Home » This Wild Half-Size Ford Fiesta Is Definitely Not A Photoshop

This Wild Half-Size Ford Fiesta Is Definitely Not A Photoshop

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Last year, a Reddit user hoisted photos of a headache-inducing Ford Fiesta onto the pages of Awful Taste But Great Execution. This 2011 Ford Fiesta looks like it was snapped together in Photoshop by a bored student, but it is real, it is silly, and oh yeah, you can buy it! The car also has a short story behind why it’s so tiny, too.

This lovely creation was sent to us by Adam K and you can find the car for sale in Richland, Washington for $5,100. I’ve been wondering about this car since I saw it on the internet last year. Many years ago, there were memes showing sports cars, SUVs, and exotics squished into the size of a Smart Fortwo. Some of the captions with those images even claimed that they were body kits. As I wrote recently, almost all of those were just Photoshops and the body kits didn’t exist. Every once in a while, a creation materializes that reminds me of those old memes and this scrunched up Fiesta is one of them. But this isn’t a shortened Fiesta body on a Smart’s pan; it’s legitimately a Fiesta with a whole chunk missing!

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A Little Fiesta Primer

The Ford Fiesta has always had a bit of a sad run here in America. As Ford writes, the origins of the Fiesta trace back to the BMC Mini. Launched in 1959, the Mini was a marvel of engineering. It was an economical car that didn’t just slide into the smallest of spaces but did so economically while still being able to carry occupants in its somewhat spacious cabin.

Fast-forward to the early 1970s and, as Ford notes, other automakers wanted to replicate the success of the Mini, resulting in a number of competitors. The little cutie had to go up against the Autobianchi A112, the Fiat 127, the Honda Civic CVCC, the Renault 5, and more. Cars like these weren’t hot in America, at least, not at first. As fuel prices spiked in the 1970s, small cars became popular. Ford notes that it had the Pinto, but it needed something even better to fight high fuel costs.

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In 1972, Ford recognized the need for a really small car and greenlit the Bobcat project. Ford continues:

The development job was handed to Ford’s Italian design subsidiary Ghia, this specific project assigned to the late Tom Tjaarda, he of DeTomaso Pantera, Deauville, and Longchamp note, plus a handful of Ferrari designs while at Pininfarina. Tjaarda was an American expat born in Michigan with an interesting Ford connection. Tjaarda’s father, John, was the principal designer of the original Lincoln Zephyr of the 1930’s.

Tom’s design for the Bobcat project, headed up by Lee Iacocca’s special assistant and product guru Hal Sperlich, clearly had the Fiat 127 and Honda Civic in its sites, but was innovative in several ways. Based on a 90-inch wheelbase, the car that became the Ford Fiesta had a relatively low coefficient of drag, with its trim nose, aerodynamically shaped grille bars, and slight kick up at the rear of the roofline. Although the Fiesta would later be offered in 5-door hatchback models, it was initially served only as a 3-door.

The original Fiesta was built to maximize space while minimizing fuel consumption. Tjaarda and the design team focused on slicing weight from the vehicle and making the engine bay as tiny as possible so that the cabin could be as large as possible. The little Ford was also a classic example of designers pushing wheels out to the corners to create even more interior room while reducing overhangs. This was a car that wasn’t fast but weighed in at under 1,700 pounds, and the engineering that made the Fiesta a good economy car also made it fun to drive.

2011 Ford Fiesta Review Car And
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Sadly, America would never see the Fiesta for most of its existence. We got the first Fiesta between the 1977 and 1980 model years, then the car became a forbidden fruit. It would be another 31 model years before the Fiesta came back to America, in 2011. Then in its sixth generation, the Fiesta returned during another trying time. The original Fiesta got people through after the infamous Oil Crisis of 1973. Now, the new one rode Americans through after the Great Recession.

This Fiesta

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Now, here’s where things get weird. The Fiesta was available in a number of body styles from a four-door hatch and a panel van to a two-door hatch and a sedan. We got the sedan and the four-door hatch, but not the other variants. The Fiesta was solidly a supermini or B-segment car, or put in easier terms, a larger car than an A-segment Fiat 500 or a Smart Fortwo.

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You would think, then, if you wanted a car smaller than a Fiesta, you’d just get a Fiat 500 Abarth or something. Not so for the person who built this car. According to the seller, 11 years ago, the owner of a bus motorhome conversion wanted a vehicle to tow behind their rig. Now, again, they could have just chosen something like a Smart Fortwo, which remains a popular choice among owners of Class C and Class A coaches.

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Instead, the RV owner found this Fiesta with a salvage title and then chopped off an entire three feet of length from the vehicle. Out of the other end came perhaps the ultimate vehicle to tow behind a motorhome. This Fiesta is crazy small and lightweight. It’s the kind of vehicle you pull behind your camper and only rarely notice it back there. A stock Fiesta hatch is about 13 feet long. This one is a puny 10 feet. That’s still longer than a Smart’s 8.8 feet, but almost two feet shorter than a Fiat 500.

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Due to this vehicle’s apparent crash history, it doesn’t have functional airbags. As you could expect, removing the entire center section from a Fiesta also means the car’s ABS and traction control systems are not happy. That said, you do get a manual transmission in this custom go kart. Looking at the interior pictures, it appears that the rear seats are now the only seats. That makes this car a two-seater, but maybe three if you’re a masochist?

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Power comes from a 1.6-liter four making 120 HP and 112 lb-ft torque. This is a car that, when stock, took about 9.5 seconds to reach 60 mph. I’d imagine the car can probably do the job a bit quicker now, if you dare to take such a tiny Fiesta to such speeds. The weight loss didn’t seem to change fuel economy much as the seller notes that it gets 31.7 MPG around town.

