Submitted By Scott:
I was an original purchaser of a 2k s/r in may of 2000. I was in SCCA and worked in a Ford dealership in mid Michigan. I had become aware of the S/R varient through a friend who was also an SCCA club racer and worked for a supplier in the industry. I did some online research and met an engineer on the project through my friend who explained that it was a unpromoted sub model of zx2 that was being developed to homolagate zx2 for SCCA showroom stock C road racing. I was then handed a slip of paper with an RPO number and the suggestion that I order one quickly because they were starting production in Hermosillo Mexico in a matter of days. So. I called five area dealerships before I found a salesman who would agree to looking into the availability of a model that did not appear to even exist. I bribed him with the offer of a steak dinner for two plus drinks, if he could find one or get a valid order created! He got a car ordered to my specification and got his spiff. When the zinc yellow car was backed off the car hauler I was there with my salesman. As we were walking around it, remarking on all the special equipment and differences, the sales manager walked over and said "That looks pretty sharp. I think I order up five or six in different colors." He had no idea that they were already out of production, over and done.
The back story on the S/R is rather interesting. It was actually created by a group of five engineers WITHIN the small car group, not BY the small car group. That is an important distinction in this case. Because this car was done on almost zero budget, by industry standards of development costs! The component validations relied on ISO certification of the suppliers and the low volume of production got it past the scrutiny of Meeting most component warranty requirements. The ZX2 S/R slipped through the system and into buyers hands with no mention in any brochure beyond a paint color chart that indicated that Bright Atlantic blue would be temporarily replaced by Zinc yellow. Ford Racing also produced a brochure showing S/R parts as well as some competition specific parts for ZX2 that were offered. And that was the extent of Ford Racings involvement in ZX2. At Ford, there is quite a bit of internal rancor toward any intrusion into Mustangs market territory! As in its bad for your future career to step on Mustang turf if you are working on a sporty type coupe. Many people will remember that Ford launched another limited production sporty coupe in 2000. The Mustang Cobra R. It made a huge splash! It was on the cover of almost every major car magazine. The engineers involved had stories written about their work on the Cobra R. Buyers stood in line to pay way above retail price! And then the Cobra R just disappeared! They got sold and went into private garages and collections, deemed to valuable to drive. Zx2 S/Rs are most often seen in action at autocrosses and track events. The Cobra R? Not so much anywhere beyond the occasional Mustang car show or at auction. The two cars are true polar opposites from a marketing standpoint!
Got some info on the S/R? or ZX2 in general? Email me.
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