008 Salone dell'automobile di Torino (Turin Automobile Show). The car was commissioned by Ford of Europe and built by Carrozzeria Ghia SpA.
This motor is a new Cosworth FVA series 120 cu in DOHC (16V) inline 4 cylinder engine with 6-speed transaxle. The engine produces 275hp and 219ft-lbs. and redlines at 8,000 rpm. The car weighs 2,886lbs and can go zero to sixty in 5.5 seconds with a top speed of 157mph.
This vehicle design was planned for European and Asian markets and was never intended for North America. However Ford CEO Alan Mulally considered bringing the car into the U.S. and Canada markets as a modern Ford Comet.
It was displayed in numerous European and Asian auto shows until early 2009. The car was then purchased at BCA Europa Auto Auctions in Parma, Italy for 38,500 Euros (approx $47,000 US) in July of 2009 by a US importer. It was then re-sold for $41,500 US at the Barrett Jackson Las Vegas, Nevada in October 2009.
There were originally 4 of these cars built for the auto show circuit. Of the 3 other cars one was destroyed, one is part of the Ghia Concept Car collection In Turin Italy and the third is part of the Schlumpf collection in the "Musée Nationale de l'Automobile" in Mulhouse, France. So this is the only one in existence outside of Europe.
This car is now for sale so here is your chance to own a very rare Modern Capri RS Cosworth. For Sale – asking $45,000.
Grenon even parked his car next to a real Mercury Capri and fooled the owner, although the younger man with the Capri owner immediately knew what was up.
"Some people were fooled, some were confused, some were downright angry," says Grenon. "The main guy that was sponsoring the show was pissed off. I heard him say "we are not giving this car a f'ng award!"
Given all the work we think Grenon deserves some sort of trophy, but that's not why he did it.
"We did it for a total goof and had fun with people."