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The last Ford Fiesta will be produced next week

Fiesta faces the axe after 47 years in production

The final Ford Fiesta will roll off the production line next week.

Ford announced in October last year that it would be stopping the Fiesta in 2023, with the firm now confirming that the final examples will be produced on July 7. A Ford spokesman told the PA news agency that it would coincide with the annual summer shutdown at the firm’s factory in Cologne, Germany.

Autocar reports that Ford will keep hold of the final two Fiesta models produced, with one destined for Ford’s German outfit, and the other for Ford’s UK heritage car collection.

Photos: PA Media

The Ford Fiesta was introduced in 1976 at a time when there was a need for smaller, more efficient cars, and became an instant hit. It is the most popular car sold in the UK ever and was the best-selling vehicle for 12 consecutive years up until 2021. More than 22 million have been produced globally.

Despite Ford’s announcement last year, the Fiesta has continued to prove popular since.

The Cologne factory where the Fiesta is produced will be reworked to be able to start producing Ford’s new electric Explorer as the firm accelerates its EV efforts.

The Fiesta is the latest long-running nameplate to be discontinued by Ford. The firm axed the Mondeo in 2021, while earlier this year stopped producing its once-popular S-Max and Galaxy people carriers. The Focus will also end production in 2025.

Ford’s Puma crossover has taken over from the Fiesta. An electric version of the Puma is also set to be introduced in 2024.

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Reliant Regal from Only Fools and Horses sells for over €22k

Classic three-wheeler is believed to be one of the original half-dozen star cars.

A 1972 Reliant Regal believed to be one of only half a dozen ‘star cars’ to feature in the hit comedy show ‘Only Fools and Horses’ has sold for £19,350 (€22,507) at auction.

The Regal Supervan III was sold without reserve yet kept climbing when it went under the hammer, with many attending the Classic Car Auctions sale on June 17 keen to get their hands on the iconic three-wheeler.

The car in question came from a private collector who had owned it since 2021, though it had also been previously owned by John Mansfield from the BBC. The eye-catching yellow paintwork is present and correct, as is the iconic Trotters Independent Trading Company logo on the side.

Photos: PA Media

Classic Car Auctions says that the Regal underwent recent recommissioning works in preparation for the auction, with new tyres fitted and the braking system overhauled. Plus, the fuel system was completely checked through to ensure that it was in proper working order.

It came complete with roof rack, suitcase, fluffy dice and even an inflatable doll which made an appearance in Series 6 of Only Fools and Horses, during the second episode ‘Danger UXD’.

The interior also features leather seating and original wood finishing for the dashboard. With 97,000 miles on the clock, the Regal is just shy of the famous 100,000-mile marker for any classic car.

A number of other classics also jumped to high prices during the auction, including a 1990 Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth 4×4 which sold and a 1993 Toyota Supra.

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Auction of 20 classic Ferraris billed as ‘the ultimate barn find’ collection

All vehicles included will be offered without reserve.

A collection of 20 ‘barn find’ Ferrari models is set to go under the hammer in California this August.

‘The Lost and Found Collection’ offered by RM Sotheby’s will be presented in Monterey, California during Monterey Car Week on August 17 It’s a set of 20 cars found in Speedway, Arizona, having been left untouched for years.

However, despite their dusty home, some of the 20 models have featured in motoring’s greatest spectacles including races at Le Mans, the Targa Florio and the Mille Miglia. They had all been kept in a large warehouse until 2004’s hurricane Charley exposed the Ferraris to sunlight for the first time in over a decade when the building partly collapsed.

Though some of the cars were ‘bearing the scars of debris’, they were moved to a secure warehouse in Indianapolis where they have remained ever since.

Photos: PA Media

Rob Myers, RM Sotheby’s, said: “While a select group of Ferrari collectors knew about the existence of these extraordinary cars, the rest of the world remained unaware. This represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for enthusiasts to acquire these iconic Ferraris, some of which have participated in renowned races.

