It is striking as things recur in the automobile world: Ford Fiesta was a spartan litte economy car – but look at what joy it (or rather the men) in the below advertisement could radiate. Could it get any better? Yes – with a real lifestyle version of the Fiesta.
The contrast from an ordinary Fiesta is striking. We’re talking 1.1 liter, four gears, front wheel drive, seventies functionalism. In both versions! But you really have to look twice to see that the brutish Tuareg is virtually the same car as the ordinary Fiesta. The Tuareg prototype was shown in 1978, but never went beyond showpiece. It did showcase an excellent example of cooperation between Ghia in Italy and Ford in Dearborn, though.
In fact I am quite surprised amazed that it never got beyond the prototype stage. In 1978 the Fiesta was still reletively fresh and Ford had not yet got around to hot it up in any significant ways. If you look at the first image in the gallery below the lineup clearly shows the need to complement the more sober basic versions with something as a Tuareg. Conversely, of course, there would also have to be a buyer to complement a Tuareg! It’s a very good question what such a man person would look like.
He must have existed, though – as a little further down south the French had made the same customizing job on the Simca 1100: It shared the same basic design elements,the same overall expression of brutish offroad capacities that weren’t there at all – yes, the Matra Simca Rancho was indeed the same overall concept ans the Fiesta Tuareg. Two sides of the same (bad) taste? No, seriously: Personally I have liked the frenchman throughout all of my youth – before I knew much about cars, which in fact may explain some of my predeliction the the Rancho. If anything I find the Tuareg even naughtier. Italian design, you know.
Today this type of vehicle has finally come of age: The niche of “small cars that look like something they are not” work rather well these days.
ViaRETRO bonusinformation: Many years later the Germans at Vokswagen stole the name and with much of the concept beefed up and dulled down at the same time the managed to sell the resulting car in large numbers. In the process they misspelled the name but it worked nonetheless.