Concepts and Prototypes : Ghia Ford Corrida


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?

Keith Adams


  1. 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.


  2. 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. 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…

  4. 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. 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 Ford Megastar (Ghia)


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


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


    1980 Ford Mustang RSX (Ghia)


    While the 1978 Ford Fiesta Tuareg (Ghia) 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 – – the Lynx was almost a preview –

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

    A 1989 Hyundai Veloster / MINI Countryman –

    They later built the Top Gear electric car –

  6. 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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. That style became all the rage inside the Seventies. Ford turned into flush with coins then, with such massive hits because the Capri and Escort & Cortina, which intended that they had coins to burn on daft concept motors

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