TF News - Healey Fiesta Comes To Europe - Ford Fiesta Mk1 / Mk2 / Mk3 Forum - (1976-1995) - TalkFord.com

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TF News - Healey Fiesta Comes To Europe


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#1 Nick

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 10:26 AM

The Ford Fiesta Healey was a collaboration between Ford USA, Ford Europe and Healey. Gary Kohs of Michigan founded the "Marketing Corporation of America" in 1966, with Ford being one of his main clients. He had the idea of promoting the Fiesta through an association with Healey, to produce a Healey Fiesta based on the US specification car built in the Saarlouis factory.

The car they chose to use was based on the US 1600cc version which at the time wasn't available in Europe until 1981 with the arrival of the Mk1 XR2. This 1600 was restricted to 66bhp under US smog regulations, and the idea was to get Healey Consultants to modify it to compete with the Mini Cooper at the time. Gary Kohs purchased from Ford USA a Diamond White standard model and shipped it to Healey Consulatants at Barford, Warwickshire between 1978 and 1979.

The car underwent major modifications. It was stripped and repainted in British Racing Green with yellow pin striping, but not before the bodywork was given some major panel beating, flaring the four wheel arches in steel to accommodate the 6" minilite alloy wheels, a major air dam fitted to the front, and the interior stripped out and a roll cage fitted to the rear seat section and the spare mounted in the rear.

Front racing seats, modified suspension and dashboard together with major engine changes carried out by Broadspeed, the then leading Ford Escort and Mexico race/rally specialists.

Gary Kohs not only visited Barford to oversee the project, but he attended a whole years worth of National Motor Shows in New York, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles, where the vehicle was fitted with trade plates to get around the LA smog emission controls so that Tony Hogg of Road and Track could road test the car and really put it through its paces. The write-up was very positive and the Healey Fiesta featured in the August 1979 edition of Road and Track can still be bought on Ebay.

A 24 page brochure will be available from World Wide Austin Healeys (http://www.wwah.org) with all the reprints and factory photos and information at the time on both the Healey Fiesta and the Healey Escort, of which this will enable the Museum to finance the shipping from the USA to Holland and back.

Details of the Museum can be found at http://www.healeymuseum.nl

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