The it really should never have worked but it did facelift: 1983’s Ford Fiesta
The 1976 Ford Fiesta’s sales successes made it so ubiquitous that its appearance ceased to be either noticeable or remarkable. This however belies Köln-Merkenich’s initial design, which under the stylistic leadership of Uwe Bahnsen was neat, well executed and had, by the tail end of the ’70s, worn well. However as a new decade began, it began to appear dated against newer and sleeker rivals.
Ford had somewhat against type joined the avant garde with the 1982 Sierra, so naturally the 1983 Fiesta facelift aimed to continue this modernist theme. It could so easily have been dreadful, but the graft of a new, slightly longer, lower nose was virtually seamless. At a stroke, the dated appearance of the existing model was excised, giving the seven year old design a further six years of robust sales success before it was replaced by the rather less well executed mark 3 model.
A car that would require at least three major facelifts over its equally lengthy lifespan illustrated that executed correctly, you only really need to do it once.