Vehicles I have owned. 3: 1979, Ford Fiesta 1.1L , registration number YOK80T.
This particular vehicle’s appearance here as ‘owned’ by me, is perhaps something of a falsehood, as I never paid a penny for it.
The car was in fact something of a bittersweet object, in that it was the last car ordered by my foster father, before his untimely death on Christmas Eve, 1978.
The modern, small hatchback could easily accommodate that which its predecessor, a ‘74 Mk1 Escort, had managed, but being smaller, lighter (?) and with a smaller engine, should have offered improved economy, a byword in our house. It did.
It arrived in March 1979, resplendent in dark blue paint, with the optional extras including a door mirror and a radio.
Fast forward to 1981, I turned 17 and commenced the driver training.
The first two of my lessons were in the instructor’s Austin Metro, but the remaining four (see how I snuck that in?) were in ‘my’ Fiesta.
Happily, I passed my test first time and so came personal motoring freedom, for the very first time in my then short life.
Actually, the car wasn’t quite mine at the time, but in 1982, I was handed the keys for it, along with the financial and maintenance responsibilities, just as long as the car was available for my foster mum’s trips to and from church on Sunday mornings.
I had a car and it was barely three years old. What more could an 18 year old ask for?
Ah, but you see my pal, Mac Stonehouse had a 1950, Series I Land Rover. It was way cool, it was rough around the edges and I coveted it.
Mac longed for my ‘upmarket’ Fiesta and so, in early March’83, we cut a deal, £1,100.00 plus his Land Rover for the Fiesta.
I think he came off rather better than I did, certainly in the reliability stakes and my poor mum was now subjected to being chauffeured to religious events in the Landy, complete with its baler twine passenger door shutting bodge.
Needless to say my mum took the cash part of the deal, but kept me driving her around early on Sunday mornings until she could stand it no more, preferring buses and taxis.
The last time I saw YOK80T, it was parked outside my Edgbaston bedsit, in 1987.
It looked a little battered, but it was still the car in which I had passed my driving test, first driven on the motorway, and first had a snog in.
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