Ford's 40-year-old virgin: meet a 1978 Fiesta that's never been driven
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The Ford Fiesta is one of the most popular cars in Europe, with the expectation that it'll once again be the best-selling car in the UK 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 (NZ$16,500).
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 (226km), 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.
Recommissioned by Mr Wisdom, with extra special attention paid to its cooling system, brakes and gearbox, the Ford passed its first - and last - warrant test on 19th April 2018.
Having refurbished the car, Mr Wisdom sold the white Ford Fiesta to a Mr Richard Jordan for £11,550 (NZ$22,400), 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.'
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.'
In terms of performance, it's not what we'd call quick. The sub-one-litre four-cylinder engine produces a relatively puny 34kW. That means a zero to 100km/h dash takes a 17.8 second eternity and the top speed is a still-law-breaking 136km/h - if there's a stretch of road long enough, that is.
- Daily Mail