Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1983 Ford Fiesta 1.1 (Mark1) – You Won’t Find One Here

This Fiesta posted by Roshake reminds me ephemeral these were in the US, sold for just four years (1977-1980), as a stopgap before the US-version of the Escort arrived in 1981. And of course the US version only came with the 1.6 L four, whereas this one has the 1.1. And that wasn’t the smallest engine available; there was also a 957 cc version of the Valencia four, and evolution of the “Kent” four.

The Fiesta marked Ford’s first entry into the hotly-contested European B-Class (“supermini”) of very compact FWD hatches. That class included the Fiat 127, VW Polo, Renault 5, Peugeot 104 and the Austin Metro in the UK, among others. The Fiesta did well in Europe, and established it as a staple in the class for decades to come.

The American version with the 1.6 L four was a hoot to drive; the most fun available at the time in its class. This was a very light car for US standards, and the 1.6 was fairly gutsy. I had a lot of fun in my SIL’s Fiesta the couple of times I drove it. A genuine hot hatch, before that became a thing in the US anyway; a GTI before its time.

This 1983 is from the last year of production, before it was replaced by the Mk2, which was really just a facelifted and otherwise freshened version of the original.


Related reading:
Curbside Classic: 1978 Ford Fiesta – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Vintage R&T Review: 1978 Ford Fiesta Ghia – Ford’s First Go At Selling The Fiesta In The US