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Buyers Guide: MK1 Fiesta - Want a car that won't break the bank but is still lots of fun? Try the MK1 Fiesta.
Words Kim Henson
Photos Jon Hill
If you're looking for a classic Ford bargain and something with a great hunk of tuning potential to boot then look no further than the Mkl Fiesta. Cheaper than a bag of Happy Shopper crisps and better looking than pretty much any other retro hot hatch out there, it's the perfect time to bag yourself one as an everyday runaround, concourse queen or track-day stonker.....
What Are They?
The 70s was the decade when the compact hatchback became the vehicle of choice and major manufacturers were already getting in on the action in terms of bidding for their slice of the new, hatchback-dominated market for small cars. Fiat introduced their nimble 127 in 1971 and Renault's popular 5 appeared in the autumn of 1972. Volkswagen managed to pull a masterstroke with the slightly larger Golf in 1974, followed by the Polo in 1975. The Ford Motor Company wasn't resting on its laurels either. The firm was busy developing its own small car for the hatchback market.
Ford's first front-wheel drive, transverse-engined hatchback emerged as the Fiesta in February 1977. Featuring neat, angular three-door bodywork, the car was compact externally, but comparatively roomy inside and the luggage space could be extended by folding the rear seats forward.
Buyers of early examples were able to choose between 957cc and 1117cc power units. These were re-engineered versions of the Kent engines, with three main bearings, 'wedgehead' combustion chambers, and smaller cylinder bore dimensions than existing variants of the motor......
Easy to drive, simple to maintain, cheap to run and still highly practical. Most versions are inexpensive. XR2 offers sporting performance for relatively little outlay.
Rust can be rampant on neglected examples. Lower specification versions are very basic.