Most of these lost Ferraris remain untouched, preserving their purity and original condition since the day they were acquired—a true embodiment of the ‘barn find’ concept. It is the first time that RM Sotheby’s has presented a barn find collection of this magnitude to the market.”

Highlights include one of four 240 GT Coupes built by Pininfarina in 1956, a 1965 275 GTB/6C Alloy by Scaglietti which could fetch up to $2.5m (circa £1.98m) and a 1978 Ferrari 512 BB Competizione prepared for the 24 Hours of Le Mans of the same year. Raced as #87, the 512 BB managed a stint of 19 hours before it retired.

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Jaguar Classic harks back to first E-Type race winners with ZP collection

Collection of seven pairs of restored E-Types is inspired by 1961 race-winning cars.

Jaguar Classic is commemorating its E-Type’s first race win with a series of limited-run restored E-Types.

Seven pairs of the Project EP models will be created, with each duo consisting of one Oulton Blue drophead coupe inspired by the ‘ECD 400’ driven by Graham Hill and a Crystal Grey fixed-head coupe that draws inspiration from the one piloted by Roy Salvadori.

The original cars made their racing debut in April 1961, just a month after the production E-Type first took to the stage at the Geneva Motor Show. Just a month later, two E-Types took first and third positions in the Oulton Park Trophy for GT cars, sparking a considerable racing career for the lightweight model.

Each one gets Project ZP badging, as well as Bridge of Weir leather and an aluminium console engraved by artist Johnny ‘King Nerd’ Dowel. The ZP name also refers to the project name under which the first E-Types used in competition were built.

Photos: PA Media

Both cars use a 3.8-litre engine with 265bhp and an authentic 1961-style alloy radiator with an electric cooling fan and electronic ignition so that they can be enjoyed each and every day. There’s also a polished stainless steel exhaust system to give both a classic appearance and a characterful sound.

Each buyer will receive a matching Everoak helmet inspired by those used by the original drivers. Handmade by craftsman Bill Vero, they come in their own bags created by the in-house trimmers at Jaguar Classic.

Later on this year, Jaguar’s SV Bespoke team will release a run of limited-edition matching F-Types which take their inspiration from the ZP Collection.

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Aston Martin Works widens availability of new parts for classic models

Parts such as gearboxes, cylinder heads and engine blocks are manufactured to original specifications.

Owners of classic Aston Martin models can help replace key vehicle components with brand-new parts directly from the manufacturer through a new service.

Aston Martin Works has announced the release of a range of new components for some of its most iconic sports cars like the DB4, DB5 and DB6. Aston Martin also says that parts will be available for ‘certain’ V8 models from the 1960s and 70s.

Owners will be able to buy parts such as engine blocks, cylinder heads and gearboxes which have all been built to original manufacturer specifications. To do this, Aston Martin Works has invested in new tooling to help manufacture these parts, ensuring that owners can put their vehicles back to completely original specifications.

Photos: PA Media

Paul Spires, president of Aston Martin Works, explained: “Working with the exceptional engineers both here and at Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters, key parts suppliers were tasked with developing these new components.

“The heritage department at gearbox supplier ZF, for instance, was invaluable in helping to recreate original specification gearboxes – making these parts available for the first time since the early 1970s.”

The move ties in with Aston Martin’s continuation programme – which includes the DB4 G.T. and Goldfinger DB5 – which has required a steady stream of new components. As a result, owners can now fit out their cars with parts that have been produced to original factory specifications.

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These are the best restomod cars

There’s an increasing desire to modernise classic and iconic cars. We look at some of the best.

In previous times, if you wanted a classic car, you’d have had to put up with its foibles such as sometimes-sketchy reliability, annoying driving traits (poor brakes, for example) and lack of modern-day technology.

But in recent years there’s been an emergence of ‘restomods’. These are essentially classic cars that have been modernised to make them easier to drive and live with, sometimes gaining an electric powertrain, while others boast enhanced performance and greater technology. The choice of restomods is now extensive. Here we look at some of the best restomods created.