Perhaps the most impressive part about this is the fact that the car was driven over 50,000 miles like this. The seller says the modifications were done when the car had just 7,000 miles on its odometer. Now it has around 59,300 miles.

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I reached out to the seller for more information, but a comment on a Jalopnik piece last year hints at how this thing was created. A reader there claims that the builder owned a body shop and loved shortened vehicles. Before retirement, the man created this to tow behind a motorhome. Given the quality of this build, I believe it. This doesn’t look like something hacked together in a garage by a drunken participant of the Gambler 500. It looks like someone took the time to make it work.

If you want it, I have great news. This 2011 Ford Fiesta is for sale on Craigslist for $5,100 in Richland, Washington. Maybe I’ve gotten used to crazy used car prices, but this doesn’t seem bad for such a unique vehicle? Honestly, I’d be a buyer for this wild creation if it weren’t for the salvage title. Salvage vehicles cannot be registered in my state and something tells me it wouldn’t pass inspection for a rebuilt title.

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Fiesta 2

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So, one of you should buy this thing. Put big tires on it, rallycross it, or see if you can do a stoppie. Someone has to keep this car out there, looking like Photoshop, but in real life.

(Images: Seller, unless otherwise noted.)

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Jbavi
Jbavi
1 year ago

Put a penny in the back and it will pop mad wheelies!!!

Velo
Velo
1 year ago

Reminds me of the RollGolf! Somebody buy it and turn it into the RollFiesta! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tvt1-RjWws0

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
1 year ago

I’m surprised the Golf/Rabbit wasn’t mentioned as one of the target competitors.

Copperpot
Copperpot
1 year ago

The Golf/Rabbit is a size-up; the comparable car in the Ford lineup would be the Focus (or the Escort, at the time the Fiesta was first built). The VW competitor to the Fiesta is the Polo, or its Seat Ibiza and Skôda Fabia siblings.

ScottyB
ScottyB
1 year ago

Almost a Hornet-to-Gremlin situation that could have been cute but that hatch to roof transition is jarring as hell. Hysterically in this new configuration, the lights/side markers make up nearly a third of the length.

Super fun too see though!

Last edited 1 year ago by ScottyB
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

Nope, nope and.. manual Fiesta you say.. yup.

SonOfLP500
SonOfLP500
1 year ago

Shout out for the calming presence of that Mk1 Fiesta, and for the designer of those steelies.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 year ago

Is this a true pint-sized car or one of those shrinkflation 11-ounce rip-off’s like we get in the ice cream case these days?

Toecutter
Toecutter
1 year ago

So, one of you should buy this thing. Put big tires on it, rallycross it, or see if you can do a stoppie.

Hayabusa swap that shit.

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
1 year ago
Reply to  Toecutter

FiST bits would prolly be easier, and adequately terrifying in that thing.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 year ago

FWD vehicles should have short wheelbases. Understeer is preferable in a SWB vehicle most of the time and the SWB compensates for the lack of steering angle one can have with a FWD drivetrain allowing for a small turning circle.

While this one doesn’t look right I usually love super short wheelbase cars.

They did a great job with the shortening though.

Carlos Gomez
Carlos Gomez
1 year ago

Just my two cents:
A french engineer tried something similar with a Renault around 60 years ago, with , as expected, same results.
The original Ka (first gen) platform was literally a cut-up old Fiesta platform, as a clever way to appease beancounters in the ever-so-money-tight A-segment.

Phuzz
Phuzz
1 year ago
Reply to  Carlos Gomez

The Ford Puma (a tiny coupe, not the silly crossover thing they’re selling now) was based on a Fiesta chassis too.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
1 year ago

That first-gen Fiesta has the same wheelbase as the Shelby Cobra and the original Toyota Land Cruiser, both of which have full reproduction/kit chassis available on the aftermarket, including modernized versions with improved handling and performance characteristics.

Do with this information what you will. I for one dream of “Ford Siesta” sleeper builds…

JC 06Z33
JC 06Z33
1 year ago

Without anything like a human in these pictures for scale, this is really messing with my head and at first, I thought it had also been narrowed. It looks like one of those car caricatures brought to life.

Boris Berkovich
Boris Berkovich
1 year ago

This is the poster child for awful taste but great execution.

I want to hate it but someone put some much time and effort into it. They did it right. Respect.

Angry Bob
Angry Bob
1 year ago

I used to know a guy who cut several feet out of the middle of a ’70s Pontiac Trans-Am, right in the middle of the door area. He did it flawlessly but the proportions made your brain hurt to look at. The window glass was out of a Datsun 240z and matched up exactly to the shortened doors.

RWilhelm
RWilhelm
1 year ago

Seems like an odd choice to use the rear bench and modify the center portion instead of just using the standard front seats… navigating turns in this must be exciting.

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
1 year ago
Reply to  RWilhelm

Yeah I wondered the reasoning behind that. Took me awhile to decide it’s because the rear seats were designed to be installed over the humps from the rear tire wells – and with the humps from the rear tire wells now living immediately behind the driver’s butt, the rear seats fit better.

Data
Data
1 year ago

In the multiverse on Earth 332, Ford created and sold the Smart car and the Granada really was a competitor to Mercedes Benz.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 year ago

It’s the Ford F’ta!

10001010
10001010
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

C’TD!

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 year ago
Reply to  10001010

I enthusiastically 2nd the nomination: nice one, Mark!

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