Everyday Driver : Mk1 Fiesta

19 May

 Now, with this series of articles, what I aim to do is give a simple run down of older cars you can live with everyday. So, if your planning on buying something old to use on a day-to-day basis, take a look here to see what old car ownership gets you in to…

First up, my daily ride, a Mk1 Fiesta 1100s. Now, I love this car, so I’m bound to be biased but for the sake of fair, honest journalism I’ll try to remain as neutral as possible.

So, onto the important bit – driving it. It’s an experience, and a good one at that! The handling is crisp, the suspension taught and the pace nippy enough, but nothing to set the world alight. The little 1100 engine revs nicely, coupled with a four speed gearbox, it’s surprising how perky it feels. Pair this with the nimble chassis and its a delightful car for b-road blasts, or a potter to the shops.

The ride is smooth, and this is helped by the comfortable, if somewhat unsupportive seats. Corners see a lot of holding on tight rather than holding in place! There’s no headrests, but it’s not really noticeable, it just accentuates the retro charm these little machines have.

So far so good then. And the little fiesta’s good points continue to shine through. As a little town car,something that would suit it to a tee, economy is good, and equally so out in the flowing country lanes. A-road and motorway driving is a bit more of an issue however; the four speed gearbox, whilst keeping the car spritely and energetic,  means that the poor thing is revving to 4000 rpm to reach 70, not ideal cruising revs by any means.

This is where the case for the fiesta reaches a bit of a wall. On long runs, the engine gets put under a lot of strain, with fuel economy suffering too, so as a commuter its a no-go realistically. As a town car, it would be ideal but herein lies another conundrum. Do you trust leaving it parked?

These cars are now more and more desirable and worth money. I know I wouldn’t be happy leaving mine in an insecure car park all day. I’d be gutted to come back and find it riddled with car park dents  and scratches, but I’d be distraught if it wasn’t there at all.

So, what do to with a Mk1 Fiesta then? Well, I’d save it for the weekend or those days where you just need cheering up. They’ve got so much character, you can’t help but grin after even a few short miles. It could, and would, do almost everything you asked of it, but it’s not a swiss army knife. Save it for the weekends and savour it; you’ll thank me for it.


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