RE: Ford Fiesta 1.4 Ghia | Shed of the Week

RE: Ford Fiesta 1.4 Ghia | Shed of the Week


Ford Fiesta 1.4 Ghia | Shed of the Week

We've all heard of the Dagenham dustbin - at what point does it become a diamond?

If, back in 1971, you'd told Shed that the two-door Ford Escort he was driving and cursing in equal measure would be worth a lot of money, he would have guffawed in your face. He's not alone in this. Many of those who are old enough to remember blue oval motoring half a century ago scratch their heads in disbelief at the values of everyday munters that they routinely referred to as Dagenham dustbins.

Here we are now though, goggling at a transformation in the perception of Ford UK products that has been nothing short of remarkable and that has given rise to a new sport, viz, identifying the next Fords to make the quantum leap from Dagenham dustbin to Dagenham diamond so that we can all rush off to auctions and bid the bejeesus out of them.

What will be next, then? Gen-two Fiesta XR2s have been big money for a long time, so surely the 1989-85 gen-three Fiestas will eventually go the same way? Hmm. Maybe, or maybe not. You might not remember them but there was a gen-three Fiesta XR2 and even an Mk3 Fiesta RS1800. Given long enough, either or both might accumulate some real worth, but it's harder to imagine that because the Mk3 Fiesta was very different to the Mk2.

It was more grown-up, not just in size but also in philosophy. It was the first Fiesta to come with the option of five doors and the first small car to get ABS as a braking aid rather than as some weird abdominal muscle development thing. Safety and more doors are not the kind of features that you'd bung onto a small car to cement its name in history. What you want for that are pepperpot alloys, black wheelarch protectors, red badging and an affinity for hedgerows, as the Mk 2 XR2 had.

The 1.4 engine in this particular Mk 3 Fiesta Ghia is the famous, or infamous, CVH lump. CVH stood for compound valve angle. If you were the driver, you had to stand for something too, namely a lot of noise, vibration and harshness if you wanted to explore the upper reaches of performance. Shed can't confirm the rumour that the CVH's designers misheard an instruction and mistakenly engineered NVH into the unit rather than out of it. Nor can he confirm a different rumour that Volkswagen sent over double-agent engineers to get jobs at Dagenham and then deliberately mess them up.

Whatever, if you thought Des O'Connor was a good singer and that a buffalo's dying groans were melodious you would most probably like the sound of a CVH at full chat. Some say CVHs were easy to tune but Shed is pleased to say that he has never met anyone with the lack of mechanical sympathy required to do it. This Fiesta 1.4 definitely won't thank you for revving its nuts off but it was sweet and torquey enough at lower rpm to make it a lovely little thing to pootle about town in. Hence the popularity of things like this 1.4 Ghia whose MOT history is littered with 'high CO2 content' advisories, a dead giveaway to a life spent in the slow lane and at the front of very long traffic queues.

On the subject of MOTs, you might think this Fiesta isn't eligible for Sheddery as it hasn't got one. The last pass (with no advisories) was in March 2019, However, it does actually qualify as the vendor is promising to put a fresh ticket on it, which we can all agree is the very best type of MOT. This is not something they'd be doing if they didn't think it was going to be easy. There's a good chance it will be solid in fact as it's already come through its not-solid phase. In 2017 its owner stumped up for rust restitution work in the seatbelt anchorage and suspension mounting areas. That was a followup to more extensive rust repairs carried out three years (but only 2,000 miles) prior.

Because it's a Ghia it's got the classic whirly-wheel sunroof, leccy windows, nice alloys with locking wheelnuts and premium non-Lingalonga tyres. Along with the low mileage, this stuff is pure catnip for those who find their cars by combing through the Births & Deaths columns. People like Shed.

Folk like old Fords now because they can be retro-engineered into the fine vehicles they would have been back when they were new, if only they hadn't been built down to a price to make them affordable and short-lived. This Fiesta isn't ever going to be a ยฃ100k Cossie or a ยฃ50k RS2000, but for youngsters with a little imagination and the right insurance company it could be a great first car, a great first classic and something a bit different all at the same time. Plus it's in Tortworth, a tiny Gloucestershire village with a very nice pub called The Old Spot just up the road. Perfect for that post-purchase tincture.

Here's the full ad


B'stard Child

Original Poster:

23,524 posts

217 months

Yesterday (01:36)
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Not a very large shed so from a storage perspective 1/10


31,088 posts

147 months

Yesterday (01:57)
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I’d prefer a newer shape model (X or Y reg), the one I’ve learnt to drive in. If there’s any left. hehe

Mr Tidy

15,653 posts

98 months

Yesterday (02:06)
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That could certainly be a decent buy before it attracts "Old Ford" tax!

