The Ford Fiesta - the ‘Feshty’ as it is known throughout rural Ireland - is celebrating 40 years on our roads, having first being introduced in 1976, Declan Colley
As part of the celebrations, Ford in Ireland is also hoping to uncover the oldest living example of the car.
Launched in the same year as Apple Computers and supersonic passenger flights on Concorde, few could have predicted the Fiesta’s phenomenal success story.
“The Fiesta has had such a unique and exceptional heritage in Ireland,” says Ciaran McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford in Ireland. “It has been part of the family for countless households down through the years and is the car that most of us actually learned to drive in. Experiences like that build a unique and strong affinity.”
The Ford Fiesta has sold more than 17m units worldwide since its launch in 1976. In Ireland, some 180,000 Fiestas have been sold giving it a rightful claim to the country’s longest-standing and favourite small car.
“Fiesta succeeded in staying popular by changing with the times and always staying right up to date,” says McMahon.
“The latest version is a testament to that - stylish, great driving dynamics, excellent fuel economy but as technologically advanced as models selling for a multiple of the price of the Fiesta. That is why the latest version of Fiesta has been the top-selling small car in Europe for the last four years and I am sure the next 40 years will be just as successful for Fiesta.”
McMahon maintains when you consider how the Fiesta has changed over the years, with each version getting better and better, it is the essence of the recently launched ‘Unlearn Ford’ campaign that invites motorists to forget what they think they know about Ford and look at the firm differently.
“Anyone who only knew the earlier versions of Fiesta will be astounded to experience the latest version which is as stylish and technologically advanced as any car on the road today,” he said.
Back in 1976, the Fiesta went on sale for the price of £2,365 and as a quick flavour of how times have changed: your 1976 Fiesta came with options including a screw-off aerial. Today’s Fiesta is geared towards the ‘connected’ generation, with excellent connectivity to your smartphone and apps and replete with the latest voice control technologies.
That aside, however, in its search for Ireland’s oldest Fiesta, Ford is hoping that owners of early Fiestas will come forward and contact their local Ford Dealer.
The owner of Ireland’s oldest Fiesta and their car will be guests of honour at a special celebratory event for 40 years of Fiesta that will take place in late September.
For details of your nearest Ford Dealer go to ford.ie and also keep an eye on the Ford Ireland Facebook page for regular updates on Fiesta 40 activity.
In the meantime, Ford has announced its intent to have a high-volume, fully autonomous Society of Automotive Engineers-ratedlevel 4- capable vehicle in commercial operation in 2021 in a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service. To get there, the company is investing in or collaborating with four start-ups to enhance its autonomous vehicle development, doubling its Silicon Valley team and more than doubling its Palo Alto campus.
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