McDonough, Georgia, Part 1 – 1978 Ford Fiesta

Unless you live around Atlanta, you probably couldn’t be expected to know where McDonough is. But apparently it’s some kind of cheap-odd-compact-hatch epicenter, as we’ll see today and tomorrow, though not due to any obvious reason like, say, close proximity to Road Atlanta or downtown Atlanta. And while Ford’s Fiesta was not really odd, especially in a European context, it was unusual in the United States, both for its short visit to the North American market and its fun-to-drive approach to being an inexpensive car. The folded paper design also owes a lot to VW’s Rabbit, though the Rabbit was a more substantial car. If you have sporting intentions, though, that works in the Fiesta’s favor. Check out this 1978 Ford Fiesta for sale for $2000 in McDonough, GA.

1978 Ford Fiesta right front

Faded silver paint is not surprising at this point, and the wheel upgrade is probably good for roadholding, though it doesn’t look quite right on such a small car. The body is said to have some surface rust on top, but is otherwise solid. There’s a minor dent on the left rear corner, but everything else appears straight. For being in a state with significant humidity and plenty of hot weather, it looks like a good start.

1978 Ford Fiesta right rear

Window tint is a little goofy on this kind of car, but probably necessary given the climate. The car has no air conditioning (though it looks to have had it at one point), but presumably this was a higher trim level like a Sport or Ghia, since it has a tachometer. And, as you can see in some of the other pictures, the car will turn 4000rpm at 70mph, which probably explains one of the reasons it didn’t last so long in North America.

1978 Ford Fiesta engine

A look under the hood is kind of interesting – what’s up with that custom-looking airbox, alloy valve cover, and aluminum radiator? The car also comes with a pair of Weber-looking carburetors on a manifold, which would likely transform this car into a decent back-roads weapon. Fortunately, there’s still a good amount of interest in these in Europe, so further upgrades shouldn’t be too hard to make.

1978 Ford Fiesta interior

The interior looks like it’s had new upholstery, and everything else looks good. Well, faux wood never looks that great, but it’s at least in good shape. The sound system’s already been upgraded in a totally 1980s way, with really big speakers cut into the luggage compartment cover and 6-inchers in the doors. While the car is a little less than perfect, the price and some of the performance upgrades make it worth a closer look.

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