1978 Ford Fiesta With 1,200 Original Miles


The seller of this 1978 Ford Fiesta here on eBay claims that the car was in an accident when it was quite young, and as a result, only has 1,200 miles on the clock. Included in the sale are the parts to complete the repairs, which this car surely deserves if it’s otherwise an unused example without any major frame damage. 


Personally, I’d have thought the wires and air cleaner would appear a bit fresher-looking for a car that has traveled so few miles. Of course, it could have been stored outside for some of that time, as there’s a little more surface rust than I’d expect for a protected, low-mileage specimen. The engine bay paint does still shine up nicely, and seems consistent with the exterior of the car.


As you’d expect, the interior appears untouched and completely as the factory intended. The seats, though flat, look like they retain good coverings and padding. The other detail I like to pay attention to is how shiny the paint remains in the door jambs – a possible indication of limited use. The Fiesta is undoubtedly an economy car, with no luxuries or electronic controls anywhere. But that’s part of the joy of owning a simple car, in my opinion.


The factory decal package is appropriate for the era in which the car was made, and I’d want to keep it exactly the same. Though the seller will include a NOS fender and core support, getting the paint to match the original will be a challenge. There’s limited activity on this auction at the moment, which surprises me given the notoriety of buying an essentially brand-new Fiesta. Do you think bidders will begin to notice before the auction runs out?


  1. jim s

    base model with a foot pump for the windshield washer. needs a PI looking for rust as well as more damage from crash. if it was an easy fix why did the car set unrepaired all these years. it would still make a good pocket rocket/autocross car.

    • Christian Maheu

      I know it’s 2021,but,just found this add. I owned a 1978 fiesta base with 4 speed transmission. Yes foot pump windshield wiper fluid, no gadget not even a radio stock. But this car was so much fun to drive and handled great even on 12″ tires. If I could find one that I could restore

      • ADM

        I owned a ’78. Great car. A friend took off all the emission controls, which woke it up, and each shift point increased by 20 mph.

  2. z1rider

    Something’s not right about this. Do my eyes deceive me or is that left rear tire bald?

    Oh and I would remove the decals/stripe kit. They may be period correct but they look horrible. Too Starsky and Hutch, to me at least.

    • Davnkatz

      I thought something looked strange about that tire. Something also looks “strange” about the upholstery. The biggest uh-oh of all is no pix of front or right side. My imagination tells me the car has such low mileage after an accident is insurance company probably classified it as “totaled”.

      Like 1
      • Jeff DeWitt

        If you look at the eBay listing it shows the front and right side, it could be that the rust in the engine compartment is from the paint being damaged in the accident and subsequent attempted repairs.

    • Metalted

      Yes left rear tire is a may pop.
      Also missing a wheel stud .
      Weird for such a “low” mileage car, for sure

  3. Moparmann Member

    Hmm…left rear tire bald, both tailight lenses busted, striping on left rear fading, lots of rust in engine compartment, AND in storage area under hatch. Even if this car were stored outside for a period of time, it appears to have (IMO) too much rust and wear to have “only” been driven 1200 miles.

  4. Eric

    Here’s your first flipper

  5. Mike H. Mike H.

    If a Fiesta was what somebody wanted you’d think that this one here would be the better choice:


    Not delivery mileage, but clean and ready to drive. There’s too much work involved in repairing the yellow one to ever make it worthwhile for owning if you can have a clean one for <$4k.

    • jim s

      the car on hemmings is listed as sold. but you might want to read the comments from when that car was posted on this site 9/22/15 and on the other sites.

  6. Bill

    Some suspicious elements, like why was it never repaired, butA cool little car, and the price is right so far. I would repaint, and get the stripe painted on. I don’t “love” the stripe, but it’s period correct. this would be a blast to bomb around in. a real time piece. Hard to find 12 inch tires these days though…

    • Donnie

      the stripe is not painted

  7. piper62j

    The hatch doesn’t align up with the left quarter panel either.. This puppy has more than 1200 miles on it.. Pig in a poke…. Beware..

    Good find if you want one of these.. Resale will be very, very low.. No photos of the damage, so there may be a unibody pull needed before replacing any sheetmetal.. Matching the paint is easy with the color meters that are out there now.. A good paint supplier will tint to match..

  8. JamestownMike

    Absolutely no way it has 1,200 miles! REALLY rough looking for the miles!

    • Russ

      I’m not buying it – literally or figuratively. Is that clutch pedal wear I see?

  9. mark

    Fiesta’s like this one were good cars. I know a couple of people that had them. One had well over 150,000 miles and still ran great. Rust was a problem on them however. Does this one really have 1200 original miles? I doubt it. However if the repair parts are included and it can be bought for 1000 bucks or so and it runs ok someone will get a great deal for a back and forth to work car.

    • Russ

      I knew a young lady who had one of these… she filled the engine with oil. To the top of the oil filler. I don’t know what happened to it when she started it, if she could.

  10. TLouisJ

    One of the first “World Cars” built in or with parts built in factories all over the globe. Now it’s common practice, but back in the 70’s it was revolutionary, at least for Ford. Had a friend (family actually) that had one. Couldn’t kill it, easy to work on (I did). They drove it for many years and then when it was about worn out, they moved across country in it pulling a trailer. Not a problem. :-) Terry J

    Like 1
    • Russ

      World cars… pfeh. Through at least the 50’s, Ford manufactured nearly every part of every car they made, right in the U.S. including their own steel and window glass. I like that idea a lot better.


