1979 Ford Fiesta: Pint-Sized Party

1979 Ford Fiesta

I know Ford’s smallest econo car isn’t for everyone, but for whatever reason I keep finding myself wanting a vintage Fiesta! Sure a Mustang would be faster and possibly even more fun, but for the money you just can’t beat a Fiesta. And to be honest, some of the funnest cars I have ever driven were underpowered and wouldn’t ever be described as striking to look at, but when you’re in the driver’s seat all that really matters is handling and the feeling of speed. This bright orange example here on eBay looks good in this color and would be a blast to take through some twisties. The seller claims it already runs and drives, but will need a tune up and some work. It is also going to need some body and paint work to fix some poorly done past repairs. At just $1,500 this could make for a great little driver or possibly a Lemons racer! So would you make this a DD or would it best be used as a low budget race car?


  1. jim s

    daily driver and autocross car. i would make it safe, fix/replace the drivers seat, not worry about the paint and have fun. it is $1500 or make offer. great find.

  2. Mark E

    I guess this would be an okay buy considering the cars condition and age and IF you are a Fiesta fan. I’m still standing on my opposition to calling this a hot hatch though. A Chevette offers more performance! (LOL) ^_^

  3. Doyler

    XR2 clone. Posthaste!!!

  4. Chris H.

    I had one of these as my first car (lemon yellow, deluxe black vinyl interior, pop-up sunroof, Kraco tape deck) circa 1986-87. It had a blown head gasket and high mileage motor, and my dad found a great running parts car with low miles for $50, the proviso being, I had to swap the motor on my own, no assistance from dad. Before swapping, I tried like hell to blow the old motor, but it wasn’t having any of it. Great little cars, and had I any inkling of how sporty it could’ve been, I’d still have it. Back then it was just a used beater!

  5. MikeH

    Josh–I completely agree–underpowered cars are a blast to drive. You have to use that stick, keep your revs up, and think ahead–you actually have to drive the car. I lived in
    Germany in the 60s and quickly got tired of the autobahns. Sure, you can cruise at 90 but that ceases to be fun after a while. But driving a two lane road in my T3 VW, with slow traffic, 18 wheelers, etc, was a blast. To pass a slow semi, you had to lay way back and, when you saw a spot coming, floor it so that you were doing 70 by the time you reached the back of the truck, whip out, go around and get back in your lane without someone flashing their lights at you. And don’t get me started on all the wonderful crooked roads. And, being young, there was only one way to drive–as fast as possible–which frequently wasn’t all that fast but almost always fun. Sadly, you can’t drive like that anymore–even in Europe.

  6. recar

    Fiesti- Had quite a few and loved em all. First one we bought from an aircraft mechanic who had X-cossed it-3/4 cam, mags, and DCOEs.[ I have a rule not to buy from mechanics,because they can “fix” things with baling wire… I thought the “aircraft” prefix would make a difference. It did. He used stainless steel wire.] Fabulous little rockets. I still have the mags, front air dam and more. If you can score the interior from the Ghia edition, it really classes the little guy up.

  7. grant

    $1500 for a ’79 Fiesta? Seriously? Where I come from (Portland, Or) this is a $500 car all day long. But I guess there’s a market for anything. With that said, I’ve got an ’86 Honda Accord, only 260k, its a ‘survivor,’ first $10k takes it….

  8. Dan Strayer

    My former wife and I had a ’78 when we got married in 1981. It was a great little car!

  9. DT


  10. Ron Tyrrell

    interesting to work on, the car had a mix of metric and S.A.E fasteners . So if you removed the engine which was a frequent occurrence the engine bolts and body bolts had to be kept in different containers.

  11. Mark-A

    Wow! Makes such a change to see a Early Mk1 Fiesta without Major Structural corrosion, well in Europe anyways, personally I’d get some Euro Bumpers & a 1.3 Kent & make a 1.3 Super Sport lookalike! With a set of 6×13 Four Spoke Alloys & 185/60×13 & Spax or Koni Dampers it would just surprise you how well they can be made to maintain Momentum which is all part of driving a Underpowered vehicle!

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