17th Jun 2004, 10:41



10th Aug 2006, 05:54

A Fiesta is a cracking first car! I used to own a 1.6 S a few years ago now, (I've since upgraded to a Honda Integra Type R with a turbo) but I had that Fiesta for 3 1/2 years and I learnt a few things while I had it.

Small mods of exhaust, manifold, filter and cam made a HUGE difference to the performance. Lower the suspension and add a strut brace transforms the handling too.

It would eat XR2's all day long with no problems. I had 2 friends with XR2i's, and it was quicker than both of them too.

I had another friend with a Nova GTE that was closer in a straight line, but I had him every time as soon as it got twisty.

On a certain stretch of road near me (about 8 miles long that I knew very well), I beat lots of cars that had more power than me

i.e.. BMW 320

BMW 323

Astra GTE (8 valve)

Audi 90 (2.0 16 valve)

Several XR2i's and XR3i's

Nova SR's and my mates GTE

306 XSI

Those are just to name but a few in over 3 years of ownership.

I also added a ecotec valve to improve fuel economy, and my word it made a massive difference.. not sure of the mpg because back then I didn't know how to work it out, but I gained about 25/30% extra mileage.

My girlfriend at the time owned the newer 16v Si, and not only was mine easily faster, but on a long run to Taunton we used to do all the time (about 130 miles round trip) mine would get better fuel economy every time.

I sold the car for a pitance at the time to replace it with a boring Saxo VTR, which was a huge drop in performance and handling. Had that car for a year, replaced it with a Civic 1.8vti, had that a year and replaced with my Integra Type R. After 2 years I still have that now.

But for enjoyment and cheap fun, my Fiesta will always be my favourite car I've owned... silly really when you think we pay all this money on newer faster cars, when sometimes the old cars we owned as youngsters live longer in our memories.

Oh, and just in case some people are thinking I was barely out of school and didn't know better back then, I owned 4 cars before the Fiesta and was 22 when I sold it.