Back To The 80s: Ford Fiesta

Fri 6th Sep 2019

When we think of the classic eras of motoring we might cast our mind back to stylish cars of the 1950s, the muscle cars of the 1960s or the super cars of the 1970s. What might not spring to mind however is the motors which were produced in the 1980s - an era which certainly favoured practicality over power, style and sophistication.

But the cars of today owe much to 80s, it was a decade which brought us turbochargers, multi-valve engines and hot hatchbacks, an era of the people-carrier and the rise of the SUV. Digital displays and electronic gadgetry, were the norm as designers pushed the boundaries of of what was capable in a production vehicle.

So let's celebrate the 80s, a period of huge change across Britain as a whole, and one which had incredible landmarks in the motor industry.

Ford Fiesta
Developed from 1972 under the codename ‘Bobcat’ and launched to great acclaim in 1976, the Fiesta proved to be a huge hit for Ford in a very competitive supermini market.

But as the 1980s burned on and Ford’s revised Escort and newly launched Sierra grabbed the headlines, it became apparent that the Fiesta was in danger of being the forgotten marque of the American brand.

Built by Ford Europe, the revised Fiesta was launched in 1983, with subtle rather than major changes. This wasn’t a major facelift, more of an update to the original.

The most obvious changes came in the bodywork at the front of the Fiesta where a more modern aerodynamic design allowed for a more stylish and modern look and feel. The interior also got some new features, but the level of new-fangled gadgetry was very much dependent on which specification of Fiesta you opted for.

In the engine department it was very much as you were, with the Kent Series 1.0 and 1.1 retained, though the Escort’s 1.3 and 1.4 engines were later added to the range as well as a beefy 1.6 XR2i which gave some real oomph to Ford’s smallest car in the range.

The Fiesta proved to be a huge success through the decade, and had plenty of staying power in an era of clear and obvious decadence - proving this with record sales of 153,000 in the UK in 1987.

A third generation Fiesta was introduced at the very end of the 80s, but it was the Mk2 which was the classic of its time.

Manufacturer: Ford
Assembly: Dagenham, UK
Did You Know?: The Fiesta is the third most long living Ford brand in continual production behind the Mustang and the Falcon.