We check out Tyla Hall’s Tango’d modified Mk6 Ford Fiesta…
Fans of banned 1990s TV adverts will no doubt recall the timeless classic for Tango, in which the iconic Orange Man slapped a fella across the chops, immediately leading to countless playground copycat incidents, damaged eardrums, lawsuits and whatnot. Banned ads are always the best, of course, and it ensured everyone knew what it meant to be Tango’d. Like Ronseal’s “It does what it says on the tin” and the notion of things being “a bit Marmite”, being Tango’d became ingrained in the national consciousness.
It’s this quirky, slightly edgy approach that Tyla Hall has opted for with her completely unmissable modified Ford Fiesta. It’s been Tango’d in a fairly outspoken way. That Orange Man popping back up from the ’90s to slap her Fiesta, and slap it up good. “I bought the car basically new from a local Ford dealer,” Tyla says. “I didn’t plan on doing much with it, as it was clean and tidy and I didn’t want to mess about with it.” Yeah, we’ve heard that before. The evidence before us suggests that these humble first impressions didn’t stick around long.
We soon discover you only need to be around Tyla for a few moments before you realise that modification swims in her blood. It’s been ingrained into the normality of the everyday since she was a little girl. “I’ve been around cars all my life,” she says. “Specifically drag cars. My mum and dad used to race at Santa Pod and we practically lived there – it was great, like my second home. My dad bought me little toys in my teens like go-karts and bikes, and then bought me my first car to have a mess about with, and from there my passion for petrol just grew.”
A heartwarming bit of early encouragement there and you can clearly see where all this came from. And it was always inevitable that she’d end up pouring her heart and soul into a Ford, as her dad is a dyed-in-the-wool Blue Oval man. It’s a family affair, this. But at the same time, this unique Fiesta is fuelled solely by Tyla’s own inspiration…
“It’s my story, and it’s a hell of a story to tell,” she confirms. “Just after having had my daughter, a friend of mine was in desperate need to borrow a car for a few weeks and I was at home with the newborn. To cut a long story short, she crashed the Fiesta and it was totally destroyed. It made sense to draw a line under it and start again with a new project. But I just couldn’t give up on the car, and that’s when the magic happened – it ended up coming back better and brighter than ever.
“My dad and I rebuilt it from scratch. It took months. Years, in fact. But once it was fully rebuilt and running again, I decided it was time to just go for it and paint it orange.” Well, why not, eh? And from thence the Tango association arose, for obvious reasons.
It’s fair to say that Tyla’s got more than a little carried away with the theme, too. It stretches way beyond the flawless repaint in pearlescent orange. There are juicy jaffa pips liberally sprinkled throughout the car wherever you happen to look. There’s so much vitamin C oozing out of the thing, it’s like being blindsided by a Berocca.
“It’s taken around five years to get the car to the stage we’re at today,” says Tyla – the heavy hint being that this project will never be filed away as ‘finished’, but will continue to evolve. “Progress has been slow and steady, thanks to family life. But the Fiesta’s part of that family now. It’s way more than just a car. It’s been a constant throughout many dark times. Being able to focus and concentrate on modding the Fiesta, take it out for a drive, relax, unwind, it’s like therapy. I built it to be a reflection of my personality, really – the audacious, in-your-face colour, the subtle and not-so-subtle mods, it’s all to remind people that this is a girl’s car… with an edge.”
Much like that Like a Girl ad that went viral, this Fiesta neatly demonstrates that the old-school misogyny of the idea of ‘a girl’s car’ really is dead and buried in 2016, and Tyla’s right at the forefront of modifying equality. It’s just a good car, done right. That’s all that matters here.
