Ford Fiesta Mk1 (1976 – 1983) Review

Ford Fiesta Mk1 (1976 – 1983) At A Glance


+Stylish, cheap and easy to run

-Can rust very badly, sound rattly and loose

Ford’s arrival in the supermini sector might have been a little late in 1976, following the Fiat 127, Renault 5 and Volkswagen Polo by several years. But Ford took very little time to make up for lost time, with the Fiesta becoming the UK's best-selling supermini in 1978, and a million-seller in 1980. Project Bobcat as it was known, was certainly ambitious. As well as being an all-new car from the ground up, the Fiesta was built in an all-new factory in Valencia, Spain built on a green-field site. Henry Ford II closely watched over the project, leaving no room for error - luckily, the Fiesta - as it became known - was the right car, at the right time for its maker.

Like all Fords, the Fiesta came in in a wide number of variations, from the rubber mat 957cc base model to a plush wood and velour 1300cc Ghia. Sporting models (beyond the sticker special 1300S) took time to appear, but once they did, there was no stopping them. Crisp to drive and utterly practical, the Fiesta was a massive hit from the word go, and the range increased in size as the years passed by. Sport and Ghia versions command a premium. Survival rate is low compared with huge number built.