The 1980’s saw the birth of a new breed of automobile. Agile hatchbacks became every young man’s dream, a sporty car that was almost in their price range or at least a second hand one.
Ford’s first endeavour into this market was the Fiesta Supersport. Based on the original Mark I Fiesta originally launched in 1976, Ford designed the Supersport and launched it in October 1980 as a way to test the water and dip their proverbial toe into this new and exciting trend. If it sold, Ford already had plans to introduce the XR2 at a later date.
As it happens sales went very well for the warmly received Supersport, with its marketing catch phrase being “The car that looks as good as it feels as good as it drives” Ford’s very first Hot Hatchback was indeed a taste of things to come.
The overall look for this sporty hatchback is radical styling with an aggressive stance thanks to Ford’s SVE (Special Vehicle Engineering) giving the Fiesta a wider track, set off nicely with Ford’s RS four spoke alloys. Go faster stripes and rally style fog lamps finished the look off nicely.
The Ford Fiesta Supersport is truly an individual looking car with some significant features such as wheel arch extensions, rear spoiler, low profile tyres and additional driving lamps. If you are looking to buy one you should expect the car to have all of these above features. Also it only came in four colours with contrasting stripes (Sunburst Red, Stratos Silver, Diamond White and Black with either red or grey Clara cloth interior) if it’s a different colour or interior it won’t be original.
As you would expect cars in the eighties tend to have corrosion problems, so let’s start by looking at the typical areas where rust can be found. Sills, front wings, floor pans and rear sections underneath are all prone to rot. As are boot floors and tailgates, also inspect the windscreen surround as this can be a complex repair.
Parts for the Supersport are more or less the same as any other Mk I Fiesta so although original parts are scarce, reproductions are widely available. Engine components are also easy enough to get your hands on and Ford’s Kent Crossflow engine is relatively simple to work on for the DIY car enthusiast.
With such a low survival rate the Ford Fiesta Supersport can only be a sound investment although we’re still waiting for the desirability factor to shine through. Surely it won’t be long now!
The Ford Fiesta has become the best-selling car of all time in the UK with sales topping 4.1 million in the past 38 years. It has overtaken the Ford Escort, the previous record holder, to become the most popular model among British drivers.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“In October 1980 the Supersport was a real ground breaker for Ford, offering their first of many sporty hatch backs. It featured the same 1300cc Kent Crossflow engine already used in the other models but with an extra bit of tuning to produce 75bhp. The Supersport featured 13″ RS Alloy Wheels and the body kit that was later to be used on the XR2. Today this Ford first is a rare model so finding an original will be a real task in itself.”