Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fiesta Time!

By Simon

I was away in North Carolina recently and while I was there alone with nothing to do in my off hours other than think, I got all nostalgic for some 80’s TV shows.  I watched a few on YouTube and while I was watching them I got to thinking about my 80’s car and if I’m being honest, my first love.  What was that car?  My beloved 1983 Ford Fiesta XR2, registration A 300 HLC.

To my American friends, you'll be looking at this vision of loveliness and whining that it’s a hatchback.  Well, don’t whine.  The XR2 was a “Hot Hatch.”  A breed of family runabouts with a bit more grunt than they should have possessed.  The Golf GTI started the craze with Lotus Sunbeam being the most infamous (because it had the engine from the Lotus Espirit in it).

The Fiesta XR2 wasn’t a class leader but I thought it was a bit of an underrated machine because it was lighter than most and came loaded with a 1,600cc engine with more torque than most.  It had a nice burble that was easy on the ear.  It could get up to 60mph in less than 10seconds which was nice for its day and was good for a 106mph overall.  It handled pretty nice although when it under steered, it was ugly.

I bought mine in ’86 and I had it for seven years.  In that time, I had it airborne, put it on a track, evaded the police in it and added about 40,000 miles.  Sadly, it was stolen and partially stripped.  I’d rebuilt the car once already after it was t-boned by someone without insurance and I didn’t have the heart to rebuild it all over again.  I said goodbye but I have never forgotten my pocket rocket.

So thank you North Carolina for the nice trip down Memory Lane, which can be found just off Fun Time Highway.

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