If you've never owned a Ford Fiesta, you may not fully grasp the following story. But give it a try.
In the autumn of 1978, I was living in Pennsylvania and working as an editor of a suburban Philadelphia newspaper. When I reluctantly sold my old car at the time, I thought I'd regret the decision. But I didn't.
My girlfriend at the time, let's call her Jody, said I'd look very jaunty behind the wheel of a new European-built Ford Fiesta. I took her devious bait. Who doesn't want to look jaunty behind the wheel? Well, it was 1978 after all and I was just out of college and madly in love.
In the late 1970s, Ford USA was importing its zippy Fiesta from its trendsetting Fordwerks facility in Germany. This reliable first world car was a hit with drivers all over Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. What the heck. I'd give it a test drive.
Jody and I visited a local Ford dealer and I ended up driving home my first of many Fords-a new, yellow 1979 Fiesta we dubbed "Feisty". I also drove home my first car-loan payment book, too. The newspaper didn't pay me much of a salary and the monthly car payments seemed a lot. But that was 32 years ago. But come to think of it, times haven't changed all that much, if you get my drift.
This writer wasn't the only person bitten by the Ford Fiesta bug.
I later learned that other Fiesta owners had a habit of Christening their vehicles with cute little names-so I guess I wasn't the only Fiesta fop during the '70s. Ford Fiesta flummery had been contagious. And we all loved it.
With that said, here's a very trendy Vermont couple the heart of this Ford Fiesta story-
Way back in 1979, a young couple, Larry and Marguerite Senecal of Vergennes, Vt., were traveling America's backroads in a 1979 Ford Fiesta, just like me. And they called their orange Fiesta "The Pumpkin" (see photo).
Sadly, Ford discontinued production of the popular, original, boxy Fiesta in 1980. A lot of Fiesta owners. like me, hung on to their cars for a few more years but snappier vehicles came a long to woo us. We all moved on. But like the Senecals and me, we never forgot our fond Fiestas.
Now 31 years and several Ford automobiles later, the Senecals discovered that the Ford Motor Company was going to bring back the Fiesta-zippy engine, jaunty European styling, sunny Spanish name, and all.
The new Fiesta, the couple learned, is somewhat similar to its earlier incarnation-an American-European engineered vehicle in the sub-compact category. Another great world car.
To some folks, like me, the new Fiesta looks a lot like the bestselling Ford Focus-not a bad thing, mind you, but the old Fiesta was a foxy box. And I happen to like my vehicles boxy. So call me retro.
Anyhow, during a visit to Formula Ford Lincoln Mercury in Rutland, Larry Senecal got a sneak peek at an advance photo of the new Ford Fiesta. He immediately placed an order for the first Fiesta available in the Green Mountain State. The rest is Vermont auto history.
The Senecals are now the first Vermont residents to own a brand-spanking new Ford Fiesta. They even christened it "Grasshopper" (see photo). Now how cool is that?
A few parting words: My wife and I will be in the market next year. And I've been wondering-how does "Felix" sound for the baby's name? I guess I'll have to hand out cigars, eh?