Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Modern Classics -

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.

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