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1980 Ford Fiesta Ghia Project Package


When it comes to compact Fords, Europeans have always gotten all the good ones. There have been a few Euro spec Fords to make it to our shores though. This German-built 1980 Ford Fiesta Ghia isn’t the best looking hatchback, but it offered practicality and fun on the cheap. The seller has two of them and a number of extra parts that they are offering as a package deal here on eBay. They are located in Donalds, South Carolina and bidding starts at $500. Have a look and let us know if you think there is anything worth saving. Thanks goes to Jim S. for the tip!


While the 1.6 liter straight-four in this Fiesta was rebuilt less than 2000 miles ago, it suffered serious damage in a front end collision, so the car is no longer running. Thankfully, the seller has a complete parts car and between the two it should be possible to build one complete runner. The spares should also come in handy, especially considering how difficult it’s getting to find parts for these here in the States.


When VW introduced the Golf, aka Rabbit, to the U.S. market, it didn’t take long for Ford to realize there was a demand for compact economy cars in the States. To capitalize on this new market, they knew they needed a Golf competitor right away, so they quickly modified the German built Fiesta to meet crash and emission standards and then shoved the 1.6 liter Kent four under the hood. Sadly, they only imported them for three years before replacing it with the Escort. With a 1,700 pound curb weight, the base model could easily take on the Golf and in S form was a formidable opponent for the GTI.


We wouldn’t want to invest much money into restoring one of these, but if the bidding doesn’t go crazy, this could make for a fun project. Just be sure your good with a cutting torch and a welder. Hopefully, someone will save these cars from further decay, but it’s going to take a lot of love, nostalgia, or both. Although the more we learn about them, the more LeMons potential we are seeing.


  1. Livermoron

    IMO – you are pushing the limits of what should be put up on these pages. If the car found in the barn (or in the woods) isn’t very desirable or interesting in mint condition then it isn’t very desirable or interesting in bad condition. A Fiesta S?

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    • Delbert

      I owned one of these, and I thought it was a great car, great mileage and fun to drive (by 1980 standards). An ass for every seat as they say….keep showing em!

      Like 0
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Maybe you are right, but variety keeps things interesting. It can be fun to learn about what made a particular car special, even if you would never want to own one yourself.

      Like 0
      • Livermoron

        Point taken. Maybe it was a slow news day as someone else mentioned… or it wasn’t. I reminded myself since we’re all car guys (and gals) anything that gets posted will appeal to someone somewhere.

        Like 0
    • Kristi

      I owned three of these cars, over time, and I can attest that they are a hoot! Love ’em to death. It is true that the Fiesta enthusiast audience is limited, but we are out here. These things are extremely hard to find and it’s very difficult to obtain parts. This could be a help to someone.

      Got rid of my last and best one, three years ago. Of course, I lost money on it, but it was worth it. That car was so much fun and I miss it – it was nearly perfect when I parted with it. Three kids gets in the way of having a tiny econobox… But I’ll be looking for one again in five or ten years, no question about it.

      Like 0
  2. Graham Line

    The S model Fiesta had slightly larger tires than the base model, better shocks and swaybars, but the same engine. It did have nice stripes. I much preferred my ’78 Fiesta to the Rabbit/GTI at the time but there was always a gap in performance.

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  3. Catfish Phil

    Certain cars should be preserved, and other cars could be preserved – if they offer some sort of special interest. When I saw this one my first thought was,”It must be a slow news day.” No offense, but who in their right mind would spend their time and money restoring a vehicle that’s just going to make their friends, laugh at them? But then again, a trophy from LeMons might be the dream of such a restoration… (scratching head). One man’s junk is that same man’s wife’s sore spot.

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    • TJ

      …but what if this guy’s friends are all into Euro hot hatches as well? I know my import hot hatch-loving friends would laugh at me if I showed up in a 1970 Barracuda.

      Like 0
  4. twwokc

    Unicorns! Two of them as a matter of fact! WOW!

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  5. Derek F

    Neat, simple cars- and very quick road racers ( especially in Europe ) with a prep. I spy some wider, European-sourced wheels on that Ghia ( much nicer interiors than usual )
    I’d be tempted to save these if they were closer ( and I was more single! )

    Like 0
  6. Delbert

    Looking closer, about $500 is what I would pay and not much more! A niche vehicle for sure and a good parts car (s) find for someone with a operable Fiesta.

    Like 0
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Agreed, I’m not sure I would even pay that, but it might be worth it to someone in the area.

      Like 0
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        Plus it couldn’t be any higher to qualify for LeMons. Perhaps someone could work a better deal offline.

        Like 0
      • jim s

        this listing has ended. i know BF bought the GTI but did you also buy these?

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      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        Nope, wasn’t us. One project at a time is enough for me!

        Like 0
  7. Bryan Cohn

    The assortment of alloy wheels could be worth the $500 buy all by themselves. Add in the rebuilt engine, which has some value to Ford Pinto/Capri/Fiesta fans and its worth more in parts than the whole by a wide margin. Anything else you sell just adds to your beer buying ability!

