Shed Of The Week: Ford Mondeo ST220

Shed's dog had to go to the vet's the other day. Unfortunately the poor creature didn't manage to fall ill during normal business hours. The result of a 10pm vet visit was a bill for £500 instead of the £200 it normally costs to cross the practice's jewel-encrusted threshold. Even that was a narrow escape. It would have been £900 if Shed had left the beast on the premises until 7am the following morning, as was being suggested.

This episode has got Shed thinking about how to make his fortune. The idea he has come up with is to set up Sheds Now. This would offer all the usual Shedly advice, but only between the 'anti social' hours of 10pm and 6am. His thinking is that people desperate for late-night car buying advice would be delighted to pay 250 per cent over the odds for this service.

It's all about perception. We perceive something to be more valuable even though, in reality, it isn't. In this case the only inconvenience would be to switch to the night shift, which for Shed would actually be a highly appealing prospect.

This perception thing affects cars too. Used Ford Mondeos are viewed with the sort of sneering disdain normally reserved for politicians, pond slime or Piers Morgan, and yet even the briefest dip into the road test archives will tell the tale of a great-driving hatch that generally wins any group test it's put into.

Of course, there's a difference between a new Ford and a used one. Factor in the huge numbers involved and the result is a raft of perfectly serviceable Mondeos that seemingly can't be sold even at ridiculously low prices. Normally these are non-glitzy 1.8 diesels or 2.0 petrols, but it seems that the madness is now extending to the rather more special ST220. This one in particular, anyway, a tempting 2003 number in metallic blue.

Well, mainly metallic blue. Even the most Mr Magoo-ish ones among you will have noticed something unusual about the bonnet. The faded blue is almost arty, but could signify the after-effects of things having gotten a bit warm at some point. Mk 3 Mondeo bonnets were key-operated, which would have been a good idea if the lock mechanisms hadn't been made out of shortcrust pastry. As it was, they acquired a well-deserved reputation for not unlocking. Picture the scene: smoke issuing out from under the bonnet while the distraught owner hops desperately from foot to foot trying to a) swing the Ford badge out of the way and b) stick his horrible brassy ignition stick-thing into the hole.

Anyway, a genuine replacement bonnet from the scrapper's will cost you under £40 and you could even make a virtue out of it by getting one in a contrasting colour like Panther Black. Once that's fitted, you've got yourself a comfortable, spacious and practical five-seater with good crash strength and a massive boot - and that's just the regular Mondeo we're talking about. This is an ST220, a relative rarity in Ford terms with fewer than 4,000 left running on British roads.

Although the 220hp or thereabouts 3.0-litre Duratec V6 was a typically heavy-cranked Ford affair, it was good for 151mph (or 155mph in this facelifted car). The 6.8 seconds 0-60 quoted in the ad sounds a bit optimistic, but something beginning with a seven wouldn't be. The 2003 update introduced a six-speed gearbox too.

If you're the sort of Shedman who doesn't mind spending cash on oil changes for long-term peace of mind, well done. Unfortunately you won't enjoy the process on an ST220 as removing and replacing the undertray that protects the sump plug is a swine of a job. This is one of those we-don't-care-about-you, get-yourself-into-our-dealership designs that are all too common in the automotive industry. It's a particular shame here as ST sump leaks are not unknown, along with leaks from the main crank seal behind the flywheel. Dirty, unchanged ST oil can lead to major seizure, and the engine can be awkward to work on.

The MOT is long on this one but there are a lot of advisories, with an oil leak (doh), quite a few hoses on the way out and quite a few mentions of the word 'corrosion'. Perhaps too many, unless you're an ST admirer.

Having said all that, a well-maintained ST can provide sterling service as it is unlikely to be stressed in normal use. However, there are some other areas to be aware of like aux belt tensioners, MAF sensors, splitting breather hoses, idle control valves, dropping back bumpers, rear subframe bushes, rear wheel bearings, rear brake parts generally, non-heating seats, rusty door bottoms and, of course, the dreaded dual-mass flywheel.

So there you have it, a comfy cruiser with leather, loads of kit and a pretty decent look about it, bonnet apart. Finally, if you have read any of this between the hours of 10pm and 6am, please send £10 to Shed. Thank you.

Here's the ad.

For sale is my much loved Mondeo ST220. I bought this car in 2006 when it had two previous owners. It has since been used as the family car. This car is a joy to drive, combining the usual Mondeo practicality with the brilliant 3L V6 engine. This car recently passed its MOT (Apr 2017) requiring very minor work (wipers and a light) and has just had a replacement battery fitted (also April). This car is in great condition for its age and mileage. As you can see from the pictures there are a number of bodywork issues which are accounted for in the very competitive price. The ST220 is a rare car and you won't find many examples, let alone at this price. Anti-Lock Brakes, Leather Upholstery, Driver and Passenger Airbag, Power Assisted Steering, Alarm, Alloy Wheels, Central Locking, Electric Windows, heated front seats, electric driver seat, 6CD changer, full service history.



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Comments (60) Join the discussion on the forum

  • JMF894 19 May 2017

    BOOM!! In first!

    Seriously though like these good shed.

  • Nuppy 19 May 2017

    Top Shedding, love these!
    if I hadn't have just bought something else I'd be seriously tempted :-)

  • probably chalk 19 May 2017

    That's the most interesting Shed in weeks. Good work. Good car (probably).

  • grumpy52 19 May 2017

    I tend to go straight past any car with its plates obscured, what they hiding ?
    As mentioned they had great write ups when new , unfortunately finding one in good condition is almost impossible at reasonable money . I keep looking at Fords but always end up walking away .

  • Spannerski 19 May 2017

    Like all Fords.
    There good to about 80,000 miles then become money pits.

    Edited by Spannerski on Friday 19th May 11:20

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