Restored 1977 Ford Fiesta 1300S Mk1 with Series X front and rear spoilers and wheelarch extensions

Restored 1977 Ford Fiesta 1300S Mk1 with Series X front and rear spoilers and wheelarch extensions

When Paul Edmondson bought this Fiesta 1300S new back in 1979, little did he know just how rare it would become, especially as it was dealer-fitted with Ford’s Series X goodies...

Words and Photos Jon Cass



Restored Mk1 packed with Series X goodies

Very rarely do we come across a oneowner car that’s had a full, flawless restoration carried out by its original keeper, but amazingly it does sometimes happen. When Paul Edmondson bought his Fiesta 1300S brand new in 1979, little did he know how much attention it would receive all these years later.

Restored 1977 Ford Fiesta 1300S Mk1 with Series X front and rear spoilers and wheelarch extensions

When we think of sporting Mk1 Fiestas, it’s the XR2 or Supersport that often come to mind first, but there was another lesser-known model that predates both of these. The Fiesta 1100S was the first to come out of the starting blocks, but with just 53 bhp available it wasn’t to great acclaim. By the late 1970s, the buying public expected more performance from a small hatchback with sporting pretensions and Ford’s answer was the 1300S. With an extra 13 bhp on tap thanks to the 1298cc pushrod Kent engine and twin-choke Weber carb, along with stiffer suspension and an uprated anti-roll bar and brakes, this was enough to justify the S badge and keep buyers happy — for a while at least!


Restored 1977 Ford Fiesta 1300S Mk1 with Series X front and rear spoilers and wheelarch extensions

Back in 1979, Paul Edmondson was working as a technician at his local Polar Ford dealership and was in the perfect position to see the new Fiesta 1300S close up shortly after its launch. “I liked the styling and was impressed by how the car drove,” Paul recalls, “I decided to order one in the very bright Signal Orange.” We all moan quite rightfully about inflation in these times and when you consider Paul paid £3346.42 for his Fiesta 1300S, you could say that figure is just a depressing reminder! Paul sensibly had the car Ziebarted from the showroom and for the first six months, he remained content with his standard 1300S.

Quick change

While a standard Fiesta 1300S benefitted from a few sporting characteristics, aside from the prominent decals, the exterior remained similar to every cooking version of a Mk1 Fiesta out there. “I was keen for mine to stand out from the crowd so after a few months of ownership, I purchased a brand-new set of Revolution four-spoke wheels which I then fitted,” Paul tells us.

Restored 1977 Ford Fiesta 1300S Mk1 with Series X front and rear spoilers and wheelarch extensions

Back in 1979 in a pre-Supersport era, those four-spoke rims would have ensured Paul’s 1300S would have been a real eyecatcher for sure, but he was keen to take things further. “I bought and fitted X-pack front and rear spoilers and wheelarch extensions,” Paul recalls, “and the extensions meant the Revolution wheels sat flush within the arches.” The next change focused on the bumpers and while some may question Paul’s decision to replace the standard 1300S black bumpers with chrome as found on Ghia models, we reckon they work really well.

By now, Paul’s Mk1 would have gotten him noticed wherever he drove it and you could say his choice of styling mods contain a distinct nod towards the forthcoming Supersport model which would appear in 1981 which is no bad thing. Paul continued to use and maintain his 1300S right up until 1997, a time when many early Mk1s would have already met their fate.

“It had served me well, but was beginning to look tired and I parked it up in my garage,” he smiles, “and there it stayed for another 13 years.”

Rebuild time

By 2010, Mk1 Fiestas had become a very rare sight on our roads and already they were beginning to reach classic status. As Paul had already owned his 1300S for over 30 years and had no plans to sell, he wisely decided now was the time to begin a painstaking restoration with the help of his son James and wife, Maureen.

