HomeThe MarketTime-capsule ’78 Ford Fiesta has been driven only 141 miles

Time-capsule ’78 Ford Fiesta has been driven only 141 miles


Wonderfully preserved cars that were barely driven are all the rage with bidders at collector car actions these days. And it doesn’t really seem to matter where the vehicles were sought after when they were new. 

A test case will go to auction February 2 when H&H Classics offers a “time-warp” 1978 Ford Fiesta 950 at its first online auction. The hatchback has been driven only 141 miles, having been displayed or stored at The Science Museum in London from 1980 to 2017.

“This is a highly original and authentic Ford Fiesta, go find another!” contends Damian Jones, head of sales for H&H Classics. “This is truly a one off. It is perhaps the lowest mileage Ford Fiesta MKI existing.”

But is that enough to make it collectible? We’ll find out in February.

H&N notes that the car was delivered to an export-specialist Ford dealership in London but had yet to be sold when the museum acquired it for its Glimses of Medical History gallery, where it was part of a diorama showing technology designed for helping an elderly person in and out of a vehicle. The car remained part of that display until 2015, when the museum revised some exhibits.

Because the museum had replaced its elevators in the meantime, the car was scheduled to be cut into pieces to be removed from the museum.

“Thankfully, Darren Wisdom who was working on site in 2017 intervened and saved the time-warp hatchback by constructing a special jig which allowed it to be rotated through 90 degrees and brought down to ground level (albeit with the drivetrain and interior removed to save weight),” H&H reports.

Wisdom acquired the car from the museum and had the cooling system, brakes, gearbox and other mechanical and safety components maintained so the car could pass Ministry of Transportation testing in the spring of 2018.

Wisdom sold the car in June 2018 for nearly $15,000, and now it’s headed to the auction block.


Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. I remember what poor quality these were when new.

    I personally wouldn’t give over 2 k for it.

    It will be interesting to see if there 2 people who want it bad enough to bring real money. I bet there will be

    • I gotta say that old doesn’t always mean classic. 15k seems beyond the limit for a Ford P.O.S. no matter how few miles are on it. Call it new old stock.

    • We had a new 1979 Fiesta and it was kind to us. Very reliable with cheap interior finish…but very inexpensive ($4000). To me, it was worth the money

  2. Mine was a ‘76, I think, and was a daily driver that begged to be driven full throttle everywhere we went. It was the ‘S’ model. Had no trouble wit it but it was loud and rattled like an airport shuttle. Great little, simple car.

    • I would just go ahead and buy the coffin now. Hell, why not go ahead and lay down in it and get used to it. If you have an accident in this pos they eont be able to peal you out of it. Hunk a junk then, hunk a junk now. My brain cells perished just reading the OBIT on the car- G R O S S

  3. Value here has to be based on the use….as the intrinsic value is negligible. The actual collector car / desireability / etc factors virtually non-existent. That it is NOS on something that there is little if any wish for would only justify that all things shoved into storage and held for decades should go up in multiples of their original because they are old(er)….and that simply doesn’t hold. In fact, the opposite does generally….

    That said – someone someplace could well do a display of the Vega &/or Chevette (GM) , Gremlin (AMC), Omni/Horizon (Mopar), and of course Pinto (really the Ford car of the class, not the Fiesta here (which was much less common in the US and would be more correctly displayed with the likes of a Yugo)). So why they would pay that much for what is perhaps a great condition (for display) of a not very significant example of the genre makes no sense. It is not a labor of love car, nor a story car – in fact, it’s life was part of a display totally removed from an auto focus in a MEDICAL show!

  4. I had one i bought used to drive the 60 miles each way to work. It was ok, very easy to work on. I gave it to my 16 year old son as his first car and it served him well, of course he wanted my 1969 442 but the Fiesta kept him out of trouble. We nicknamed it "Bucky" because he had never driven a stick and it took him a while to learn how to use the clutch without the car bucking.

  5. I mean me and my friends would take it 100% without a doubt… but that’s to drive it around as a massive joke, we wouldn’t pay over 2,000 for it and that’s only because of how many miles are on it.


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