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And tribute to the Ford Fiesta – the best first car I could have wished for

And tribute to the Ford Fiesta – the best first car I could have wished for
Finish for the Fiesta. The party is really over and I’m devastated (Picture: Becs Williams)

‘Let me in’ I begged as I stood on a soggy street.

“I know we can fix all this if you just open up to me.”

Deep down I knew our once golden relationship was fraying. It was five years ago — a good run, some might say. But now, in the cold daylight, it was clear that our partnership was almost over.

I sighed and lowered my head. Again, it had come to this.

My beloved Ford Fiesta simply refused to let me in. Each of its cherry-red doors was slammed defiantly. Over the course of just a few weeks, each door had failed spectacularly and could only be opened from the inside. A door handle problem that would cost more than the car was worth to fix.

My only potential entry point? The boot.

Relentlessly, I clambered in, muttering terrors. Once behind the wheel I knew it was time to say goodbye…

It was announced this week that the humble Ford Fiesta, a friend of millions of people worldwide, will stop production.

Finish for the Fiesta. The party is really over and I’m devastated.

I have my very first car late 90s. Everyone’s ‘first’ is special, right? For me it was even more important because I was the first in my family to learn to drive and buy a car.

Honestly, I felt like a superhero.

I think deep down I always knew my first car would be a Fiesta (Photo: Becs Williams)

It never felt unusual for me that my family didn’t own a car, for us it was the norm. We were a family of hikers and we knew the bus schedule by heart. But despite all this, I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to ride.

I was really fascinated with cars – whenever I had the chance to sit in a car, I looked closely at the driver, I thought to myself, ‘How did they know when to shift? Look at all the dials! I can’t wait to get one!’

I passed my test on the first try and, rather embarrassingly, became slightly emotional when the examiner handed over the certificate. Back home, I hit the local paper, flipped through the ‘cars for sale’ ads on the back pages, pen in hand, and circled each potential vehicle.

I think deep down I always knew it was going to be a Fiesta. Why?

My Fiesta took me to race tracks across the country, lost oil faster than I could top up, was a beast in the snow and always took me where I was going no matter what

Well, firstly, there were many available and they were the cheapest option. Second, and perhaps most importantly – for me anyway, they just looked so friendly and were reliable.

I started my first foray to the busy roads from the UK and I needed a reliable friend to do that with – the Fiesta was my favorite buddy.

And there he was, staring at me in black and white. A 1989 ‘G’ reg Ford Fiesta 999cc Popular plus, cherry red, 65k on the clock. It was almost 10 years old with a previous owner and I would be next.

As no one else in my family drove it was the job of my friend’s uncle (as my friend didn’t drive either) to come with me to inspect the Fiesta before handing me the £1100 they asked for.

He opened the hood and looked under the car, took plenty of time to give it a go – all the time I just wanted to scream, ‘Just take my money and give me the car!’

I have now been a broadcast journalist/commentator on the FIA ​​World Rally Championship (WRC) and other motorsport series for over 20 years (Photo: Becs Williams)

Being behind the wheel was exciting. If there had been fitness watches back then, I think mine would have exploded with my escalating heart rate as I accelerated and rode solo for the first time in my life.

All these memories have come back to me with the recent announcement that Ford will be ending production of the Fiesta. The end of an era and the final chapter in the collective history of many.

The Fiesta has always been around, from the very basic models to the sportier, higher specification versions (which I could only dream of in the beginning), there really was a model for everyone.

I have broadcast journalist/commentator on the FIA ​​World Rally Championship (WRC) and other motorsport series for over 20 years now. The Fiesta has and continues to play a major role in the WRC arena.

When I bought my first Fiesta all those years ago, I didn’t realize that one day I would turn my curiosity about cars into a career where I would talk about it for a living..

When the Ford team switched from the Focus RS WRC car to a Fiesta RS WRC in 2011, I felt like welcoming an old friend to the service park. Though they were damn faster than my previous humble steed!

My Fiesta took me to race tracks across the country, lost oil faster than I could refill, was a beast in the snow and always took me where I was going no matter what.

It went to trade with a bum-shaped notch in the driver’s door, where I forced it when it refused to close. The stubborn Fiesta had decided that keeping me out just wasn’t fun enough; the driver’s door (which was once actually open!) now needed a massive force to close. Entering the stage left my hefty backside, which, with all my weight behind it, slammed the door quickly and loudly. Forever.

Some people make plaster casts of various body parts and hang them on the wall for posterity. For me, my rear would be part of my very first car forever.

Thanks for the memories, my four-wheeled Fiesta friend. I will never forget you.

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