Last Friday, Gymkhana god Ken Block paid London’s iconic Ace Café a visit. Rumour had it Block was going to unveil a car he had collaborated with Ford and M-Sport to use for his X Games and Global Rally X endeavours. Fans gathered in wait at the legendary Ace café in the sleet and wind to see the amazing man and machine in the flesh.
The Ace Café
Established in 1938, this much-loved rocker, biker and car haunt was initially built to cater for traffic, especially hauliers using the North Circular Road and in need of a meal. The fact it was open 24 hours meant the Ace Café soon became a meeting place, particularly with bikers. A year later the owner opened a ten-pump service station on an adjoining plot of land – this included a washing bay, showroom and repair shop.
In 1949, Ace Café was rebuilt with the addition of a restaurant, a classy affair before it gained its “Greasy Spoon” tag. The post war years saw the increase in traffic and the birth of Rock N Roll. As this ever-growing “popular” music wasn’t aired on the radio, Ace Café installed a jukebox with all the Rock N Roll hits. This attracted a youth gathering and all the bikers, and ever since, it has gained cult status, even appearing in films.
The car unveiled appeared like a gem within a muddy puddle, the colourful car a stark contrast to the bleak surroundings of a gloomy London. This was Hoonigan Racing Division’s weapon of choice for the 2013 calendar. Set in Cockermouth, England, the rally team worked with Block and another English company, M-Sport (Ford WRC team’s partner for over 15 years) to create this eye-opening ST RX43. Ken will be using it to galvanise his public profession of, “winning gold at all four of this year’s Global X Games and going for the overall championship win during this year’s Global RallyCross season.”
According to Block, the Ford’s colour scheme and exterior designing took inspiration from the rock trends from the 80s and 90s. The result… an extreme rally car wearing the clothes of Ford’s 2014 Fiesta – the whole interior is designed, manufactured and built from scratch.
X Games and Global Rally X victories? I’ll keep my fingers crossed too.