It was always tough keeping up with the glut of Ford special editions in the 1980s, so you’ll forgive me for not remembering the Sierra Swift. In truth, I don’t recall seeing a Ford Sierra Swift on the road.
According to the advert, the Ford Sierra Swift was a Bristol Street Motors special edition. This makes it even more obscure. A product of an enterprising dealer in Birmingham, according to the ‘A763 VOB’ registration number.
The Sierra Swift wouldn’t have triggered my car spotting radar. I grew up too far south – the home of the Fiesta Meridian special edition. Inexplicably named after the local broadcaster, I always had visions of Debbie Thrower and Fred Dinenage when I saw one on the road.
It was a rubbish special edition. Little more than a Fiesta L with metallic paint and a Meridian logo. Debbie Thrower wouldn’t have been seen dead in one. Probably.
That was the thing with dealer special editions. They invariably offered little more than the standard model and would depreciate at the same rate. A sales tactic designed to increase dealer footfall and put bums on seats. Another Sierra Swift sale was another step towards the monthly bonus.
Ford special editions, be them from a dealer or the manufacturer, always sounded like the name of a caravan you’d follow along the A30. Fashion, Azura, Mistral, Firefly, Duet, Finesse, Masquerade, Freedom, Encore, Cabaret, Fresco and Chassuer are just some of the names I remember.
Maybe I followed a Ford Sierra Swift into a Little Chef car park. It’s almost impossible to miss it. Note the brown stripe extending from the edge of the front wing, along the entire side of the car and across the width of the boot lid. The original SWIFT lettering and bird-shaped decal are still visible, but only just.
It was based on the Sierra GL, but the presence of the 18-hole wheel trims would suggest that it was launched later, rather than earlier in 1983. Previous versions of the Sierra L and GL featured the more distinctive aerodynamic wheel trims.
Further upgrades over the standard GL trim included a sunroof (standard on the Ghia, but a £269.34 option on the GL), rear seatbelts (£93.41 option), a key-operated alarm on the front wing, additional front speakers and brown pinstripes along the bottom of the doors. Because you can never have too much brown.
The Chelsea fabric seats are looking a little baggier than they would have done when the car left Bristol Street Motors in 1983, but the Sierra looks in remarkably good shape for its age and mileage. There are 103,000 miles on the clock.
I’m pretty sure it should have had a tape holder in the slot below the radio/cassette, but I’ll bow to superior knowledge if anyone wants to get in touch.
Indeed, if you remember the Ford Sierra Swift from contemporary adverts or your walk to school, get in touch. The dealer claims that it’s “thought to be one of the only remaining Bristol Street Ford Swift special edition cars”.
Does this mean that the dealer produced Swift editions of the Escort and Fiesta? Who wouldn’t want a Ford Escort with a brown stripe? Answers on a postcard to the usual address, etc.
All of which begs the question: what’s the best/worst dealer special edition you remember from your youth?
The Ford Sierra Swift is for sale at Graylands in Warwickshire. You’ll require 4,000 of your British pounds for the privilege of owning this car. It’s golden, brown.
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