Ford’s Fiesta has been the nation’s best-selling car every year for the last decade, so it wouldn’t be a huge shock if that remains the case in 2019.
However, one Fiesta that might be registered this year will definitely be surprising.
It’s this 1978 example – a MkI Fiesta 950 with a 957cc engine – that was on display in the science museum in London from 1980 to 2017 and has never turned a wheel on public roads.
And it could be yours next month for £8,500.
The 40-year-old virgin: This 1978 Ford Fiesta has never been registered and therefore hasn’t turned a wheel on the public highway
The timewarp car is one of the lots being sold in H&H Classics’ online auction on February 2.
With a clock just about to tick up to 141 delivery and transportation miles, it’s believed to be the lowest-mileage and best preserved MkI Fiesta in existence – mostly thanks to its long-standing appearance in one of London’s top museums for 37 years.
Chassis BAFBUM58259 was manufactured in July 1978 and supplied new to a West London dealer that year.
Having failed to register the vehicle, it was then passed to the Science Museum to be displayed as part of a ‘Glimpses of Medical History’ gallery, playing a role in a diorama showing assistive technology for helping elderly people in and out of cars.
But the Fiesta’s haven almost became its demise.
When the museum decided to refurbish the building in 2015, the installation of new freight lifts with narrower doors meant that the Ford faced being cut-up to facilitate its removal from the premises.
Thankfully, Darren Wisdom, who was working on site in 2017, intervened and saved the unregistered hatchback by constructing a special jig which allowed it to be rotated through ninety degrees and brought down to ground level unharmed.
In order to do so, he had to remove the drivetrain and interior to reduce its weight.
The Fiesta spent 37 years on display in the London Science Museum, which goes a long way to explain how it has retained its boxfresh condition
The engine is a 957cc 4-cylinder unit that produces a fairly weedy 45bhp
H&H Classics will be selling the car at auction on 2 February. It has placed an estimate of £6,500 to £8,500 on the timewarp Fiesta
Recommissioned by Mr Wisdom, with extra special attention paid to its cooling system, brakes and gearbox, the Ford passed its first – and last – MOT test on 19th April 2018.
It won’t ever need one again, as new rules introduced last May by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency dictate that no car over 40 years old needs to have an MOT.
MkI Ford Fiesta 950 specs
Engine: 957cc 4-cylinder petrol
Gearbox: 4-speed manual
Max power: 45bhp
0-60mph: 17.8 seconds
Top speed: 85mph
Kerb weight: 750kg
Having refurbished the car, Mr Wisdom sold the white Ford Fiesta to a Mr Richard Jordan for £11,550, in July 2018.
That suggests the vendor could make a £5,000 – or 44 per cent – loss on the vehicle if it only manages to achieve its lower estimate when sold next month.
However, that’s unlikely to be the case, considering the unused condition of the vehicle – as described by Paul Kingham of the Ford GT Historic Register who inspected the Fiesta last year.
‘I can confirm that all key aspects of the vehicle are authentic and original including chassis, suspension, steering, transmission, matching original engine and even its paintwork,’ he detailed.
‘This vehicle has never previously been UK registered due to it being displayed at the Museum since 1980 when they received delivery from the manufacturer’s showroom and is still in remarkably pristine “as new” condition with effectively just its original delivery mileage recorded.’
As you can see from the clocks, the car has almost ticked up to 141 miles
The authenticity of the 1978 Ford Fiesta is proven by the chassis and engine numbers seen here
The boot carpet remains pretty much untouched. The glimpse into the interior shows just how sparse the equipment levels were back in 1978 – you don’t even get headrests
Damian Jones, head of sales at H&H Classics, has high hopes that the car – which has covered an average of three-and-a-half miles a year since being built – will generate plenty of interest when it goes under the hammer.
‘This is a highly original and authentic Ford Fiesta, go find another! This is truly a one off,’ he beamed.
‘It is perhaps the lowest mileage Ford Fiesta MKI existing.’
H&H Classics believes you won’t find a more pristine and low-mile example of a MkI Ford Fiesta anywhere
Every part of the car is original. Even after a couple of years on display in a showroom, followed by 37 years in the Science Museum and another few months in storage, there are signs of rust appearing
The Fiesta even comes with the original spare wheel and jack (left). The image on the right shows the period build tag fitted to cars in the seventies
If the winning bidder wants to register it for the road they will have to pay the DVLA a fee of £55. Being more than 40 years old, it will also be exempt from car tax.
In terms of performance, it’s not what we’d call quick.
The sub-one-litre four-cylinder engine produces a relatively puny 45bhp.
That means a zero to 60mph dash takes a 17.8 second eternity and the top speed is a still-law-breaking 85mph – if there’s a stretch of road long enough, that is.
If the Fiesta is registered will it go on a 68 plate like a new car?
A DVLA spokesman explained: ‘The DVLA may allocate an appropriate age related number to a vehicle that is over 40 years old and being registered for the first time provided there is evidence to prove its age.
‘We may also be able to register an old vehicle under its original registration number, if it’s never been registered with the DVLA, provided the necessary evidence is supplied and is supported by the relevant enthusiast club for the marque.’
Fiestas not your thing? H&H is also auctioning this super-rare sixties Triumph
This is one of the most collectible Triumph classic cars available, and is just the fourth example of the rare machine
This chippy little 1967 Triumph TR5 will be sold by H&H Classics at their next Duxford sale on 20 March.
It’s the fourth car of its kind built and is one of the most sought-after of all classic Triumph sports roadsters.
Chassis number CP4 was one of the few models built by the manufacturer in a restrained production period of just 13 months between 1967 and 1968.
H&H Classics is offering the 1967 Triumph TR5 to the highest bidder in March, with an estimate of £30k to £40k
The TR5 was built in limited numbers due to a restrained production period of just 13 months
Roger Nowell of H&H Classics said: ‘If you want a very rare British sports roadster this car ticks all the boxes.
‘The fourth of its kind built and reserved for press use it was driven by the people who helped make its reputation what it was. And it is now one of the most collectable and sought after TR5s.’
Fitted with a 2.5-litre straight six-cylinder engine developing 150bhp, it is definitely quicker than the Fiesta.
It can hit 60mph in 6.3 seconds and has a top speed of 117mph – well, that’s according to a test of this very model by Motor Magazine some 51 years ago.
H&H Classics estimates it will sell for £30,000 to £40,000.
Fitted with a 2.5-litre straight six-cylinder engine developing 150bhp, this soft-top Triumph can hit 60mph in 6.3 seconds – according to a magazine that tested it half a century ago
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