1987 FORD FIESTA 1.1 POPULAR
ENGINE 1117cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 48bhp@5000rpm TORQUE 60lb ft@2700rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 88mph 0-60MPH 17.5sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 30-40mpg TRANSMISSION FWD, five-speed manual MoT December 2017 ODOMETER 23,220
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? The car starts easily enough but the manual choke can take time to produce a smooth idle. However, it feels eager, nimble and light on its feet thanks to the narrow tyres. The five-speed manual gearbox has perfect selection through all gears. The service book shows this car started life as an automatic, but the manual conversion seems to have been carried out professionally, with the correct parts having been used, both at the gearstick end and in the engine bay. The paperwork doesn’t indicate when the transmission was changed, however. There are no rattles, squeaks or bangs and it feels every inch a low mileage car. The brakes work well enough. BODYWORK CHECK Panel fit is excellent and wheelarches are immaculate. The sills and body seams are clean and free of rust. The paint shows no sign of the usual fading and blooming that often affects red Fords from this era and the painted bumpers and plastic end caps are perfect. The plastic door mirror housings and trim are all in good condition and have retained their original black finish. All window rubbers and door seals are in excellent condition and the steel wheels have the correct centre caps and are free from rust or road rash. Tyres are BF Goodrich 155 70/13s with excellent tread remaining. HOW’S THE INTERIOR? The seat fabric and door panels are faultless, the carpet is clean and fits correctly and the steering wheel and switchgear are in excellent condition. The only negatives of any note are the modern aftermarket stereo, which looks out of place, and and a snapped fan control switch. The original spare wheel and toolkit are under the rear boot carpet. UNDER THE BONNET There’s some light surface corrosion and grime on items such as the exhaust manifold, block and exposed metal pipework, but nothing of true concern. Overall, the bay reflects years of careful ownership. Cables and wiring all appear to be intact and in their correct places. Structural crumple and impact zones, shock absorber towers and inner arches are clean and undamaged and all fluid levels are correct. THE CCW VIEW This example of Ford’s compact transport for the masses is an increasingly rare survivor. It’s also the perfect simple first classic, temptingly affordable and one that should give its next owner years of faithful service. The well-executed gearbox conversion is unusual but makes this a genuinely engaging drive, certainly more so than the automatic equivalent. The car still has its manual and service book, showing the last main dealer service in August 1996 at just over 15,000 miles. But it’s obviously been looked after well since then.