The fun part with this build is that it shamelessly pinches a few perennial constants of the watercooled VW scene and reapplies them in fresh style to a new-wave Ford. You’ll have spotted that it’s running a set of shiny Porsche Twists (and the rears are nine inches wide, so it wasn’t just a simple case of bolting them on and going for a cuppa). While the whole thing sits dumped in the weeds, smirking malevolently, thanks to a custom Air Lift setup to eradicate all of that pesky altitude while also allowing Tyla to vault the speedhumps on the school run. See, air ride’s not just there for scene points. It’s practical too.
“You’ll notice the Tango theme pretty much everywhere,” Tyla grins. “From the drinks-can gearknob to the dustcaps, and even the air tank’s been Tango’d! Roose Motorsport kitted me out with orange hoses, and the decision was made to go splat-happy in the bay and elsewhere. My daughter also had some heels made for me as a present to sit in my car, and obviously they are Tango too. There really isn’t a lot left standard on the car now. I can’t wait to see what the next show season brings!”
Much as Tyla’s parents introduced her into the ways of the petrolhead, so too her daughter’s now following the family line. “Ellie-Grace has decided she wants to start modifying her toy Ferrari F430,” Tyla laughs. “And that’s ace. We usually park them up next to each other at car shows. She loves it. Hopefully she follows in her mummy’s footsteps.” She’ll certainly have the inspiration to spur her on. Mummy’s already talking about fitting a set of Porsche 911 C4S seats and dropping in a bigger motor. This orange-hued adventure’s showing no signs of calming down any time soon.
In this case Tango is Marmite (yeasty citrus, after all, is an acquired taste). For Tyla, though, the Fiesta’s outrageous aesthetic transcends mere show scene tittle-tattle. If people like it, great. If not… well, she didn’t build it for them. She built it to be part of the family, and that’s exactly what it is.
OWNER: TYLA HALL
TECH SPEC: MK6 FORD FIESTA
Tango pearlescent orange; ST150 sideskirts; all plastics painted gloss black; debadged grille; custom adapted Focus RS front lip spoiler; colour-coded foglight surrounds and wing mirrors; smoothed aerial; gloss black roof; Hako wind deflectors; Zetec-S rear spoiler; custom tailgate with shrunken plate recess; smoothed Zetec-S rear bumper; de-wipered, Ultra Auto Design Black Halo angel-eye headlights; smoked Zetec S rear clusters and side repeaters; yellow tinted fogs.
1.6-litre 16v Zetec S; ITG air filter; Roose Motorsport orange silicone hoses; custom black/orange splatter- effect painted bay; painted header tank, battery cover, fusebox, reservoirs and caps; smoothed airbox, hydraulic bonnet lifters; Powerflow exhaust manifold and sport cat; Hoffman race pipe centre section;
3in rolled Powerflow backbox.
7.5x17in (front) and 9x17in (rear) Porsche Twists with gloss black faces and black and orange splatter- effect barrels; G23 Engineering 4×108 > 5×130 28mm adaptors; Nankang NS-II Sportnex Ultra tyres; Zetec S front brakes; ST rear brake conversion; custom Air Lift front struts; Firestone rear airbags; Air Lift V2 management; custom-wrapped Air Lift 4-gallon tank, Viair 380c compressor.
Custom-painted dash and centre console; Tango can gearknob; A/B/C pillars in black and orange splatter-effect; leather doorcards with orange detail; orange heater surrounds; orange gear gaiter surround; Richbrook R1 steering wheel with black and orange splatter-effect and Porsche horn button; black and orange leather bucket seats; leather rear bench; black and orange Recaro Young Sport baby seat; 2x Gladen Audio RS12 12in subwoofers; Gladen Audio RC 1200C1 amplifier; sealed 2.25 cubic-foot box with custom suede covering and orange leather accents and stitching – install by Zerocake Audio.
I would like to firstly thank Matt and Shane at MS Bodyworks for putting up with all the crazy stuff I chuck their way, these guys make it happen; also New Life Systems; Inspire Automotive; Zerocake who did my audio and air build; my partner in crime Lofty, who supports me in every way possible; and last but not least, my mum and dad for making me the petrolhead I am today.