FORD FI­ESTA MKI

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Best 1976 Buys - JAMES SADLIER MAN­AG­ING ED­I­TOR

WHAT TO PAY CONCOURS £4000 EX­CEL­LENT £3250 US­ABLE £1600 PROJECT £600

For­get the in­creas­ingly pricey XR2 and Su­pers­port models for a mo­ment. Even in non hot­ted-up form, the orig­i­nal Fi­esta is huge fun to hoof around in, and the fact that the first ones are now go­ing to qual­ify for tax-ex­empt mo­tor­ing makes them an even more tempt­ing as clas­sic buys.

Even the base model makes you smile when you perch your­self be­hind the two-spoke steer­ing wheel and go for a drive – there’s some­thing ad­dic­tive about squeez­ing ev­ery last

bit of oomph from the tiny Va­len­cia en­gine up front, and the light, pre­cise steer­ing and pert pro­por­tions al­low you to make the most of it whether you’re in town or on a wind­ing back road. It’s far more fun than any front­driven su­per­mini ought to be, and it’s still roomy and prac­ti­cal enough to cope with daily driv­ing.

It’s also as redo­lent of the late 1970s as Queen records, the nov­elty of us­ing Ca­sio Bi­o­la­tors and eat­ing at Wimpy – and chances are if you learned to drive or took your early mo­tor­ing ad­ven­tures at the time, the Fi­esta will be like an old friend you haven’t seen in years.

Prices for MkIs in good con­di­tion have been in­creas­ing steadily on the back of a wider healthy mar­ket for 1970s and 1980s Fords, so buy now.

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