I’d wanted my own fast Ford since growing up with an XR2 in my household. So when it came to buying my first car I went for the last fast Fiesta to come out of Dagenham – the 1.6-litre Zetec S.
My Fiesta taught me a lot about driving, both good and bad. It was responsible for nearly all my motoring ‘firsts’ – feeling proper acceleration, going around corners quickly and even little things, such as having a prang (not my fault!) and experiencing things like torque steer.
Having experienced more modern warm and hot hatches since working at Autocar, there are still things about the Fiesta I crave. I loved its short throw gearbox, its heavy steering and clutch, as well as its superb handling. The thing would stick like glue around corners and understeer would only kick in quite late, meaning it responded well to being pushed.