The Fiesta Cabriot was a one off vehicle from Crayford, put together as a demonstrator with a view to converting more cars. Crayford Auto developments took a 1983 Fiesta Mk1 Xr2 and decided to give it "the treatment". Supervising his two sons, company co-founder David McMullan, took this standard car and made it into a real flyer with classy bodywork
The McMullans removed the 'B' posts and fitted the equivalent of a pillar-less Cabriot which is defined as a 'coupe' without a hard top.
The rear opera window was achieved by coating the roof and part of the tailgate in inch thick foam, and a dark blue vinyl covering.
Additional steel beams were added along the the rocker sills to give the whole body extra rigidity. In addition the rear pillar has been made much wider and moved forwards. Further detailed modifications are covered in the press release of the time.
Cost at the time including the purchase price of the new car, was approximately £10,000, which in 1983 was a considerable sum - but well worth the expense for such a performer.
A Pace Turbo was fitted to the 1600cc engines, and by all accounts the car was quite rapid for the year.
The car was first registered with the DVLA on the 8th of August 1984 in North West London. It was assigned the numberplate A193FLD and sold to Liz Inman in Oxted, Surrey, it remained with her until the current owner purchased the car in 2007.
In-between Crayford and the second owner, the car suffered some accident damage to the rear section and tailgate. As a result the Opera window was removed and a standard Mk2 Fiesta tailgate used instead. The current owner is addressing this and will be attempting to bring the car back to its original design.
The car was scheduled to feature in Classic Ford Magazine in early 2012 and also was shown off at an Ace Cafe ford gathering in the same year.
Frankfurt Motor Show Information Leaflet 1983
The press release leaflet read as follows:
The creation by Crayford Engineering of Westerham, Kent, England of the FIESTA 'CABRIOT' is an engineering and body styling project based on the FORD FIESTA XR2. The Crayford design team have achieved a unique and attractively styled high performance car offering all the advantages of a coupe with open sides and no upper 'B' post. The CABRIOT is fitted with a 1600cc Turbo charged engine, and the body has been extensively restyled.
The door windows are modified using the special system developed by Crayford for the Fiesta 'Fly' Convertible, and the rear side windows can be lef tin place or removed to give a completely open side in the car for use in the summer.
To enhance the appearance of the the vehicle and also to add strength, the rear pillar has been made considerably wider and is carried forward. The gutters have been removed to improve the trimline of the roof, and the whole roof area has also been treated with plastic foam andleather cloth.
To compensate for the removal of the upper 'B' post, the rocker sills have been considerably strengthened by the use of steel side members, welded onto the outside of the car, and these blend into the back edge of the front wings and the leading edge of the rear wings.
If the 'CABRIOT' is to be used for competition work, the front of the rear wings will be opened out to provide additional brake cooling in the rear wheel area.
The conversion costs £3,800 plus taxes, and delivery time would be approximately 8 weeks from the receipt of the basic vehicle.