Junkyard Find: 1978 Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta story is an interesting one, with this car being a huge gamble for Ford’s global operations back in the 1970s. This car was intended for the European market from day one, but a fair number of Mk1 Fiestas were sold the United States for the 1978 through 1981 model years (eventually, the Mazda-designed/Kia-built Ford Festiva filled the US-market Ford lineup spot vacated by the Fiesta. These cars have been rare to the point of near-extinction for decades now, being disposable cheapo commuters and all, but they do show up from time to time in self-serve wrecking yards. I found this ’78 Fiesta Sport in Denver a couple years back, and last month I spotted today’s find in Northern California.
We have a handful of semi-modified Mk1 Fiestas in the 24 Hours of LeMons, and they do pretty well on a road course.
These cars had interiors that were no-frills even by Malaise Era subcompact standards.
American Fiestas got the 1.6 liter version of the Kent pushrod four, which made 66 horsepower.
This one has a Realistic AM/FM radio installed in whatever you call a glovebox with no lid.
Do real aviators also drive Fiestas?
0 to 50 in just 8.8 seconds. The fact that they used a 0-50 standard speaks volumes about 1978.
No baby ever held the road better!
Clashboy594 on Feb 22, 2016
Dad had a 78. In yellow with the black stripe. I loved it. The fun-est car to drive. Would blow away most cars on the green light. He turned it in on a clunky Ford Tempo in 81. He had promised to let me buy it; but, I guess the lure of the trade in was too great. Still hurts. I would have kept the car to this day !!
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