1980 Ford Fiesta hatchback coupe

Recently Bring a Trailer featured a 1980 Ford Fiesta with unknown mileage selling at no reserve—it went for $7,200.

Ford’s first-generation Fiesta was in its final year of availability in the United States, soon to be replaced by the Escort. Because of this, the 1980 Fiesta had only minor trim and detail changes.

The Fiesta’s standard powertrain was a transverse-mounted 66 bhp 1.6 liter/98 ci inline four with a two-barrel carburetor paired with a four-speed manual. Ford’s full-line brochure stated that Fiesta acceleration was “exhilarating.” In reality, 0-60 mph took between 11 and 12 seconds in a car with a shipping weight of 1,726 pounds. The EPA rated fuel economy at an impressive 26 city/38 highway. With a 10-gallon gas tank, a Fiesta owner could expect a range of about 290 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

Classified by the EPA as a subcompact, the Fiesta was a small car even in 1980, and is tiny by modern standards. With a 90 inch wheelbase and a 147.1 inch length, it gives up 8 inches of wheelbase and over 5 inches of length to a modern MINI Cooper. In 1980 brochures, Ford used the old trick of putting the car in the foreground and putting models at some indeterminate distance in the background.

Fiesta page from the 1980 Ford brochure

Standard equipment for the $5,032 Fiesta (about $18,300 in today’s dollars) included front wheel drive, a MacPherson strut front suspension, rack and pinion steering, front disc brakes, and Michelin 155-12 steel-belted radial tires on 12-inch argent road wheels. Inside, the Fiesta included all-vinyl high back front bucket seats, a fold-down rear seat, and color-keyed passenger compartment carpeting.

Options included a manually-operated flip-up open-air sunroof ($219), tinted glass ($55), an electric rear window defroster ($96), white sidewall tires ($70), air conditioning ($475 and not available in European versions), and an AM/FM stereo radio ($183). Decor Group and a Ghia interior which included velour and cloth upholstery were also available.

1980 Fiesta sales were off 11% from 1979, but Ford still moved 68,841. I haven’t seen a first-generation Fiesta on the streets for many years. Apparently, Bring A Trailer auctions one of these Fiestas about once a year.

Make mine Venetian Red, please.

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