CAR OF 1977 FORD FIESTA
Although launched in 1976, it wasn’t until January 1977 that the Ford Fiesta went on sale in Britain. And Ford never looked back. With the exception of the Transit, all the other British Blue Oval names from the same era – Cortina, Escort, Granada – are now gone, but the seventh generation Fiesta is imminent, after more than 16 million sales so far. Ford was late to the compact frontwheel drive game, and it wasn’t until 1972 that the project, codenamed ‘Bobcat’, got the go ahead. A co-operative General Motors let Ford borrow its trademarked ‘Fiesta’ name for free. It may have regretted that later.
The new Ford supermini was just a neat little package; economical, practical, usable, and cheap (starting from £1856), with its balanced good looks courtesy of Tom Tjaarda at Ghia. It became the bestselling car of its type in the UK in 1978 (pinching that position from GM’s Vauxhall Chevette) and stayed there until 1981 when the Austin Metro stole its crown. The MkI went out of production the following year, perhaps out of pure dismay.
The Fiesta’s flat bonnet also made it rather handy for slouching on too.
Clay modelling – note background muses.