****** Interested parties should note, this vehicle was subject to a CAT C insurance write off in 03/1999 ******
• Beautifully prepared competition car in very high specification
• Has never competed; has covered very few miles since build
• Superb running gear – 711M crossflow, LSD, twin 40s, and plenty more
• Outstanding condition inside and out
Motorsport, by its very nature, is a rough-and-tumble sort of affair – a hot, smoky, greasy playground necessarily studded with sizzling fluids, bits of grit, and spatters of blood from scraped knuckles.
It’s just the nature of the beast. So as a rule of thumb, you can assume that competition-oriented cars will take function over form; sure, it’s in their interest to be reasonably presentable in order for the sponsors’ livery to be seen by the paying public in the best light, and top-flight builds will have been honed in obsessively clean workshops by eggheads in white coats, but when it comes to rubbing shoulders with your fiercest rivals out there on the tarmac or through the forests… well, it’s every person for themselves, and if you need to gaffer tape something back on or bash it back into shape with a hammer, that’s just the way it is.
It’s quite a treat, then, to find a car such as this Fiesta: built solely for the purpose of going fast, and yet prepared so beautifully and with such astonishing precision and attention to detail, it would surely be more appropriate to keep it hermetically sealed in a dust-free museum for enthusiasts to paw at the Perspex walls that keep it safe, rather than opening its taps and firing it at the horizon. Wouldn’t it be a shame to get it dirty?
Well, no, not really. The fastidious presentation is merely a by-product of an incredibly well thought-out build. Make no mistake, this is no show pony. While it may well be the cleanest Mk1 Fiesta you’ve seen for some time, it was built as a pure competition machine. And it’s ready to play.
When this Fiesta trundled off the production line back in 1982, it was a lowly 1.1 L – a basic shopper-spec hatchback, set for a life of frugality and sensibleness. It’s safe to say things have changed a little over the years…
Around three years or so ago, the car was fully rebuilt for fast-road, hillclimb and historic rally use. It had been registered as a Cat C (on 6th March 1999), which made it a good donor to tear down to a bare shell and totally rebuild from scratch. As you can see, this had been an incredibly fastidious undertaking: the bodywork is magnificent inside, outside and underneath, the cabin is supremely focused, and the running gear is purely centred on competition.
Since the build was completed, the car sat in storage before being sold – the previous owner who commissioned the build was in the RAF, and receiving a new posting meant that he wasn’t able to compete in the Fiesta like he’d planned.
In spring 2020, the car was bought by its current owner, who was keen to enter it into the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique – although the event was cancelled due to Covid, so again the box-fresh Fiesta found itself sitting in the garage, waiting for its time to shine. And now this owner’s priorities have also changed, so the car’s being offered to market again: an incredibly detailed and extremely high-spec road/rally car, which is still yet to turn a wheel in anger. Could you be the keeper to help this plucky little Ford fulfil its destiny?
This is a car that’s very much sold as-is, rather than having a huge paper trail to back it up. Crucially the V5 is present, which shows that the Fiesta has had just four former keepers in its near-40-year life.
There’s a handful of receipts for miscellaneous service items and so forth, but no detailed history on the rebuild; the quality of the work and the parts used speak for themselves however, and the owner can share information from email interchanges with the previous owner along with the vehicle check he commissioned which confirms the Cat C.
This is a cabin of singular focus – specced for competition, with all the right bits; parts of the utmost quality, impeccably installed. There’s a full competition roll cage along with rear strut brace (and it’s pleasing to note that the restorer fitted a full new headlining before putting the cage in), and at the business end we find a pair of essentially unused Cobra Monaco bucket seats with Securon harnesses.
The original dash and dials reside behind a suede OMP steering wheel, with an additional oil pressure gauge fitted and an Omex Clubman rev-limiter module. There’s a Lifeline 2000 standalone fire extinguisher, and the navigator gets an alloy footrest and extending map light, A custom centre console is fitted with all the vital switchgear, fuses, engine start button, electrical cut-off and fire extinguisher switch. The battery and twin fuel pumps are mounted in the boot.
Everything in here is in absolutely spotless condition. Having been prepared for competition to an extremely high standard, the car hasn’t really been used since and certainly hasn’t competed – if you were so inclined, you probably could happily eat your dinner off it.
There are few finer sights than a classic Ford in full motorsport livery. This ’82 Mk1 wears period-correct Lombard RAC Rally livery, which complements the crisp white paint beautifully. The full body restoration has evidently been carried out to an incredible standard, as every panel is straight and free from dings, damage or evident corrosion, and they all sit neatly with even gaps.
All of the window glass and light lenses are in good order, and fitted to the nose is a fully functional quartet of Hella Rallye 2000 spotlights between the XR2-spec round headlights.
The wheels are 7x13” Minilites, painted in the livery-appropriate blue, and wear 195/50 DMACK Grippa DMT-RC tyres, which is a compound and tread pattern for tarmac rallies.
As you’d expect of a pukka competition build, this car sports a truly formidable mechanical package. Under the bonnet we find a 711M-block 1600 crossflow, running twin 40 Weber DCOE carbs. There’s Accuspark ignition and an uprated high-performance radiator with Stant cap, with performance hoses throughout.
The twin electric fuel pumps are mounted in the boot, and electrical cut-off isolators are found inside and outside the car as demanded by motorsport regs. The Fiesta has a competition exhaust system, and the transmission is a robust 5-speed ’box from an Escort RS Turbo, complete with LSD.
A hydraulic handbrake is plumbed in (essential for those mountain hairpins!), and the brakes have braided lines throughout. Underneath we find Bilstein shock absorbers with competition springs, an adjustable Panhard rod from Orbital Motorsport, and there’s an alloy fuel tank guard too. Finally, for those moments when you find yourself at full-tilt in a Welsh forest as a sheep wanders into your path, a pair of very vocal air horns are fitted. This as just about as desirable a spec as you’re likely to find for a classic Fiesta rally car – and it’s all working superbly.
This is one of those auction lots that we really just want to keep for ourselves.
The quality of the preparation, the parts used and the setup all tick the key boxes from a dream wish-list. If you’d ever pondered the notion of building a historic rally car from a Mk1 Fiesta, this is how you’d want to do it – and that’s what makes this car look like remarkable value today. If you were to commission a build of this level now, it would cost you way, way more than the price that the reserve is set at. And as you can see from the photos, the integrity of this little Ford really is first-class.
Yes, it’s important to be aware of the Cat C in its past – but it’s also crucial to remember that the car has been absolutely rebuilt from first principles, prepped to the robust standards demanded by motorsport regulations. This is a car that was built with the intention of rallying and hillclimbing, but then denied; then it was bought to enter into a historic rally, and again denied. This Fiesta needs to get out there and compete, it’s what it was destined to do – and you could be the person to do it.
Alternatively, if you wanted to put it on a plinth in your living room and just gaze at it as a piece of art, it would be perfect for that too. It’s your choice!
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Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.
As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.
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