Restored 1977 Ford Fiesta 1300S Mk1 with Series X front and rear spoilers and wheelarch extensions

Paul began by stripping down the shell to assess which parts he’d need. Working at Polar Ford, he was already aware Mk1 Fiestas had a tendency to rust and armed with that foresight, he’d purchased a pair of genuine brand-new wings back in 1991 along with a front panel. “I’m so glad I bought them back then as they cost pennies compared to today’s prices, “ Paul laughs, “I think I’d struggle to find these parts at all now.” Both inner wings and the boot floor put Paul’s welding skills to the test while the shell was placed on a rollover jig in his garage. The remainder of the shell had survived surprisingly well, and all remaining panels remained salvageable. “I repainted the underside in my garage at home,” Paul says, “but I left the rest of the paintwork to the professionals.” We must point out the standard of finish in the fresh Signal Orange paint here has been completed to an impeccably high standard and is flawless throughout.


“I chose to use my local bodyshop, Mark Walker at MW Bodyworks in Elvington,” Paul adds, “and they’ve done a fantastic job.” Once recreations of the original decals had been applied along with the X-pack kit and extended arches, the exterior had returned to just how Paul remembered it all those years ago, if not better!

Restored 1977 Ford Fiesta 1300S Mk1 with Series X front and rear spoilers and wheelarch extensions

Meanwhile, all the removed components including the rear beam and gearbox were cleaned and repainted along with the rest of the ancillaries. “The gearbox was fine and hasn’t been touched internally at all,” Paul points out, “I just had to replace the oil.”

While many of us may have been tempted to lower the ride height at this stage, Paul was keen to resurrect this car in its familiar form, just as it had been 30 years previously. That meant retaining the standard 1300S adjustable dampers, stiffer front springs and 14 mm anti-roll bar which have all been replaced with new standard parts.

Restored 1977 Ford Fiesta 1300S Mk1 with Series X front and rear spoilers and wheelarch extensions

The 1298cc Kent engine is essentially the same as that found in the Escort 1300 Sport, but with a smaller inlet and exhaust manifold differences, it produces a little less power than the larger car. There would be no chance of a Zetec conversion taking place here and once Paul stripped the original unit, he assessed only the pistons rings, timing chain and oil pump required replacement. Paul then proceeded to overhaul the remainder of the ancillaries and after a well overdue service, the 1300 Kent engine fired into smoke-free life without a hitch.

Clean inside

Fortunately, the interior had survived the ravages of time well and the majority of the trim along with those plush black fabric seats with their grey chevroned pattern came up well after a good clean. You may have spotted those front headrests which were added by Paul around the same time the Series X kit was fitted. “The trickiest part was having to track down certain switches as the originals had faded in the sun,” Paul points out, “after a lot of time and effort I managed to find some though.” Other than the Sharp radio cassette and Pioneer speakers which were popular aftermarket upgrades back in the day, Paul has managed to ensure the interior remains faithful to factory specification. And let’s face it, when you’ve spent most of your time driving around with certain upgrades on board in a particular car, it would seem a shame to remove them.

Restored 1977 Ford Fiesta 1300S Mk1 with Series X interior

In total, the restoration took a whole eight years though surprisingly, it wasn’t until Autumn 2022 that Paul decided to take his 1300S to a show. “It grabbed a lot of attention,” he smiles, “a lot of people were amazed I’d owned the car from new.” Paul has also wisely kept all the Fiesta’s receipts and paperwork since he first bought the car, even down to the 1979 sales brochure that quite probably prompted him to buy a 1300S in the first place.

As survivors go, this rare one-owner Mk1 Fiesta complete with all its period modifications must surely rank as a one-off.