    Like 0
  8. Ron Coulter

    My wife had one of these POS when we met in ’84. We fondly referred to it as a Ford Fiasco because it was always a surprise what would go wrong next.

    Like 1
  9. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    People are loving this one on our Facebook page. The interest is surprising actually, because I would have never given one of these a second thought before today.

    Like 0
  10. Your Name

    piece off junk sorry to say it. ford could not get the front end oil seal to seal you wont be able to be ready for a drip pan under it

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  11. Daymo

    The ultimate Fiesta here in Europe was the awesome XR2. Except the boy-racers kept stealing, racing and crashing them. Those that are left are rare things and values are on the up as a result.
    Any original Fiestas left should be saved.
    They are lightweight, economical and a hoot to drive!

    Like 0
  12. Ian

    I agree with Daymo. I live in the UK and a Ford fan. These Mk 1 Fiestas are
    very popular-even in basic form-and prices are climbing fast. Check out !

    Like 0
  13. Jonathan

    My cousin is a Fiesta enthusiast. He did some awesome things with his car! I remember riding in his Fiesta with him at the wheel, taking a 270 degree off ramp at 55mph without slowing down, pulling some serious Gs.I don’t think my Porsche 914 could have done much better! The Fiesta can be a awesome sports car! I can understand why it’s featured on Barn Finds. Those cars can be built up to perform, and it can be done at a reasonable price!

    Like 0
  14. paul

    yep your right Jesse the Ginetta from the other day got 3 while this car has a ton.

    Like 0
  15. celline

    I had one of these !!! It was a great car… I traded a very problematic BMW 2002 on it…ha, the BMW died as I pulled into the dealer lot on trade-in day ;-). Unfortunately, the death knell came 5 years later with north of 100k on the odo with no signs of wear. They are very light ! She slid off the road on a rainy night and hit a stump ;-( The front end damage was similar to the one feature here… I traded her Scirocco and was sad to say goodbye.

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  16. todd

    It’s a Kent 1600 nearly identical to that of the Formula Ford motors. Mounting is different- they don’t always have side bosses found in the Pinto and industrial blocks. Any good ‘legal’ FF motor can turn about 115hp. Ramp it up with a cam, some pistons and such and 175 is within reach. Weak in the crank department however for high rpm, figure 6500 or so maybe. Uses a Weber 32/36DG if I recall so parts are easy to find for those. Replace the points with an electronic set up, add some headers and it’s a pretty quick tin box. Trans could be the weak point very soon!

    Like 0
  17. Paul B

    With all due respect, these little cars should not be dismissed as Livermoron does. They are really fun to drive with good handling and truly excellent steering. If someone handy can buy the pair for under a thousand dollars and make one nice little runner, he or she will have saved a very fun, economical car with quite a bit of competition history. Just my opinion, but these are sweet.

    Like 0
  18. mbell666

    One of those cars you need to have driven to understand. If you haven’t driven one it just a small uninteresting ford.

    Had a MK2 with 1.0L and 135/13 tryes as my first car. Not much to look at, slow and not much grip. But to me thou they are just “essence of driving” and great for a first car to learn car control. You could drive it past the limited the car would let you know and make you correct it, with out spitting you off the road.

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  19. Manta73wi

    Learned to drive stick shift in a ’78 Fiesta Ghia 1600cc 4 speed, and it was a blast to drive! With its light weight and tight suspension, it was great fun to zip around in, and got pretty decent milage. A friend had a base model, and the Ghia package was decidedly nicer in terms of interior trim and reduction in road noise. I could see myself owning another Mk.1 Fiesta for sure. I remember B.A.T. offered a lot of tuning parts for these back in the day.

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  20. Torquesteer

    It was the poor man’s Scirocco. I wanted a Scirocco Mk 1, but I was too poor to afford one. The Fiesta was a lot of fun on mountain roads, it had a surprising amount of power, and it was easy on gas. Then it developed carb problems and it became the Siesta.

    Like all Ford of Europe products from the 60s to 80s imported to the US, they’ve become very scarce and there’s quite a few people looking for these cars.

    Like 0
  21. Stewart

    German bult?? The spanish might have some objections to that claim! (It was called fiesta as the factory that built it was in spain)

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  22. Graham Line

    Might have been some made in Spain. My US-market car came from Koln.

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  23. Paul B

    Agree. The U.S. Cars were built in Germany as were most Fiestas for Europe. It would not surprise me if there was assembly in Spain too but this was a German Ford.

    Like 0
  24. stanley stalvey

    Interesting flood of comments. I worked at a Ford dealer in 1980. The fiesta owners would have me fill the doors with undercoating to eliminate the tin can sound when you close the doors.. I think they are cute little cars. Having a donor car is the only way I have ever tackled most of the projects I’ve done.. An interesting graphic with new paint makes anything look good..

    Like 0

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