1981 Ford Fiesta Supersport (MKI)


  • A fully restored example of the sought after 1.3L Fiesta Supersport
  • Restored to a very good standard with every aspect of the car attended to
  • Complete with extensive paperwork relating to the restoration

The Appeal

The Fiesta may not have been Ford’s first front wheel drive car (that title went to the Taunus 12M) but it was their first globally available and successful example. Small, economical cars were becoming increasingly popular in the fuel-conscious early 70’s and Ford wanted a slice of that cake. Project Bobcat was launched at the behest of Henry Ford II and a total of $55M was spent on development. The resulting Fiesta went on to sell over a million units before it was replaced by the MKII model.

This Supersport model was offered from 1980 fitted with the Ford “Kent” 1.3L engine. This was essentially a market tester for the 1.6L XR2 that launched the following year. Our example is a gem in a fully restored condition and remaining largely faithful to the original specification. MKI Fiestas are already sought after but this very rare Supersport example must be the pick of the crop.

The History and Paperwork

  • This Fiesta was first registered in November 1981
  • Not much is known about its early life
  • It passed through a number of owners before being acquired by the current owner
  • The current keeper has owned the car since 2015
  • During its current tenure it has undergone a thorough restoration
  • The car comes with a current V5 in the name of the owner
  • No early paperwork is present, but plenty is included from the restoration
  • This consists of a multitude of invoices for work done or parts supplied
  • The Fiesta was last MOTd in September 2021 with no advisories
  • The Supersport is not currently MOTd but is now over 40 years old
  • As such it qualifies for Historic Vehicle status
  • This means MOT and VED exemption in the UK

The Interior

  • The Supersport has enjoyed an extensive interior retrim and refurbishment
  • A good level of originality has been maintained with the odd exception
  • Many new but period correct items have been sourced from Aldridge Trimming
  • Seats front and back are trimmed in the correct Savannah/Carla Supersport red and black fabric
  • These are reported to be new covers and hence, immaculate
  • Black carpets and light, perforated headlining appear to be original
  • They are both in a very good, used condition
  • Front door cards are new items trimmed in black vinyl
  • The rear panel cards are original and exhibit potential for improvement
  • The black, vinyl trimmed dash is a seemingly original item
  • The binnacle contains the white on black instrument set with tachometer
  • A small crack is noted at the junction of the binnacle and the dash-top tray
  • A Solarsport glass tilting sunroof is fitted
  • Some non-standard fitments are noted
  • These include the black painted, tubular full roll cage with fire extinguisher
  • The alloy handbrake handle is also an after-market item
  • The surprisingly spacious boot is finished with black hardwearing carpet
  • Even a compartmentalised Fiesta removable parcel shelf is present

The Exterior

  • Our example is presented in one of the three originally available Supersport liveries
  • In this case it is the bright Sunburst Red with contrasting black, grey and silver decals
  • The paintwork has been recently, professionally applied and looks impressive
  • The decal set also appears new and is, hence, in great shape
  • Standard Supersport touches include the wheel arch extensions in black
  • Likewise, the deeper chin spoiler and rear hatch spoiler are in evidence
  • Non-standard fitments include the rally-style quad driving lamps
  • The exhaust tailpipe calibre suggests this is a non-standard item fitted at restoration
  • The car features the iconic four spoke RS style light alloy wheels
  • These are 13-inch items and are original Ford wheels
  • They appear to have been recently painted so present in a good overall condition
  • This are shod with a matching set of new Nexen tyres in the correct 185/60 configuration
  • The correct matt black bumpers appear to be in a fine, unmarked condition
  • Cabin glass and light lenses all appear to be in fine, original condition
  • The owner mentions minor blemishes to the paint of the bonnet and tail gate

The Mechanics

  • The Supersport was fitted with the 1.3L “Kent” engine
  • This is a crossflow unit with a twin choke Webber carburettor fitted 
  • In original specification this produced around 65bhp
  • Power is fed to the front wheels via a four-speed manual gearbox
  • Lowered and uprated suspension was also original specified with rear anti-roll bar
  • Much work has been expended on this car’s mechanical systems
  • This includes a fully rebuilt engine with new “fast road” camshaft
  • The head has been converted for lead free fuel
  • A new manifold and exhaust system has been fitted
  • The underside has benefitted from new shocks, brakes, bushings and tyres
  • The presentation is fantastic under here, too
  • The car has been fully undersealed, and components have been powder-coated
  • The under-bonnet presentation is equally good and surely a potential prize winner
  • The owner reports that it drives very well with no issues
  • He does state that it may benefit form a carburettor replacement or service


The MKI Fiesta represents a pre-eminent example of small cars of a type that don’t exist anymore. Simple, stylish, light and uncomplicated with peppy engines and go-kart like handling. The Supersport example may have been a market tester for the MKI XR2 but is very much rarer with only around 3,000 reportedly built as compared to well over 20,000 MKI XR2s finding UK homes.

This example has clearly been very well restored by an owner with passion and knowledge. What a gem in, mostly, very original condition. For the absolute purists the non-standard items could be easily reversed if required leaving you with a stunningly original specification example. Either way this is bound to be a popular and sought after example so avoid disappointment and place your bid.

Notice to bidders
This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.
UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.
A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.
All bidding, buying and offers are subject to our Terms and Conditions.

Please see our FAQs here and our Terms & Conditions here

Vehicle specification
  • Year 1981
  • Make Ford
  • Model Fiesta supersport
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 20,869 Miles
  • Engine size 1298
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Ibstock
  • Location Leicestershire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
29 bids
  • Hi•••• £15,500 04/05/23
  • Co•••• £15,250 04/05/23
  • Hi•••• £15,000 04/05/23
  • Hi•••• £14,750 04/05/23
  • Co•••• £14,500 04/05/23
  • Hi•••• £14,250 04/05/23
  • Co•••• £14,000 04/05/23
  • Hi•••• £13,750 04/05/23
  • aw•••• £12,750 04/05/23
  • th•••• £12,500 04/05/23
Message C&C Auction Team

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