Mon­deo’s Ace clas­sic ap­pre­ci­a­tion

James heads to the North Cir­cu­lar for the Ford’s first show out­ing of 2017

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Living With Classics - JAMES SADLIER MANAG­ING EDI­TOR


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.

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