Photos: PA Media

Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer

Given the desirability and popularity of the Porsche 911 over its 60-year production run, it’s no surprise that this is a model ripe for a restomod, and there are a host of companies out there that specialise in this. But leading the charge is California-based Singer Vehicle Design.

Renowned for the complete re-engineering of Porsche’s classic models, these classic 911s are famed for the way they drive, with Singer working with the best firms and suppliers to create the ‘ultimate’ Porsche 911. They unsurprisingly don’t come cheap.

Prodrive P25

There are few more famous rally cars than the Subaru Impreza, which was hugely successful in the World Rally Championship (WRC) in the late ‘90s and early noughties. Behind the Impreza’s domination was Banbury-based engineering specialists Prodrive.

To mark 25 years of one of Subaru’s iconic rally cars, Prodrive has now created the P25 which ‘reimagines what the car would have been like today’. Limited to just 25 units, each uses a original two-door Impreza WRX chassis as its core, but has been made lighter, more powerful and better to drive. The first cars are expected to be delivered later this year.

Jaguar XK120 by Lunaz

With environmental concerns increasingly on many people’s minds, there’s been demand for classic cars to be modernised with zero-emissions electric powertrains. One firm that’s right at the forefront of this is Lunaz, based close to the Silverstone racing circuit in Northamptonshire.

Lunaz calls them ‘upcycled electric vehicles’, with the firm modernising classics from the likes of Bentley, Rolls-Royce and the stunning 1950s Jaguar XK120 we’re focusing on here. David Beckham even gifted his son Brooklyn one as a wedding present. Lunaz doesn’t only just fit an EV powertrain and leave it at that, but also integrates the latest technologies and reworks the driving dynamics.

Aston Martin Callum Vanquish 25 by R-Reforged

Ian Callum is one of the most famous British car designers, with famous hits including the Ford Escort RS Cosworth and the Jaguar F-Type. Another of his ‘classic’ designs was the original Aston Martin Vanquish, which was introduced in 2001 as the brand’s then-flagship model.

But as good as the Vanquish was when new, there’s always room for improvement, and that was exactly what Ian Callum did in 2020, alongside R-Reforged, by modernising his classic design. Limited to just 25 examples, the ‘new’ Vanquish sits lower, has bigger wheels and a wider track among the many mechanical changes.

Peugeot 205 GTI by Tolman Engineering

The sheer breadth of the restomodding scene is huge, and even funnels down to more ‘normal’ models such as the Peugeot 205 GTI. One of the most well-regarded hot hatches in history, Warwickshire-based Tolman Engineering has set out to modernise it with improved performance and more present-day convenience features.

Getting a significant boost in power from 128bhp to ‘in excess of 200bhp’, Tolman offers a host of upgrades that can improve this 1980s hot hatch, as well as carrying out full body and mechanical restoration.

Land Rover Defender Works V8

It’s not just independent companies that like to set about modernising their past icons, but also the manufacturers themselves. That’s the case with Land Rover, which tasked its ‘Classic’ division with creating the Defender Works V8 to mark the British brand’s 70th anniversary in 2018, a few years after production of the model ended.

Limited to 150 units, Land Rover fitted its modern 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine under the bonnet of its 4×4, putting out nearly 400bhp and letting this quite unremarkable looking car to accelerate from 0-60mph in just 5.6 seconds.

Lancia Delta Futurista by Automobili Amos

Another past rally icon is the Lancia Delta, which spawned from when the brand was in its prime of motorsport and performance models – a space Lancia hasn’t competed in for many years. But there are still very loyal fans that are happy to pay for a Delta Integrale from the 1990s.

You can’t therefore blame Italian firm Automobili Amos for wanting to reinvent the Delta, and that’s just what it’s done with the Futurista. Limited to just 20 units, it starts with an original donor car, but reworks it into a two-door car, while using a host of carbon-fibre elements to bring the weight down.

