Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ibentarod: 1980 Ford Fiesta

The Cologne Germany built Ford Fiesta is generally given the dubious honor of being Ford's first successful mass market car to use a front-wheel drive layout.  It wasn't the fastest thing at the dealer, but it was probably better assembled than most of the junk from Ford of Detroit in the late 70s.  Find this 1980 Ford Fiesta offered for $995 in Anchorage, AK via craigslist.  Tip from Zach.

The US version of the subcompact Fiesta used the 1.6 liter Crossflow Kent inline-4 fitted with a catalyst and smog equipment that brought power down to 66 horsepower (from 83 hp in the European XR2 spec).  The US bound cars were also equipped with giant asteroid impact absorbing bumpers, seal-beam headlamps, side marker lamps, and optional air conditioning (apparently it wasn't that hot in Europe during the 1980s). This example has been parked in a climate controlled garage for the last decade, but it will need brake and clutch maintenance before you start painting the town yellow with this little happy-mobile.

See a better car for starting your ice racing career?


  1. A few thoughts: These were a ton of fun to drive, light nimble, very toss-able; I have owned several Ford 1600 Kents for the street and the track, but I have never seen one with full 1980s smog gear before - that is scary! These are easy to work on, so the brake and clutch problems are not a big worry. Rust is the enemy, so check this car well. Oh, there is that little problem of it being in Alaska....

  2. Is it that snowy in Alaska already?

  3. Yeah didn't think so. Wonder why the seller couldn't be bothered to take new pictures? Or maybe it has been for sale since before the thaw.

    Maybe it is just me, but I always look at the photo backgrounds to see if the seasons line up.

  4. My buddy from Soldotna says that Alaskan roads chew up cars with great fervor. Considering roads in the lower 48 had their way with Fiestas to begin with, I wonder how this car managed to survive so well.

    1. The roads up here destroy windshields, most certainly, but as a general rule we don't salt the roads, so we're not quite as efficient at unleashing the full potential of the icy tin worm and rusting out vehicles.

      It is a limited market, however, so prices for some things are depressed as compared to the wider classic vehicle market - look at it as an opportunity for a cheap purchase and adventure getting it home (or boring transport if you elect to ship).


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