My late Mum had a series of Fiestas starting with a Mk1 1979 1.1S, Mk2 1985 1.1 Ghia, Mk3 1994 1.3 "Frascati" and finally a Mk4 2000 1.3 in billy-basic spec.

The one thing they all had in common was that they drove really well compared to their rivals - much better than the Nova Luxe+ she had briefly between her Mk2 and Mk3.

But your specification details look wrong somehow. confused

SOTW is a 1.4 Ghia so may well have had 80bhp, but it wasn't a 1.3 litre and would have surely exceded 89mph!

Possibly one to look after and use sparingly.


29 posts

24 months

Yesterday (02:20)
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Surely a good first car for someone - low mileage, decent condition, 12 months MOT, what looks like 2 previous local owners, and Ghia spec too!


4,844 posts

54 months

Yesterday (02:27)
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Shame it's a more door but seems well priced


699 posts

210 months

Yesterday (02:28)
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It’s a great colour. That’s about the only positive thing I can say about it. My 2nd ever car was a 1991 XR2i bought nearly new. I remember taking it back to the Ford dealership because it wouldn’t do more than 90mph flat out. I got laughed out of the showroom (probably easily done to the teenager that I was at the time). Genuinely the most hateful car I’ve ever owned. So coarse. And I loved my first car - a 1985 on a ‘B’ mk2 Fiesta 1.4 Ghia. Such a shame Ford ruined a great thing with the mk2 and no, I can’t ever see mk3’s being remembered as special.


65 posts

9 months

Yesterday (02:33)
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You would really have to want it to pay asking price ,I would like an old MK2 xr2 due to my mother having 1 from New when I was alot younger. Unfortunately there not Shed money


314 posts

126 months

Yesterday (03:56)
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CVH stands for compound valve (angle) hemispherical combustion chamber…

I’m a nerd.

I also own and run a CVH in XR3i flavour.


4,844 posts

54 months

Yesterday (04:03)
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mrpenks said:
CVH stands for compound valve (angle) hemispherical combustion chamber…

I’m a nerd.

I also own and run a CVH in XR3i flavour.
I had a 1.6 CVH in my Orion and didn't think it was a bad engine for an 80's car, blue haze aside. No better or worse than any of the Pug 1.6's I had of the same vintage. Annoying oil filter location at the back of the engine though


816 posts

90 months

Yesterday (05:02)
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I had 5 of these and don't think I paid £1500 for the lot.

All failed the mot on rusty sills.


62 posts

100 months

Yesterday (06:35)
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Wow! I remember when these were absolutely pennies.

I loved my old Fiesta RS Turbo despite its many flaws; but I don't think I'd want to own one now!

Sandpit Steve

4,723 posts

45 months

Yesterday (06:43)
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Definitely still a dustbin.


1,962 posts

85 months

Yesterday (06:44)
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My first car was a H reg 1.1 LX, I could only dream of the "Ghia" spec smile

Good car though, and back then the LX came with velour trim and a rev counter, loved mine till I upgraded to an L Escort 1.6 Ghia, Wombourne Ford gave me a cracking deal back in '98.


291 posts

139 months

Yesterday (07:16)
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Probably a better example than most of its type...though no mention of service history...but why would you want one in the first place?
Lightly built, unrefined little cars with a rough and gutless drivetrain.
When would it become a diamond? Not any time soon IMO.


9,909 posts

205 months

Yesterday (07:17)
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Now this is a POS. Zafira over this every time.


16,091 posts

170 months

Yesterday (07:23)
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My first ever car.

G584LFL in Ghia spec, electric blue or whatever the colour was known as.

Oh the things that car saw.

Drive Blind

4,267 posts

148 months

Yesterday (07:28)
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I could only own a ford with a cvh engine as some sort of twisted reminder of a terrible childhood being ferried about in the hateful things.

I'd then force myself to have a dinner of turnip, brussel sprouts and peas before being sent to bed in a room with no central heating and ice on the inside of the window.


314 posts

126 months

Yesterday (07:30)
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aaron_2000 said:
mrpenks said:
CVH stands for compound valve (angle) hemispherical combustion chamber…

I’m a nerd.

I also own and run a CVH in XR3i flavour.
I had a 1.6 CVH in my Orion and didn't think it was a bad engine for an 80's car, blue haze aside. No better or worse than any of the Pug 1.6's I had of the same vintage. Annoying oil filter location at the back of the engine though
They’re actually quite nice sounding up to around 5000rpm, at which point they sound like a MAC Tools delivery truck on a rally stage.

I agree, most 80s stuff was quite rough sounding compared to post 90s stuff.


680 posts

21 months

Yesterday (07:30)
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Great little retro run around, bargain.


174 posts

30 months

Yesterday (07:31)
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Price is crazy, even in this market!

I remember my sister picking one of these up in around 2008 for around £600. Same colour too!