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Ford's awesome camera vehicle. Image by Kyle Fortune.

Ford's awesome camera vehicle
Ford Focus ST wagon turned into a unique and amazing photographer's vehicle.
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If you've ever wondered how car photographers get those cool tracking shots of new cars then it's usually by hanging out of the boot of a car in front. Not safe, not usually very clever, and almost certainly not legal - many a car launch snapper having been ticked off by unhappy plod after being spotted hanging precariously out of the boot of something entirely unsuitable. They always get away with it, usually thanks to car snappers being so damned nice that even miffed lawmen can't stay angry at them for too long.

Ford has a solution though, and it's more than a little bit special. In truth Ford has form here, having long provided clever shooting platforms for the pros to work from. Ford has previously created camera cars based on various estate cars and Transits, but none come close to exuding the cool of this machine.

Based on a Focus ST Estate Ford's people have busied themselves to create a camera car like no other. The rear hatch and much of the roof has gone, that leaving a space for a bucket seat to which you can strap a friendly snapper. Usefully, half of the spare wheel well remains, leaving a space for them to put their feet, while a tow bar mounted camera post allows all sorts of bolt-on filming and still photographic opportunities. There's also a front-facing mount in front of the passenger side rear-view mirror.

The loss of the rear hatch removes the issue of shadows from the tailgate, while that bucket seat and some serious belts means you shouldn't lose the photographer off the back (every snapper has a story of a close call), or even a visit onto the following car's bonnet. The red paint is odd, it certain to show up in headlights, but then so too will it be visible to oncoming traffic - did we mention that usually the camera car, or its subject, is on the wrong side of the road? A stealthy matte wrap would help with reflections then, if not visibility.

Elsewhere, the rear seats are gone, the space leaving a shelf for the inevitable boxes of camera gear (pro snappers never pack light) and masses of cloths and sprays to clean all the road muck off the subject cars. The driver of this machine says it's a hoot, and that bodywork aside nothing else has been done. Apparently it works best at speed too, where the suspension smoothes out the lumps and bumps better. Being based on an ST speed shouldn't be a problem, and thanks to Ford's ingenuity, neither should the law.

Kyle Fortune - 28 Jan 2013

Ford Focus ST Estate photographer's car. Image by Kyle Fortune.    

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