Mondeo’s Ace classic appreciation
James heads to the North Circular for the Ford’s first show outing of 2017
1994 FORD MONDEO 1.8 GLX
The time had come for me to take the Mondeo to its first classic event – The Hangover Meet at the Ace Café on New Year’s Day. No hangover for me luckily – the Mondeo had done all the heavy drinking for the both of us when I filled the tank with Esso’s finest unleaded. After a quick check of the tyres and fluid levels ahead of the 180-mile round trip – all were fine – and I hit the road.
It was on the drive down the A1 towards London that I noticed a crack at the top of the windscreen. It isn’t within the sweep area of the wipers but was starting to tarnish the idea that my Mondeo is as close to showroom condition as you can get. I’ll have to get it looked at soon before the crack heads any further south and one windscreen becomes two!
Driving the Mondeo feels smooth and effortless – it’s easy to see why it was so popular 24 years ago. The seating position feels like an armchair and the comfortable GLX spec trim makes the miles fly by. All I’m missing now are some cassettes to listen to on longer journeys.
On arrival at the Ace I noticed only one other classic on the forecourt – a Vauxhall Nova SR that was one of the first registered as an H-plate, back in August 1990. As I parked up alongside it, an enthusiastic diner rushed out from the diner to get a photograph of the two side by side. ‘You don’t see many of those on the road anymore,’ he said. ‘I used to have one as my commuter car in 1993 but hated it – the suspension never felt right to me.’ Well, you can’t please everyone. Still, dislike it or not, he took plenty of photographs of my timewarp machine and admitted that he hadn’t seen a Mondeo saloon with a full-width rear reflector between the tail lights so close to the car’s launch year.
By this time, my new friend in the Nova SR had sped off, but a 1962 Triumph TR4 and 1986 Mini City rocked up to take its place It’s a shame we didn’t have a classic from the 1970s to complete a ‘four decades of classics’ line-up, but there you go.
As the rain began to set in, more and more classics departed from the Ace Cafe for the drive home, so I decided to follow suit. On the drive back I remembered that the Mondeo saloon doesn’t have a rear wiper, which is slightly frustrating when you’re checking your rear view mirror in torrential rain. You’d think that the $6 billion Ford USA invested into the Mondeo project in 1986 would have been enough to produce a clearer rear window, but I can forgive this one little flaw. Other than that the Mondeo’s running beautifully - although the windscreen chip needs sorting soon.
A 1990s vision, complete with Vauxhall Nova SR.