Fiesta time as John's old/new star celebrates 40th birthday
John Egan will never, ever sell his 38-year-old Ford Fiesta. Well, most of it is 38 years old. There have been many additions, changes and tweaks in the course of his eight-year ownership (for one, it has a 1.8-litre petrol Mondeo engine). But he's never letting it go.
John (pictured), from Tuam, Co Galway, was "thrilled" to be chosen as the owner of the oldest Fiesta in the country last week.
Speaking to Motors, it was clear he loves the car. "That car will never be sold. It's nice to look into the garage and say, 'I built that'."
And re-build it truck-driver John most certainly did. Brought it back, he says, from death's door after seeing it in a neighbouring garage. The body was in good shape but was missing bits and pieces. There wasn't much of an interior, it needed an engine and so on.
John put together and re-sprayed his 1978 Fiesta and drove it as his everyday car up to two years ago. Any time he had it out he'd be bombarded with interest.
"People would say things like, 'My granny had one of those'." He was often asked if he'd sell it but there was no chance. He brings it to shows now and insurance is fully classic so it's around €250.
Last Friday was a special day for him as he received the award. With him was girlfriend Ciara Kinsella who, also a Fiesta fan, had her 1981 model on the day too.
But John it was who got the engraved crystal plaque with his name and reg of his car as well as some fuel and general shopping vouchers.
He and many others came from all over to Weston Airport, near Lucan, to celebrate the Fiesta's 40th birthday.
After a nationwide search, Ford found their oldest Fiesta: the car John re-built. The search was part of the company's celebration of the Fiesta's arrival here in 1976.
Some of those taking part drove in a 40-strong convoy of old and new Fiestas along the M4 before the celebrations began at Weston.
There to help with them was former Stig from Top Gear, Ben Collins. He showed what the newcomer Fiesta ST200 can do when you strap 200bhp to a supermini.
Participants got a chance to sit in with him as he turned in a thrilling series of drives in the hot hatch. The ST200's 1.6-litre EcoBoost pumps 10pc more power than the ST version (0-100kmh in 6.7 seconds).
Whoever would have thought it possible 40 years ago?