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David Beckham’s Ferrari 360 Spider goes on sale

Footballer owned the drop-top supercar in the early 2000s

A Ferrari 360 Spider once owned by former professional footballer David Beckham has gone on sale online.

The Spider was owned by Beckham in the early 2000s, around the same time that the footballer’s then-club Manchester United won the 2002-03 Premier League title. It was also around the same time that Beckham was awarded an OBE.

The car is currently on sale via automotive marketplace PistonHeads.

Though Beckham had kitted the 360 Spider out with a ‘D7 DVB’ private registration, the Ferrari is now back on its time-correct Y plate. It has also covered just 7,900 miles since 2001 while its owner says that it is accompanied by an ‘extensive’ service history, with major cambelt work completed routinely.

David Beckham’s Ferrari 360 Spider

Matt Bird, deputy editor of PistonHeads, said: “The condition, the mileage, and an A-list history makes this one of the more special 360s out there.

“Even those not so interested in the football link, and simply after one of the best Modenas out there, would struggle to do much better. And for those that are, what a story you’ll have to tell when someone asks about your Ferrari.”

The 360 Spider also incorporates Challenge Stradale-style wheels – similar to some of Ferrari’s racing production cars – alongside a Tubi exhaust and lightweight carbon seats.

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Hyundai to rebuild legendary Pony Coupe Concept

Original concept influenced many of the brand’s vehicles.

Hyundai has announced that it will rebuild the iconic Pony Coupe Concept originally created for the 1974 Turin Motor Show.

Working with Italian design firm GFG Style, the rebuilt concept looks set for a full reveal in the spring.

GFG Style is headed up by father and son founders Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro, the former of which helped to create the original concept back in 1974. At the time, Hyundai contacted Giugiaro with a proposition to design the firm’s first independent model. Giugiaro was commissioned to create blueprints and build five concepts, one of which was a coupe.

Luc Donckerwolke, chief creative officer of Hyundai Motor Group, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Giorgetto and Fabrizio to Seoul for this rare occasion and we look forward to collaborating with them and GFG Style on this extraordinary design project.

“Not only does this project hold historical value, but it also represents a cross-cultural exchange that could pave the way for more collaborations down the road.”

Photos: PA Media

Debuting with its eye-catching wedge design, the Pony Coupe was originally destined for North American and European markets but was halted in 1981 prior to mass production because of an ‘adverse global economic environment’, according to Hyundai.

The Pony Coupe Concept remained an ‘unfinished dream’ according to the firm, but it helped to inspire the design of Hyundai’s later Pony model which was sold from 1975 to 1990.

Giorgetto Giugiaro said: “I designed the Hyundai Pony when I was still a young designer at the start of my career. I felt very proud that I was in charge of creating a vehicle for a company and country that was about to take on a fiercely competitive global market.

“Now, I’m deeply honored that Hyundai has asked me to rebuild it for posterity and as a celebration of the brand’s heritage.”

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The history of the Ford Fiesta

After almost five decades on sale, Ford’s Fiesta is being discontinued in 2023.

The Ford Fiesta holds a rather special and important place in British automotive history. Thousands have learned to drive in a Fiesta, before going on to buy one as a first car, family car, fun car – we could go on. There have been more than 22 million produced in factories around the world.

Despite still being a popular choice, Ford has now announced that production of the supermini will finish before the end of June 2023, after 47 continuous years of sale. Let’s take a look at the history of the iconic Ford Fiesta.

The Ford Fiesta was engineered to be as fuel-efficient as possible. Photos: PA Media

Fiesta I (1976-1983)

It was 50 years when Ford began working on the car that would become to be known as the Fiesta. Designed as a ‘small car for the world’, the 1973 oil crisis added urgency to the need for an affordable, efficient model.

The Fiesta name was chosen in 1975 by Henry Ford II in celebration of the brand’s connection with Spain – the model would be produced in Valencia, along with Saarlouis, Germany, and also in Dagenham, near London.