    Junk then, junk now

  12. George

    It has been sitting out. Remember, they came pre-rusted from the factory, so that accounts for some of the minor issues. How well the crash damage was repaired is another issue. It looks like it was a front hit, heavier on the passenger side. You can see a few areas of stress marks. Remember, this is before the active crumple zones seen in most cars today. I think the tail lights were just the result on an idiot with a hammer. The bad tire may have been a sacrifice to another car many years ago.

  13. Jim

    The only thing suspicious here is that anyone would take this junk car seriously as a candidate for anything other than scrap metal. Much like Daewoos, early Hyundais, Festivas and Yugos (I could go on and on) these care were being scrapped as early as 2 years old. And 1200 miles really? Sorry, I had to get it out of my system.

    • Davnkatz

      Watch your tongue! I had a Daewoo and it was a great little car. Drove it to work every day (60 miles one way) for a little over four years. Automatic, too! Had something like 120,000 miles and only major work was replacing a cracked transmission case – hit a concrete block or something on the highway at night.

    • z1rider


      You don’t know what you’re talking about. Enough said.

      Clearly you never owned one. Those that did loved them.

  14. John

    I had one of these about the same year in red…couldn’t kill it. 300+K miles when I gave it to a sister in law.
    I removed the rear seat and would pack a large ampeg bass amp, bass guitar and other stuff for the gig, load the wife and I and roll to the gig at 70MPH getting almost 40MPG, couldn’t beat it.

  15. David Wilkinson

    In the UK we got the XR2 version of these. Round headlights and the 1600cc crossflow engine. So light they went like stink but started to rust as soon as they left the factory. I had a mk2 XR2 with 1600 CVH engine. It came with LOTS of camber and felt like a go-kart. Again, rust was the killer but I’d love another one

    • David Wilkinson

      About 15 years ago, I saw one of these cut in half with the front half in the dumpster of a muffler shop and the back half sitting next to it.

      (And I’m a different David Wilkinson than the previous poster.)

    • Scott Tait

      Have you seen uk prices recently ??

  16. Howard A Member

    I agree with TLouisJ. This really wasn’t a bad car. Remember folks, this was 1978. Small cars were just catching on ( especially after the oil brew ha-ha of the 70’s) and people had one thing on their mind, small gas-sipping cars ( even smaller than the Pinto) and this fit the bill. I believe this was the one of the 1st “econo-boxes”, and many car makers had similar offerings. This car? Again, no way 1200 miles. I don’t think it will run to well with #1 spark plug wire missing. I guess it’s something we will have to get used to here, claimed low mileage on cars that have been around the block many times. Not collectible, but for the price, it would be a good little car WHEN gas prices go through the roof again ( and rest assured, they will)

  17. recar

    Most [if not all] of the naysayers have no experience with Fiestas [Fiesti?] and just want to feel important by getting their name or their alias in print. Real car guys actually know about these and especially their “Kent” engines, which are , I believe, the 2nd most popular lump on the entire planet for modifying [ after some American mill – a Chevy maybe] Rant over.

    • z1rider

      I couldn’t agree more. These were amazing cars for their time and price point. I had a 1980 S (sport). Like a street legal go cart.

  18. Another Bob

    I’d put that 1,200 miles in the headline in “Quote” marks.

  19. JoeT

    Test drove a new one in 78. I seem to remember they had a bit of torque-steer on hard acceleration. I bought one from a neighbor on a military base for $50 in the late 90’s and drove it for a year before transferring overseas. Sold it for $300 before I left. I wish I could have kept it.

    I’d look really hard at this one before pulling the trigger. Damage on the right side goes all the way to the base of the windshield A-pillar. I’d be concerned the front suspension would be out from the look of the right inner fender. Not sure this one would be worth the cost of putting on a frame machine.

    Like 1
  20. Brian B

    So here we go again on Ebay, low miles original 1200! bla bla bla, bald tire, rusted strut tower (and not on damaged side) rusted battery box area. These idiots selling these cars should be charged with fraud! 1200 original miles, common!

  21. jim s

    not sold as reserve not met at $ 829.

  22. Carl

    I had a 78 in1987, it was bright orange with checkerboard seats.. darn thing was cool I think I paid $150 for it.. had to change spark plugs every two to three weeks because of oil consumption, but four speed was fun. Hard left turn equaled lifting left rear tire and vice-versa…

  23. pjevans

    Bought a 1980 for my father around 1987. Then bought a “donor car” for parts. 1980 had a different carb from the 1978-1979 models. He loved that car, even though he had a brand new Mercury to drive. Inside door handles would break off, so when we made a trip to the junkyard, every door handle was purchased.
    After he died, sold it to a friend’s son. He and his friends loved that car-gave it a new paint job. Ran it for a couple of years, had some problem with it, and the mechanic told him it was stolen. Guess the mechanic liked it too

  24. Louis Q Chen

    I’d buy it if I knew what kind of damage it had. These were I believe the last “econobox” that was made by Ford of Germany. An old high school friend had one but the GT version as a graduation gift. He took me for a ride in it and I was hooked. Later he let me did all the repairs needed. It was a mini version of the VW Rabbit or Ford version of the Honda Cicic. Cheap to own, easy to repair and great on gas as well. The only problem was his car last 4 years due to our location-Bethesda, Md. It was one of those good/decent inexpensive cars the Ford had but failed to capitalized on it. The current Fiesta is too expensive and not fun to drive as the original!

  25. 8banger Dave

    Had one of these in college around ‘89. It had some good ‘ol MO rust, (the carpets are/were backed with a kind of tar – good move) but ran excellent and was surprisingly quick.

  26. Croan mc

    I have 11 mark 1 I have two USA models rest are European models love them

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