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Prodrive rekindles Tickford

Ford tick: Don’t want to wait six months for a Ford Ranger Wildtrak? Revenant tuner Tickford may have the answer.

Tickford soul returns to Australia in Ford Ranger, Mustang mods on the way

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4 Oct 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

TICKFORD is returning to the Australian automotive scene after a 15-year hiatus under the direction of Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) founder Prodrive Racing.

The brand reintroduction has been two years in the making and will be lead by a series of options available to owners of the current-generation Ranger, including a power upgrade, suspension modifications and customisation packages inside and out, but more models are on the horizon.

Next up, the company will expand into a line-up of Mustang modifications for customers to apply similar bespoke parts to the Blue Oval’s sell-out-success sportscar, and the Tickford treatment will be rolled out to “a range of models” in time.

After the Melbourne pilot centre opens its doors this month at Prodrive’s HQ in Campbellfield, two further Tickford Modification Centres will follow, with one planned for Sydney later in the year and another for Brisbane in 2017.

With the end of Australian Ford production this week and lights out at FPV in 2014, Tickford CEO Tim Edwards said it was the right time to resurrect the brand as it would offer Blue Oval fans something home-grown to get their teeth into.

“The local automotive engineering industry is enduring its most challenging time ever so we see the re-emergence of Tickford, and with it a new generation of Australian performance vehicles, as the ideal way to give vehicle enthusiasts something to get excited about,” he said.

Despite previous close ties to the brand both geographically and collaboratively, the relaunch is independent of any Ford Australia involvement, but product communications manager Damion Smy said the popularity of certain Ford models was creating a demand for specialist tuners such as Tickford.

“Prodrive’s operation of Tickford is independent of Ford Australia, however we understand the appeal of accessorising our vehicles, through the popularity of the fully-equipped Ranger Wildtrak and shown by models such as the Ranger XLS Special Edition,” he said.

“Mustang needs no introduction to modification and passionate enthusiasm, and like Ranger, is in high demand right now”.

The popular Ranger Wildtrak currently has a six-month waiting list and it is possible Ford may benefit indirectly from the re-emergence of Tickford with customers opting for sub-Wildtrak variants before contracting the tuning treatment to Tickford.

With the relaunch, the company’s winged-T identity has been given its own tune up for a more modern look and managing director Rod Nash said Tickford has been consulting former employees, owners and car clubs about the relaunch.

“Tickford has a long and storied history which we are very conscious of and we won’t be forgetting what has come before us,” he said.

“We undertook an extensive research trip to the United Kingdom, visited the original Salmons and Sons factory, met with people that used to work for Tickford and spent time learning about the significant vehicles and what made the brand special to its enthusiasts.

“We even have ex-Tickford employees working for the new Tickford which has been a great reference point for us.

“I am pleased to say the updated logo has had a positive response from people that have been involved with the brand for decades, along with the groups of local owners and Tickford car club members we’ve shown it to.”

The company will not be offering complete vehicles as was the case with Ford Performance Vehicles, but the network of three Tickford centres will offer a tuning service for existing owners.

In the case of the Ranger, its power can be turned up by 15 per cent, torque gets a boost of 20 per cent as well as a range of suspension and body enhancements, but Tickford is offering a full warranty on all its modifications.

Tickford performance parts director Tony Harris confirmed plans for the Mustang, following the initial introduction of the Ranger, but fans will have to wait a little longer for the pony car parts.

“Tickford has traditionally developed componentry for fast Fords and that plan continues with the all-new Mustang.

“With the racing pedigree of the broader business and the direction we have set ourselves for the brand, we want to ensure we take the time required to develop the right options as the Mustang personalisation space is a busy one.

“Much like Ranger, we are aiming to develop Mustang packages that are uniquely Tickford, so, while owners might have to wait a little while for a Tickford Mustang we believe it will be worth the wait.”

The celebrated T-badge was last offered Down Under in 2001, shortly before the company was wound up to coincide with the creation of FPV at Prodrive’s premises in Melbourne’s north, a stone’s throw from the Ford factory in Campbellfield.

Ford acquired full ownership of FPV from Prodrive in 2012 and, other than its endeavours in the V8 Supercar series, for the last four years, Prodrive has been out of the fast Ford game.

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