It’s the affordable classic Ford with good spares back-up and bags of potential, too. Here’s what to look for if you’re on the hunt for a Mk2.
With the original Fiesta defeated by the Austin Metro in the battle of the superminis, Ford came back fighting with the launch of the Mk2 version in August 1983.
The revised Fiesta smoothed off its predecessor’s rough edges in more ways than one, feeling more refined to drive and ushering in a notably sleeker front end.
Although the revised styling was penned with the aim of making the Fiesta a little better at cutting through the air, the rounded wings and bonnet provided enough room to shoehorn in the Mk3 Escort’s 1297cc CVH engine.
Replacing the Mk1’s 1298cc OHV engine with the more modern CVH also involved rejigging the chassis rails and a few other structural revisions, but it was a worthwhile swap, especially as the new engine came with its matching five-speed gearbox. The Mk1’s 957cc and 1117cc OHV engines were carried over to the Mk2, although on the upside both received a few torque-enhancing tweaks and the larger motor could also be ordered with the five-speed gearbox. For the real penny pinchers and fleet buyers, there was also the availability of a fairly lacklustre diesel version.
High-speed cruising and fuel economy were also enhanced via the addition of 13 inch wheels, with the suspension being re-engineered to complement the larger rims. The revisions included new top mounts for the struts and a different bush design for the front suspension tie-rod. A new dashboard contributed to the more upmarket feel, while Ford also reprofiled the roof and rear tailgate to complement the sharper front end.
At launch, customers got to choose from Popular, Popular Plus, L and Ghia levels of trim, with the range being strengthened with the subsequent arrival of the XR2, 1.4S and Bonus. The array of choice and the Mk2’s upgrades brought the Fiesta firmly back into the hearts of the UK’s supermini buyers and, right up until its 1989 demise, it proved immensely popular — peaking in 1987 with over 150,000 sold.
Today, it’s enthusiasts that are increasingly clamouring for the Mk2, but if you want to get in on the action then it’s still possible to grab a tidy Fiesta for the right side of £2000. Considering its relatively low cost and the way values are likely to climb, it’s not a question of whether you can afford a Mk2 Fiesta, but whether you can afford not to.
“TODAY, IT’S ENTHUSIASTS THAT ARE INCREASINGLY CLAMOURING FOR THE MK2”