It all started 11 years ago where my parents bought me my first car, a 1981 Fiesta L. It was the quickest 1100cc fiesta in the west (in my eyes anyway). The Fiesta was White with chrome bumpers that I used to polish meticulously, duck tape covering small holes and missing one hub cap. It was the best car ever.
I went years without owning a Fiesta until I spotted a Mk 6 ST in the local garage and I thought “Why not, let’s go back to a Fiesta”. I kept that for all but 6 months and in that time I went to the Classic Ford Show at Santa Pod where I kept falling in love with all the Mk 1’s there and I knew I needed on in my life. So the hunt began.
I never expected in a million years I would actually own an XR2; I was only really looking for a decent Mk1 to potter around in. But when hunting on eBay the Super Sport and the XR2’s kept grabbing my attention but I knew I needed more funds to be able to afford one, hence selling the ST. I went to Gloucester to have a look at an XR2 but it just didn’t feel right, having been out the country for a while and had no spare wheel well. I was determined not to jump at the first one I see.
The second XR2 I looked at was in Cirencester, looked a bit tatty, had been someone’s daily driver and they were truly gutted to have to sell it on, but it was exactly what I was looking for. So within a week he was mine!
A once tatty example has now be restored
I was now the owner of what they class as the’ Hot Hatch for the Boy Racers of the 1980’s’. A Black XR2 with the grey stripes, pepper pot wheels, round headlights and a few bumps here and there, otherwise perfect.
Out the factory the XR2 would have cost around £5000. It has the popular 1600cc Kent engine, 4 speed gear box and capable of speeds over 100mph. My one is pretty much standard apart from being lowered by 2mm and a K&N filter. It should produce 84bhp but over the years I’m sure it’s lost a few.
The coolest Fiesta on the block?
Then again I have owned him now for a year and he has never missed a beat. I recently done 360 miles in just 36 hours and all he asked for was fuel and oil. He has had some work done to him, the bumpers have been powder coated to give them a new lease of life. I finally got hold of some headlights so I could replace a broken one, over ridders swapped for one that haven’t been painted, changed the starter motor, new radiator and general servicing of spark plugs, and oil filter.
There is still plenty more work that can be done to him to restore him back to his original condition. The front wings and panel need replacing due to rust, the lumps and bumps need straightening out and painting and I need to stop the sun roof from leaking. Then again these leaked straight out the factory!
He really has been my pride and joy. He has been to many car shows, where he has been the only Mk1 XR2 there that has not been modded past recognition. His shining moment was being on The Classic Ford Magazine’s stand at Ford Fair in Silverstone this year, celebrating 30 years of the XR2. Mine isn’t quite 30, he is actually the same age as me so we will be having our 30th together!
The Ford Fiesta Xr2 celebrating at the Ford Fair in August 2011
My Fiesta addiction does not stop there, I also have tucked away is another Mk1 Fiesta, a Gold GL which is actually rarer than the XR2, a MK6 Fiesta Black as my daily driver and I have just recently sold a Mk3 Si. It would be great to be able to collect the set of Mk1 to Mk7!
20 years apart from the Fiesta Xr2 and Fiesta Mk7
The XR2 though is one of those cars that turn heads, and guys in their 30’s have previously owned and probably written one-off in their time then longed for another go in one. This one however is mine!