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.....gaps around the head lamps, while the last minute decision to change the radiator grille gave the engineers the opportunity to fit the patented aerodynamic grille which had been developed subsequently for another model.
Wind noise has been kept as low as possible by making the side windows flush with the body sides and by paying special attention to windscreen and window seals. Cutting the drip channels short at the top of the windscreen pillars eliminated a common source of wind whistle. The side glass, by the way, is only three mm thick instead of the normal four mm in order to keep the weight down.
The main modification to the Kent push rod engine from the version used in the Escort was to reduce the bore diameter from 81 mm to 74 mm. This reduced the overall length of the engine by 1.2 in and the weight by around 15J Ib. Moreover, the shorter block enabled a three bearing crankshaft instead of a five bearing shaft to be used. This was Merkenich's province, but Dunton produced a new cylinder head for the engine with wedge shaped combustion chambers in place of the bowl-in-piston type of the Escort version.
The engineers were horrified to find how much noiser the transversely mounted power unit is than one located fore and aft and the front bulkhead and instrument panel needed much more sophisticated sound proofing than is normal.
Front wheel drive also poses a noise problem, for if the shift mechanism running forward from the end of the gear lever in the driver's compartment to the.....
Top - The 547-acre Ford Proving Ground at Lommel, Belgium, has 17 miles of track including a high speed banked oval and a handling course
Middle - The platoon of test drivers who flogged the Fiesta round Lommel's banked oval for days at a time and put in so many uncomfortable miles on the rough tracks
Bottom-Left - Time and again the Fiesta splashed its way through the Lommel salt water facility to test the car's resistance to corrosion
Bottom-Right - Down the test hill for yet another check on the brakes. Drums at the front were replaced by discs late in the development programme