Shedding a tear ... Ford has announced the discontinuation of the Ford Fiesta. Despite still being a popular entry level car for many folk, sales of compact SUVs are rising faster while saloon car sales are diminishing and that includes the Focus - and the Mondeo which has already gone.
So now it's the Fiesta's turn to disappear over the horizon into hazy fond memory territory. Forget the skinny wheels and the waggly gearstick, when it was launched in 1976 many folk thought it was the bees knees. Compared to today's cars it handled like a paper bag in the wind, but back then it was considered pretty sharp, especially by the youngsters.
For many it was their first car and when Ford realised they had a winner on their hands along came the deluxe, Ghia and sporty versions.
The original 1100cc, 4 cylinder petrol engine pumped out some 52 bhp. Considering that today's 1 litre, three cylinder Fiesta ST can produce around 200 bhp, that sounds pretty desperate. But in a car which weighed less than three quarters of a tonne and featured all-round coil sprung suspension this provided a dose of automotive fun for a generation which had just discovered Status Quo, Dr Hook, Barry White and the Bay City Rollers, not to mention flower power and flared velvet trousers!
And although the nought to 60 mph time of 15 seconds doesn't sound much to get excited about, that put a lot of bigger cars to shame at a time when it was only the exotic specialist and expensive end of the market which produced sub 10 second machinery.
The car proved ripe for the tuning market and DIY brigade who indulged in twin choke carbs, high lift cams and straight through exhausts. So it was only a matter of time before Ford started introducing their own range of bigger engines.
Compared to today's 'hot hatches', the original Fiesta might not even be classed as 'warm', but back then this was as desirable and different as an Ariel Atom - with clothes on.
Another thing we'll miss is the price. The 1981 Ford Fiesta Mk1 in the photos was £3,674 when it was brand new 40 odd years ago!