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Oct 1, 2012

Photography By: Tim Acang

Words By: Andy Carter

Refocused: Mitchell Donat’s Competition Orange SVT


My experience in the automotive community has taught me, if nothing else, that taste is both completely subjective and often deeply rooted in an owner’s psyche. Each of has our own favorite brand, and an idea of what are acceptable modifications within the confines of what we deem appropriate.  While there are certainly those that jump ship on occasion, forsaking their last love for new opportunities in power or style, most people know what they love, and love what they know.  And in that mindset, Mitchell Donat knew that when he purchased his car, he wanted to go the JDM route, and to build a car for speed.  Obviously, things didn’t quite work out that way.

Mitchell began his search with the intent of finding either an Integra GS-R or a Z32 300ZX. A day before he set off to begin the test drives, however, his father convinced him to take a look at this Competition Orange SVT Focus.  He admits, “At first I was skeptical of buying [it] because I was intrigued by the JDM scene at the time and I didn’t want to be laughed at for owning and modding a Ford Focus. But I ended up going to take a look at the car and as soon as we pulled up my jaw dropped . . .” His amazement quickly turned into serious interest as he realized that the Focus offered a full leather Recaro interior, a Getrag 6 speed transmission, and that neck-breaking factory orange paint. He purchased the car and hasn’t looked back since.

The original plan for the car was big performance, but after he contrasted his available capital to the demands of a high horsepower build, his tire-melting dreams came crashing down to the ground; but as one can see, laying on asphalt is not a bad place for this Focus to be. The contrast of the orange paint and gunmetal ABT wheels gives impact to the new direction of the car.

Many of us, as proud enthusiasts, would like to claim that our cars are products of vision and sheer determination. We imagined what our car would be, found the perfect canvas, and made deliberate choices to bring the project to completion. Honestly though, opportunity and necessity often sneak into the best laid plans, forcing us to second-guess our original visions. Sometimes we must compromise, or more optimistically, just discover something new, as Mitchell did with his Focus.  Regardless of whatever moves that direction change though, adaptability is key to still finding success in wherever the build ends up heading.  This SVT Ford is proof that with a proper refocusing,  compromise can still work in a big way.

Editor: Andy Carter