Who remembers the ORIGINAL Ford Feista?

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Witha thread recently put up about about the new ford Fiesta coming here in 2011, who remembers, or even owned, the original Fiesta Ford sold here in the 1970's? I never for the life of me understood why Ford stopped selling that car. It was just what was needed with the second oil crisis of 1979, and even though they had their 'world car' Escort coming in 1981, it wouldn't have hurt them to have 2 fuel-sipping subcompacts available! I remember in the late 1980's these cars, for a bit, had a real 'cult following' around them. They were expensive and hard to find; and you used to see them hopped up with mags and 'stinger exhausts' coming out the back. Even back then, you saw very few on the roads. I don't think I've seen more than a couple on the road in the last 10 years....
 
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I know a guy who has a red 1976 kept heremetically sealed in his garage. I don't understand it, but I know it's the only one I have seen and it is mint.
 
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I rented a Fiesta for a couple of days in 1978. It was fun to drive. Very responsive with good handling. It did have some torque steer. Ford imported it without letting their North American operation screw up the Euro specs.
 
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 Originally Posted By: addyguy
I never for the life of me understood why Ford stopped selling that car. It was just what was needed with the second oil crisis of 1979, and even though they had their 'world car' Escort coming in 1981, it wouldn't have hurt them to have 2 fuel-sipping subcompacts available!
Ford did have 2 subcompacts. There was the Festiva, which was made from 1986-1993, which was replaced by the Aspire, 1994-2001.
 

pbm

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The original Fiesta had the 1.6 Kent (English) engine which was very durable and often went over 200K. I believe some had German Ford engines too.
 
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We had an '88 Fiesta in the family. I more or less learned how to drive in that car. It only had a 1.1-liter 50hp engine, but it was light, so it was fun nonetheless.
 

addyguy

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 Originally Posted By: exranger06
 Originally Posted By: addyguy
I never for the life of me understood why Ford stopped selling that car. It was just what was needed with the second oil crisis of 1979, and even though they had their 'world car' Escort coming in 1981, it wouldn't have hurt them to have 2 fuel-sipping subcompacts available!
Ford did have 2 subcompacts. There was the Festiva, which was made from 1986-1993, which was replaced by the Aspire, 1994-2001.
True, but I'm talking about the 1979-1986 period. Ford was phasing out the Pinto whaich was way out of date by then, and introducing the Escort in 1981. Ford could have kept the Feista in the lineup, and had another subcompact to offer alongside the Escort. The Fiesta was different enough that it appealed to a different client than the Escort. As a poster said above, it kept 100% of its English roots/style/feel, it wasn't 'Americanized'....
 
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Fiestas and Festivas are different animals, but cater to the same type of shopper. Fiestas were really Fords, and the Festiva later the Aspire (still festiva outide US) was a Mazda powered Kia assembled import to offset the MPG and EPA credits from building too many SUVs and trucks. Both of them great little cars. With safety laws getting tougher, after the mid 1990s cars had to weigh over 2000lb to withstand an accident from said suvs and trucks.
 
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 Originally Posted By: getnpsi
Fiestas and Festivas are different animals, but cater to the same type of shopper.
Sort of... They both appealed to the person looking for a small, basic economical car. The Fiesta had some Euro automotive soul to it and appealed to some automotive enthusiasts while the Festiva was just a decently built econobox. It's like the difference between a cheap VW and a cheap Hyundai or Kia.
 
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I was alive during some of the 1970s but i was a baby, so this is all history book stuff for me. I read that in the 1970's Ford also had a chance to purchase Honda engines for cars. Flat out refused of course. Who knows if that decision could have trounced Honda and taken them many more years to give the automotive division a foothold in North America. In California, (where people from the northeast feel like they are in a time machine as far as junkyards), I still see original fiestas at my local yards from time to time. Ive thought about picking one up off of criagslist as a project.
 
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In 1978, my dad bought a new Fiesta to replace the 1971 Javelin he sold to me. That's right "sold" to me. Not like today when parents buy their kids their first cars. Anyway, when the tranny went out on the Javelin due to my teenage abuse, I borrowed the Fiesta. Beat the [censored] outa that car, and it kept on running. Had it airborn on numerous occasions. Most Americans today wouldn't be caught driving a car like that. They need their 4-door pickups to drive to Walmart.
 
