Pit Talk
2002-2004
Ontario Focus Owners Club (OFOC)
Blood, Sweat, and Gears
By Howard Adkin

"OFOC... How did I get into this? How is it that a guy that has only been "officially" a member of a car club for about 2 days now can find himself writing on behalf of that club?"

The club known as "OFOC - Ontario Focus Owners Club", verbally speaking, seems to have two very specific meanings. But we'll get to that later.

Now for those of you that haven't heard of OFOC, it is a self-described Ford Focus enthusiasts club. You know, a car club. So how are we different than any other car club out there? Perhaps we're not, and that could very well be the point.

Allow me to explain. Like most modern clubs there are affiliations with a national web-based forum, or club if you will, known as Focus Canada. There are the standard "meets", "G2G" days, and newly redesigned club stickers (we all love our stickers). As well, we now have a Ford dealership on-board for discounted parts and service to the Membership roster. Welcome aboard Donway Ford from Scarborough, Ontario. 

The common thread  that seems to hold the membership together at OFOC, or any other club for that matter, is something simply known as the Blood, Sweat, and Gears of trying to take a perfectly good daily commuter car and "tune" it into what we hope someday to be something extraordinary or unique. More often than not what we end up with is a veritable "suckhole" for money and time that usually makes more noise than horsepower. I'm certain that the thousands of tuners and would-be tuners that make up god knows how many clubs nationwide have suffered to varying degrees this quandary . It is the ability to use the club forums and collective knowledge to resolve these and many other issues that is the point.

Having said that, there are some differentiating qualities that in my short stay thus far with OFOC have made an impression.

What comes to mind first is the widely varied age demographics. Some of us, although young maybe even juvenile at heart, are busy booking our first prostate examinations and suffering through our teenagers angst, while others are those teenagers. OFOC somehow softens this age difference.

The dedication of the membership is also apparent . Some traverse great distances from all edges of Ontario. Some even venture in from neighbouring states and provinces such as New York and Quebec. We've even have a member of "higher standing" that lost his Focus while attempting reverse osmosis with a stationary object and still hitched a ride to what was a great G2G at the infamous Sean Hyland Motorsport

Most important to note though might come in the form of a warning: Do not talk about Ford Mustangs! The volumes of "eloquence" and deluge of commentary that follows is sure to give you a brain aneurysm. Indeed, there are a number of topics discussed throughout our forums that inspire great debate and encourage a sense of humour -- regardless of the topic.

Now the first thing one notices as a member of OFOC is that we all have a story that speaks to the Blood ,Sweat, and Gears of modding our car. Success stories and failures alike all the stories have special significance to the storyteller and, by extension, to the club. What is amusing is that all the stories share that "got-to-have-part(s)", the anticipation of waiting for the damn thing to come in, and the rush of a successful install or that completely sinking feeling you get when the car gods are not on your side that day(s).

It doesn't take long before the story of one member's new "performance" cold air intake or another's foray with the car's ECU produce less than anticipated results, and he or she is online tapping into an endless supply of "knowledge". All this while yet another member is regurgitating how blown away they are with the new suspension components and their effects on their Focus.

It's all good stuff this Blood Sweat and Gears. No doubt it gets into one's head.

Now I too have had more than my share of goofs while "improving" my Focus. I finally decided for me a Shorty header was the way to go. So, I ordered one. A couple days later I'm heading to my shop to install it, looking forward to the results. All was completely as expected: dismantle this, take off that, remove the EGR, remove stock manifold, no problemo!. Install the header to the manifold. So good, so far. Line up the cat...line up the cat...there. Three studs to tighten down at the header to catalytic  joint and I'm off to the "races". Tighten the first nut down on the cat studs. Tighten down the second...no problem. Tightening the third....just...a ...little ...bit ...mo... *SNAP!*   "OHHH FOC!" (the other meaning to OFOC) .