Danny Webster’s spent the last few years single-handedly creating some of the finest, lowest hatchback show cars the UK’s ever seen. And his latest, a modified Mk6 Ford Fiesta might be his best work yet…
What makes a good base car for a stanced show project? The beauty of these builds is that, unlike red-blooded race cars or animalistic drift weapons, you really can start with anything you like. Shucks, it’s often the really unassuming stuff that goes down best in the car scene. Looking that little bit more ironically awesome when dumped on its derrière with some fat wheels wedged out the sides.
Take our proud owner here Danny’s previous car: a humble 9N Polo. Where many wouldn’t have the vision to transform such a common sight into something that could win awards, Danny thrived on the challenge. His custom air suspension setup, bespoke interior and endless amounts of split rims bringing him trophy after trophy, even when pipped against much more expensive metal.
The attachment between Polo and owner meant many were surprised when Danny uploaded a picture to Instagram of a rather tatty looking Ford Fiesta on his driveway two years ago. “It was bought with the intention of building up while the Polo remained my show car,” he says. “But temptation to sell up and fully focus on the Fiesta got the better of me pretty quickly.”
What Danny was dealing with here was a sixth-generation, 1.6 TDCI version of Ford’s compact hatchback. And not one that was in showroom condition, either. “The paint was in a terrible state. Someone had tried to respray it at some point, but missed a lot of bits,” Danny recalls painfully. “It needed a lot of welding on the outside and even a new wiring loom inside, thanks to fire damage.” Not exactly ideal, then. But Danny’s idea was to use the car’s slightly shonky condition to give him more creativity when it came to modifying it. Clever stuff!
Before the bodywork was sorted, Danny got to grips with sizing up his dream interior. This came in the form of some sumptuous wing-backed Recaro recliners, draped in a dashing deep red leather, with our main man knocking up matching interior trim to give the whole thing a fully classy finish. It’s probably worth noting here that the majority of the work performed to all of Danny’s cars is done almost single-handedly on his driveway. Making the tale that little bit more impressive, we reckon.
Interior sorted and missing exterior pieces sourced, Danny’s next move was to send the whole lot off to his trusted bodywork specialist, A&D Auto, where the biggest transformation of the build would occur. “I cannot thank them enough” was Danny’s first reaction when he saw the finished car back in one piece. The guys at A&D had smoothed out almost every panel, removing the likes of the washer jets, door handle recesses and indicator repeaters along the way, before applying a generous coating of this striking gloss beige hue – now the instant way to identify this as Danny’s ride.
Next up was to try and get the newly sorted body to sit as low as possible to terra firma for Danny’s signature look. Whereas he’d hand-made an air suspension kit for his beloved Polo, it was time to mix things up in the suspension department for the Fiesta. “I built a four-way hydraulic suspension system on my drive,” he modestly puts it. “It works with a key fob and offers a lot of adjustability.”
In order to get the level of lows he was after, Danny also had to notch up the chassis in several places to avoid it scraping – not a job for the fainthearted, that’s for sure. Then came a set of bigger brakes from pokier Ford models, to match the new found grunt untapped from a custom de-cat exhaust system and remap (all performed by Danny, of course…).
Ah yes, wheels. One of Danny’s self-proclaimed weaknesses. Spot this Fiesta at a show one weekend and we’ll bet you the next time you see it it’ll be rocking a different set of hoops. So far, he’s been through Gottis, OZs and Schmidts (to name just a few). But his latest choice has to be one of our favourite: tasty split Speedline Mistrals, which seem to make the beige exterior pop perfectly with their 9.5-inches of polished girth at the rear. Don’t get too comfortable seeing the Fiesta on these rims, though. Danny’s already told us he’s in the process of rebuilding some BBSs for his next move…
When you see just how spot-on Danny is with his fitment, and just how belly-scrapingly low this Fiesta really does sit in the flesh, it’s little wonder that this small-but-mighty beast has won more than a few show awards. With a few inevitable spills thrown in along the way, he’s proven just what can be achieved on your driveway with even the most unassuming of base cars. So next time you choose a project car, do us a favour and use that imagination of yours a little more than you normally would. You never know what you’ll achieve.
TECH SPEC: FORD FIESTA MK6 TDCI
Full respray in beige; smoothed front and rear bumpers, grille, door handle recesses, door mouldings, indicators and aerial; plate recesses shortened; washer jets removed.
1.6-litre, TDCI Zetec S; decat exhaust system; remap.
8.5x16in (front) and 9.5x16in (rear) Speedline Mistral three-piece alloy wheels; 165/45×16 (front) and 195/40×16 (rear) tyres; four-way custom hydraulic suspension system with chassis adjustments; Focus ST front brake and Fiesta ST rear brake conversion.
Fully retrimmed interior with Recaro CS front reclining seats; 280mm MOMO Team steering wheel; Golf Edition 30 gear knob; Audi TT air vents and shifter surround; Focus ST170 handbrake lever.
Wheel Unique for all the split rim parts.
Words Sam Preston Photos Chris Wallbank