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My wife-to-be got swindled when the Ford salesman convinced her to buy a Fiesta in 1978. She was supposed to be on her way to buy a Toyota Celica. The Fiesta was the biggest piece of smokin' elephant dung that has ever graced this planet. To this day, I kid her about what I will forever call her F'ing Fiesta. I was overjoyed when the check cleared from guy who took that piece of [censored] off our hands.
 
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we just spotted a red FORD Festiva ( Mazda 121 ) yesterday . We had several of those from '90 > '93 . A dark blue '90 w/ 3 speed auto that was traded in and red '93 w/ 5 speed manual that was rear ended at red light and totaled . Great little cars . That little 1.3 ltr. engine could take a beating . Makes me wonder how a good synthetic motor oil and synthetic A.T.F. ( used in both auto and 5 speed manual ) could of helped with performance and longevity . Wasn't really aware of sync at that time . :- ) Liked the FIESTA as well . But never owned one . Knew someone that did and worshipped it . Think it had a V.W. engine .
 
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 Originally Posted By: addyguy
Witha thread recently put up about about the new ford Fiesta coming here in 2011, who remembers, or even owned, the original Fiesta Ford sold here in the 1970's?
I had a high school teacher who drove one. I was a big enough guy that when it was parked on gravel, I could drag the back end of the car sideways and put it between two parked cars so that the teacher couldn't get in and drive away with it. The fact that it was so light scared me enough to have no desire to own one, at least at that time.
 
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we would do that with the manual tranny V.W. Beetle I learned to drive with in snow when a young adult . Slam on the emergency brake and spin it around and around . If went into ditch could lift it out with fair ease and go for another round . Those days are long gone . ;- )
 
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I see to remember that last summer those forgettable little Aspires and Festivas were commanding a pricely sum on eBay, along with the Metros and SL Saturns....
 
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The festiva is a low-buck riot since its engine bolt pattern is the same as larger mazda 1.6s and one can build a real sleeper. ;\) As far as the fiesta, did they ever make that in diesel in the US to compete with, you know, the chevette? I know they did make tempo diesels.
 
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Bought a Fiesta S(port) with 65K on it back in the early '80's. It was the actual vehicle Ford sent out to California for the magazines to test. Yellow with black trim, I'm almost sure the engine had been very heavily "breathed upon", maybe even blueprinted, as it was a very, very strong 1.6L. I remember running it at an indicated 115 mph on the Sunset Highway on the way to the Coast. Car had every option except A/C, 12" MAG wheels and radial tires, got well over 30+ mpg but needed premium gas. Even found a set of 155/70SR-12 tires (anyway they were wider and cooler!). The person I bought it from was the son of Tom Medley, the guy who drew the "Stroker McGurk" cartoons (pun intended) for Hot Rod Magazine. His Dad bought the car from Ford when all the magazine testing had been completed. Back seat folded down there was room for a weekend's worth of gear and two Akitas! Cheers!
 
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I remember the Ford Fiesta well. I am in the USA but I had a 1981 Fiesta S HB. It was made in Germany. Simple, but well made and actually lots of fun to drive, with good seats to boot. Way way better than the HORRID US spec Ford Escort that replaced it in late 81. That US Escort was a piece of [censored]!!
 
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" .....who remembers, or even owned, the original Fiesta Ford sold here in the 1970's?" I had a 1978 Ford Fiesta. It was my first new car. It was a peppy, fun to drive but quite basic little car. The gas mileage was terrific. It had really comfortable front seats and european controls which were uncommon here at the time (but are all pretty normal now). The powertrain seemed really stout but mine had two problems: 1) the small stuff all broke. Things like door handles, radio knobs, heater switches, stuff like that. It drove me crazy. The final straw was when the heater motor started to get really noisy and the whole dash had to be pulled out at great expense to change it. 2) it was unlucky. I think every panel was dented at some point. Someone sat on the hood and dented it, someone shot at the back window, stuff like that. I couldn't leave it in a parking lot without something bad happening to it. It never ended. And the Ford dealer absolutely disrespected the car - on one occasion, they did a terrible job repairing one of the fenders and when I complained, said "What do you expect, you buy a cheap car and then you complain that we do a poor job fixing it." I told him "I didn't say you did a poor job, I only said you forgot to undercoat the fender, put the new fender on crooked, left out one of the hood supports, forgot to put on the stone guard, broke the radio aerial, and tore the under dash padding fixing the aerial. I never said you did a poor job, you said you did a poor job." I don't think Ford dealers were ready for small cars in 1978. Ecotourist
 
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