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Man Maths: Ford Focus RS (Mk1)

2 weeks ago

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James Mills | Managing editor


4 May 2024

I have a photograph of my then new-born first child, head lolling to one side, sound asleep in a blue and black Sparco seat. We’d just got back from the hospital, and all this appalling new father could think of doing with the most precious thing yet to come into his life was staging a photo opportunity of her with a Ford Focus RS, which I ran as a long-termer at the time for Top Gear magazine.

Perhaps you, too, have a similar photograph, one that releases a heady dose of oxytocin and nostalgia and, dare I say, triggers a Man Maths response in that weird head of yours?

Because when it comes to Man Maths and cars, it takes the perfect witch’s brew of one part warped logic, two parts skewed sums and a healthy helping of said nostalgia to make everything add up just right. That’s when you’ll see an idle idea progress to a bit of time spent surfing the classifieds and auction sites, to a phone call, a long list of questions and a deposit – refundable, of course, upon the test drive going well, because you’re not a total numpty, right? And we all know what happens next.

So here I go again, kicking myself as I look at ads and see that (advertised) prices for a good Mk1 Focus RS now exceed £40,000. Years back, when looking for modern classics likely to prove a smart buy a decade on, I was telling anyone who’d listen about the original Focus RS. Even before the inevitable debate about the way it drives, it has motorsport pedigree, car geeks get excited by its spec and there are limited numbers.

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