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Survives And Thrives: This 1980 Ford Fiesta Has Somehow Managed To Live!


Survives And Thrives: This 1980 Ford Fiesta Has Somehow Managed To Live!

As soon as I saw the picture come up, I started to laugh. Memories came flooding back of the one I had a hand in converting into a micro pickup-truck years and years ago. These were throwaway cars then. Tiny, underpowered little sewing machines that could legally wear license plates. 1980’s version of the Chevy Spark. Two doors, one hatch, and just enough power that if you knew how to play chess with traffic, you might be able to survive. The Ford Fiesta was a car meant for Europe, pressed into service for America. It was timed right, just as the second oil crisis really tightened down belts and people started to wonder if tiny was the way to go. But it didn’t have a lasting effect…neither the car or the crisis. By the mid 1980s fuel prices were better, and these cars were relegated to second, third, and twenty-fifth owner status before getting scrapped as a 1970s knee-jerk reaction.

Which would’ve been this particular car’s fate, had the owner not saved it from a wrecking yard and shown the little crate some love. He’s done rust repair using floor pans imported from the United Kingdom. He’s put in new carpet, upgraded the gauge cluster and has taken the time to scrub down the surfaces. He’s even gone through the brakes, suspension and in a move we can appreciate, swapped in a bigger engine…in this case, a 1.6L Kent four cylinder with the larger valves and a two-into-one header. And then, like most people, he put on bigger wheels, going from the positively dinky twelve-inch stock units to 13″ ATS wheels.

The only part of the car that isn’t great is the paperwork. It’s legal…ish. Since the car did come from a wrecking yard, it is the middle of a three-year title application process, which is about halfway over at this point. The car can be sold with a “release of interest” form and the paperwork can be transferred over to the buyer, and it’s legal to operate within Washington State for the time being. Anywhere else, and you should probably check with the DMV or have some patience.

It’s the strangest thing, but I’m kind of impressed that this car not only exists, but was saved by an individual that obviously gave a damn about it and cared enough to upgrade it to an honestly good condition. I even kind of wonder how snappy that 1.6L is in a car so featherweight, and how good on fuel it might actually be in the real world.

Is that a good thing or have I finally lost my marbles?

Facebook Marketplace link: 1980 Ford Fiesta


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4 thoughts on “Survives And Thrives: This 1980 Ford Fiesta Has Somehow Managed To Live!

  1. Kris Holmgren

    I still have a Fiesta, and yes, mine still drives and runs like a champ! Laugh if you want, the 1.6 kent engine make this car fun to drive, much like a go-kart! VERY interested in buying this car if it is still for sale!

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