The Fiesta was officially launched in 1976, and became an instant hit – Ford clocked up a million sales by 1979. In 1981 the XR2 was the first Fiesta hot hatch, establishing a trend that remains to this day.

The Fiesta XR2 injected extra sportiness into the model.

Fiesta II (1983-1989)

Though there might not look to be a huge difference between the first and second Fiesta, this newer Ford was larger and more fuel-efficient.

New engines were introduced – including a 1.6-litre diesel, while the revised XR2 in 1984 brought improved suspension and brakes. An automatic transmission was launched for the first time in 1987.

The Fiesta III saw the arrival of various hot hatches, including the RS Turbo pictured.

Fiesta III (1989-1996)

The Fiesta III represented a more major change in design and took the push for efficiency further with new engines designed to meet European emissions standards.

This was the generation with all the hot hatches, with Ford initially launching the XR2i with a new 1.6-litre petrol engine, before following it up in 1990 with the substantially quicker Fiesta RS Turbo in 1990. A Fiesta RS 1800 hot hatch followed, with this model getting a 16-valve 1.8-litre petrol engine.

Fiesta IV (1996-1999)

The Fiesta IV arrived in 1996 with a far more rounded shape than its predecessor, getting a more aerodynamic shape to enhance fuel economy further. A raft of new engines was introduced, while this Fiesta served as the basis for the sporty Puma coupe, which was launched in 1997.

The Fiesta V was only on sale for a short number of years.

Fiesta V (1999 -2001)

The arrival of the fifth Fiesta really proved to be little more than a mid-life facelift. Arriving just three years after its predecessor went on sale – and replaced just two years later – it also saw the introduction of the Fiesta Sport as a racier version.

The Fiesta Mk6 adopted a boxier design than its predecessors.

Fiesta VI (2001-2008)

The previous three generations of Fiesta models were all largely quite similar, so the arrival of the Fiesta VI proved a big step forward. Getting a boxer design than its predecessors, a range of new engines was launched. It also proved to be fantastic to drive, and helped to develop the model’s reputation for being a fun driver’s car.

In 2005, Ford introduced a new Fiesta ST. With 148bhp on tap, it was the most powerful Fiesta to date. Ford marked three decades of the Fiesta with a Zetec S 30th Anniversary edition, finished in a bright Radian Yellow and with a chequered roof.

The Fiesta Mk7 features a much more modern design.

Fiesta VII (2008-2012)

A much more rounded Fiesta was introduced as the next-generation car in 2008. The design was slightly softer, with Ford having a target to appeal to more female buyers with the model.

The Fiesta Mk8 saw the introduction of the fantastic ST hot hatch.

Fiesta VIII (2012-2017)

While little more than a mid-life update, Ford moved to call this reworked model the Fiesta VII. Introduced in 2012, it brought a sleeker design, and more technology (including a ‘MyKey’ feature that allowed parents to program a speed limiter when their children were driving their car).

Ford also introduced its clever new EcoBoost petrol engines, while in 2013 the 180bhp Fiesta ST was introduced – this being widely considered one of the best hot hatches ever made. This model would develop into the Fiesta ST200 – a limited-run special came painted in a unique Storm Grey colour, and saw a power increase to 197bhp.

Ford introduced a range of new versions to expand the latest Fiesta’s appeal, including rugged Active models, pictured.

Fiesta IX (2017-2023)

The most recent generation of Fiesta to launch is the ninth iteration – arriving in 2017 as a smarter, more high-tech model. It was available with an extensive choice of trim levels, including a more luxurious Vignale grade and a rugged-looking Active trim. These ensured the model’s continued popularity as tastes evolved.

The 197bhp Fiesta ST would arrive in 2018, though this time bringing a three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine, though it still delivered a highly entertaining driving experience. The model was updated in 2021, gaining a reworked front end, new technology and mild-hybrid technology to boost performance and efficiency. Fiesta production will continue until the end of June 2023 at the latest.

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