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FORD FIESTA TURNS 30!
BRITAINS BEST-SELLING CAR CELEBRATES ITS 30th BIRTHDAY
Tuesday 7th February 2006: Ford of Britain today celebrates the 30th birthday of one of Britains best-loved and iconic cars the Fiesta.
Today, Nell McAndrew was at the Bluebird café in Londons Kings Road to celebrate the birthday by unveiling the original 1976 Mark 1 alongside the new 2006 model*.
More than 3.2 MILLION Fiestas enough to stretch bumper to bumper from London to New York and back have been sold in the UK since the first one rolled off the assembly line in 1976.
The £1,856 entry-level model featured then state-of-the-art extras such as a folding rear seat, rubber floor mats and two-speed windscreen wipers.
Racier drivers opted for the Ghia version, which boasted unheard-of luxuries like headrests, woodgrain trim and luxurious velour upholstery.
It was all a world away from the 2006 model, which offers motorists high-tech technology like voice recognition, satellite navigation, MP3 capability and Bluetooth® capability.
The Fiesta was a classic case of necessity being the mother of invention, with 1973s energy crisis creating the need for a smaller, more economic car and the growing demand for a car specifically designed for women.
From the outset, the £1BILLION project was codenamed Bobcat and shrouded in secrecy until the 1976 launch.
Many of the Fiestas advances were ground-breaking for instance crash behaviour was optimised thanks to Ford engineers application of early computer simulation programmes. The car picked up a host of awards, including the Design Council award, presented by Prince Phillip in 1978.
The millionth Fiesta hit the road in January 1979 - just 32 months after launch, shattering previous production records.
A staggering 8.5 MILLION Fiestas have so far been built, with each new model offering motoring firsts.
In 1984 it became the first small car with a diesel engine, in 1989 it was the first to come complete with ABS and in 1994 it was the first to offer a standard driver airbag.
The Fiesta also earned its place in pop culture in 1995 when Britpop darlings Elastica released Car Song, which featured the line: Lets go siesta / In your Ford Fiesta.
Steve Hood, Marketing Director, Ford of Britain, said: When we launched Fiesta back in 1976, we pioneered the beginning of the small car segment. With over 3.2 million sold in the UK to date, it is evident that Ford knows about building great small cars.
At Ford we never take for granted Fiestas success in the small car market, which is why we continue to innovate and develop new models such as the ST and Zetec. The new 2006 Fiesta will be a great ambassador for Fords continuing outstanding success.
*photographs available on request
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
2006 FORD FIESTA FEATURES:
Re-designed exterior, new-look interior and vibrant new colour palette of three contemporary colours; Apple, Amethyst and Tango red.
Traditional big car state-of-the-art technology and offers customers options such as voice recognition, MP3 capability, satellite navigation and automatic temperature control
A full complement of three and five-door models with choice of two diesel and four petrol engines available
Nine trim levels Studio, Style, Style Climate, Zetec, Zetec Climate, Ghia, Zetec S and ST
A choice of six engines (1.25-litre, 16v, 1.4-litre, 1.6-litre, plus the new 2.0-litre Fiesta ST)
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