1983 Ford Fiesta RS 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Pocket rocket with attitude


Had an engine failure after six months, but was a manufacturers fault which they replaced the whole unit, after about 5,000 miles.

After 15 years had new seals fitted, because the sun roof drain pipes had leaked.

But after that it was just the minor problems from clutch to the brokes, just general wear and tear.

Body is showing its age now, but nothing drastic. Stll looks and drives like new.

Just one problem with parts now, very hard to find especially the rare ones, rear disc pads, and motor sport parts for the engine, but I have managed so far.

General Comments:

I have the car from new and it is the best handling car I have had, driven many others since, but the Fiesta is the best for pure fun. But it has limits on a wet track, lets you know when you have pushed it too far, like most cars I reakon.

The interior is as new, but when I take it for a service the mechanics do not know how to work on it, no computer on this car. Found grease on the seats, but made them clean them, just because it is old its not a wreck.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd July, 2004

1983 Ford Fiesta L 1.1 petrol from UK and Ireland


Cheap, fun car that refused to die


For the first 2 years of owning the car, the only things that needed replacing were the tires and an exhaust.

After those 2 years things started going wrong…

I had the entire braking system replaced at least twice.

The heater’s settings were “cold” or “very cold”.

The head gasket blew (1.1’s don’t seem to enjoy 5 hours straight driving with no water).

Just weeks after the head gasket, the whole block failed. Got an entire reconditioned engine for £150.

In the end, it wasn’t mechanical problems that forced me to scrap. Rust had finally beaten it.

General Comments:

The mechanical problems could have been due to my driving technique. I didn't exactly drive the car carefully.

The replacement parts were so easy to find (perhaps too easy?)

It was great fun to drive. I could not have asked for a better first car.

It may not have driven like it was on rails, but it always started first time (even with a dead engine).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th September, 2003

1983 Ford Fiesta poplar 957 from UK and Ireland


Cheap, cheerful and serious fun!


The only problems I had with the mk1 fiesta was the plastic covering on the seats was peeling and the front passenger brake caliper ceased and wore the pads out.

General Comments:

The car is incredibly quick for the 957cc engine! The performance was good for such a small low brake horsepowered engine! The handling wasn't brilliant, but with a set of 14" escort rims on it it was much better and once you get the hang of it you can pull off some amazing tricks!

The engine never misfired or coughed, started first time, every time! A brilliant little car it's a shame somebody jumped a red light and wrote it off for me otherwise I would still be driving it now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th August, 2002

1983 Ford Fiesta Ghia 1.1 from UK and Ireland


Great little scoot - cheap, fun and expendable


Carburetor blocked so it would not tick over.

General Comments:

After a disastrous episode with a Peugeot 309, I bought a Mk1 Ghia for £250. Apart from the carb (replaced second hand for £10) it has been totally reliable.

What do you want? It is reliable, impervious to depreciation and theft, cheap to tax, simple to park and quite fun to drive in a perverse way.

It is also remarkable comfy - the special GHIA bits are very worthwhile (I used to own a Popular Plus which defined basic!). The seats are really very good (better than the wife's Rover 416!). Opening quarter lights which give a good cooling blast on the occasional hot day. It is also very quiet.

Bad bits? (for £250!!) You need to be able to do snappy heel and toe gear-changes to help the weak synchro. The brakes are feeble at best. The '80's conversion from left to right drive leaves the brakes soggy with little initial bite. I suspect they never were much good! Stomp hard enough and it will lock the front up - just not much confidence.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st September, 2001

1983 Ford Fiesta L 1.0 from UK and Ireland


Rust, door seal failure, wiper motor.

General Comments:

Three owners from new, regular servicing means good reliability, quite nippy even with only 40 bhp 1 litre engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th December, 1999

17th Jan 2001, 09:26

I have a mark 1, colour brown, engine 957cc, quite nippy, good on petrol, not bad for comfort, 60,500 miles on the clock (original mileage).

I have a spare mk1 Fiesta 1.3, 35,000 miles original, the shell is rusted but the engine, box & most stuff is in good nick!

Nice to see other people with good comments about the mk1 Fiestas.