Concepts and prototypes : Ghia Ford Corrida

ford_corrida_concept_2

Twenty years before the brilliant Puma emerged, Ford’s talented Ghia styling studios had a crack at at building a sports coupe based on the brand-new Fiesta. Although these pint-sized sports cars were all the rage with the Italians (look at the Fiat 850 Coupe or 128 3P for a couple of great examples), in 1976, cars such as this were very much against the grain at Ford.

In fact, Project Bobcat and its massive new Valencia factory was still seen as a bit of a risk by Uncle Henry… Funny to think that now, given the Fiesta is still very much with us today. The Corrida was shown at the 1976 Turin Motor Show and, underneath its origami styling, were the running gear and platform of the Fiesta.

Unique features included hydraulically-assisted semi-gullwing doors and an all-new interior. In true motor show style, the Corrida didn’t major on practicality, with its modular dashboard and bumper-hinged split tailgate – but it proved that small front-wheel-drive platforms were more than capable of siring appealing sporting coupes.

Would a watered down version have sold in the late-1970s?

Posted in: Ford concepts, Ghia
Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007. Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

14 Comments on "Concepts and prototypes : Ghia Ford Corrida"

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  1. jackbarry says:

    Very interesting concept. I had a Fiat 128 3P Berlinetta for several years in the seventies. It was recommended by Car magaazine and introduced me to the joys of Italian cars. It was followed by 2 Alfa Romeo Alfasud Green Cloverleafs. I thus had about 12 years of really fun cars to drive! Great memories.

    jack

  2. Chris Baglin says:

    Compared and contrasted with Wayne Cherry’s Equus, this car looks like a kit car, and has not dated at all well. Damn shame Ford didn’t come up with something better that could conceivably have been productionised.

  3. Sam Mace Frankie says:

    It’s a huge shame they didn’t tone it down and put it into production. Ford also lost an opportunity with the Barchetta (not to be confused with the Capri Barchetta, a different story altogether). Car history is littered with missed opportunities as we all know, but Ford missed a trick with the Barchetta, priced right it could have been a big seller.
    It wasn’t a total fallacy though, as it gave us a glimpse of Ford “New Edge” styling…

    http://www.carstyling.ru/ru/car/1983_ford_barchetta/

  4. Ian Elliott says:

    Beg to differ – it seems almost impossible to base a stylistically-successful coupe on a really short car. The Puma may have been good to drive, but it was far too dumpy looking, particularly from the rear. None of the attempted coupes based on Mini ever worked – Ogle, Marcos, Broadspeed etc etc – none looked ‘right’. You need enough length to resolve the proportions – something like an R8 /Tomcat is the minimum size that works. IMHP…

  5. Will M says:

    The GTV was quite a short car, and was good looking to my eyes. Paninfarina hid the dumpiness with the slash from the C pillar to the wheelarch, with a MINI style clamshell bonnet on top at the front.

    Ford seemed to be big into coupe concepts in the 70s and 80s (as per:

    1976 Ford Corrida (Ghia)
    1976 Ford Prima (Ghia)

    1977

    1977 Ford Megastar (Ghia)

    1978

    1978 Ford GT80 (Colani)
    1978 Ford Megastar II (Ghia)
    1978 Ford Microsport (Ghia)

    1979

    1979 Ford GTK (Ghia)
    1979 Ford Navarre (Ghia)

    1980

    1980 Ford Mustang RSX (Ghia)

    )

    While the 1978 Ford Fiesta Tuareg (Ghia) http://www.carstyling.ru/ru/car/1978_ford_fiesta_tuareg/ was before it’s time, when superminis are starting to become SUVs (cf. Juke) – the boxy body was even reminiscent of the mk2 Polo.

    The Shuttler is similar in concept to the Puma – http://www.carstyling.ru/ru/car/1981_ford_shuttler/ – the Lynx was almost a preview – http://www.carstyling.ru/ru/car/1996_ford_lynx/

    Mid 80s concepts all looked like the back-to-the-future-2 2015 cars.

    A 1989 Hyundai Veloster / MINI Countryman – http://www.carstyling.ru/ru/car/1989_ford_fiesta_urba/

    They later built the Top Gear electric car – http://www.carstyling.ru/ru/car/2005_ford_synus/

  6. Christopher Storey says:

    About the same time there was a generic red wine marketed under the name Corrida. It matched this car very closely : it was utterly disgusting !

  7. Yorkie says:

    So that’s where VW got the name for the Toe-rag, a 1970’s Ford Fiesta concept!

  8. Steve says:

    Three words: boxy, ugly, mess

  9. Yorkie says:

    That style was all the rage in the 1970s. Ford was flush with cash then, with such massive hits as the Capri and Escort & Cortina, which meant they had cash to burn on daft concept cars

  10. maestrowoff says:

    Hmm, different…

    Is that Abraham Lincoln driving in the first b&w photo 🙂

  11. drae says:

    Kids, this is why you should not take drugs.

    They must have been stoned to think that was any good.

    PS did anyone ever drug test Harris Man

  12. Chris C says:

    The styling only seems to work from the side elevation although the door handles would induce severe backache! Compare with my Toyota Sera which came along ten years later and only sold 16,000. I think the Fiat X1/9 would have cleaned this market up.

  13. Shanghai61 says:

    It looks like a William Towns design that someone has shrunk in the dryer …

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