Tech Spec

  • Body 1977 Ford Fiesta 1300S, Series X Mk1 front and rear spoilers and wheelarch extensions,
  • Ghia chrome front and rear bumpers.
  • Paint: Signal Orange
  • Engine 1298cc Kent Crossflow engine, compression ratio 9.2:1, twin-choke Weber carburettor
  • Transmission BC four-speed ’box
  • Suspension Front: standard 1300S adjustable dampers and stiffer springs. / Rear: standard 1300S adjustable dampers and stiffer springs, 14 mm anti roll bar
  • Brakes Servo-assisted front disc brakes and rear drums
  • Wheels and tyres Revolution 6x12 inch four-spoke wheels, 175/70R12 tyres
  • Interior Standard 1300S with black and grey fabric upholstery, matching headrests
  • Thanks Mark Walker at MW Bodyworks (01904 607788), and my son, James, and wife Maureen

It’s easy to forget that most Mk1 Fiestas came with 12 inch wheels from the factory, so Paul’s choice of 6x12 inch Revolutions made perfect sense back in the day. At least the spare fits in the wheel well! Although Paul finished the rebuild a couple of years ago, it was only last summer he began to show the car and has been surprised by the positive reaction. We’re not!

The 1300 Crossflow engine was given a light rebuild by Paul. The attention to detail and level of finish in the engine bay are spot-on — far better than from the factory!


So what was Series X? Purely cosmetic body addenda? Rally-inspired engine upgrades? Handling packs? In reality, it was a bit of everything. This is how Ford’s press release floated its new enterprise in August 1977: “First there were the RS Parts, now there’s Series X — a logical and safe packaging of Ford performance and cosmetic accessories. With Series X, the customer decides in which area (or areas) the car requires improvement — handling, brakes, appearance — and Ford fits the necessary kit of parts...”

At launch, the parts were available for the Mk2 Escort, Mk2 Capri, Mk4 Cortina and of course, the Mk1 Fiesta, with the launch flyer for the Fiesta detailing the goodies available as follows:

Two different Body Option kits: Body Option A: 7-inch alloys and 205/60 tyres, polyurethane wheel-arch extensions and front air-dam Body Option B: 6-inch alloys and 185/60 tyres. No wheel-arch extensions, but air-dam availableReclining front seatsLarge-diameter front discsEngine tune-up kit (1300cc) offering 20 per cent more than standardComplete 1.6-litre engine to replace the 1.3-litreUnfortunately, the X-pack phenomenon didn’t last long. After the second Energy Crisis of 1979-1980, much of the fizz seeped out of motoring for a time. Ford tried X-packs on the Mk3 Escort, but not for long, and Ford dealerships lost interest when the RS badge was temporarily killed off, so the X-packs were put into the nostalgia cupboard. Time for a revival?

Bought new in 1979, the 1300S was Paul’s daily for 31 years but regular use had taken its toll.

The Fiesta had been dry-stored for 13 years and was crying out for some attention to its bodywork. The worst of the corrosion was found in the front wings, luckily Paul had bought a pair in the 1990s. Repairs complete, Paul painted the underside himself but entrusted the rest to a local bodyshop. Fresh Signal Orange applied, Paul could then refit the interior — almost all of it was reusable.

Restored 1977 Ford Fiesta 1300S Mk1 with Series X front and rear spoilers and wheelarch extensions


Interior came up like new after a good clean. Sharp radio/cassette (below) was top-notch back in the day...Having owned the car for so long, Paul’s amassed a huge history file.


At its launch, the Fiesta 1300S arrived to a lukewarm reception, but in reality, it was just a lukewarm hatch. While some of its rivals were quicker off the mark and notably cheaper, the 1300S did at least receive praise for its excellent roadholding, cornering, and braking. That’s part thanks to those adjustable dampers, stiffer springs, equal length drive shafts and servo assisted discdrum brakes. The 1298cc Kent engine with 66 bhp was never going to set the world on fire, but with a top speed of 96 mph and 0-60 achievable in 13 seconds, it was certainly quicker than most other small hatchbacks on sale at the time. Those eye-catching graphics and black bumpers meant it looked the part too, though Paul soon decided to take things up a notch with his own example. You could say his decision to fit Series X spoilers, extended wheel arches and Revolution four-spoke alloys back in 1979 pointed towards what was about to come, when it came to hot Fiestas at least.

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