Blue Oval Bargains

Two different ways of achieving grin-splitting fun for less than $30K

by LOUIS CORDONY

New v Used Performance treasure hunt

2004 FPV GT

5408cc V8, DOHC, 32v 290kW @ 5500rpm 520Nm @ 4500rpm 1825kg 5.81sec (tested) $59,850 (new)

Ford Fiesta ST

E N G IN E 1596cc inline-4, DOHC, 16v, turbo POWER 134kW @ 5700rpm 1 00KM/0 - POWE R TORQUE 240Nm @ 5000rpm 1172kg 7.5sec (tested) $27,490 WEIGHT 100KM/H PRICE O YOU need a toy. The guidelines aren’t too strict, but you’ve got $30K and plan a track day each quarter. Whatever it is, it must make you grin. A Blue Oval on the front wouldn’t hurt, either.

Keeping all this in mind, there’s plenty on offer – particularly in the world of pre-loved performance. Exhibit A: the BA Falcon-based FPV GT. The reborn legend.

Aussie Ford fans went absolutely berko when this car was launched. It was exciting stuff: the 5.4-litre BOSS290 V8, 290kW, 520Nm, and finally some decent styling. All enough to give the competition at the time – the VY HSV Clubsport R8 – a sound clobbering.

The Clubbie was known for being more progressive and communicative on the limit, but it was what happened beyond that envelope that mattered. Critics of the day lauded how easy the GT was to drift. Balance, stonk, and S U loads of steering lock were its weapons. And while it lacked a little mid-range, it could storm on to 254km/h, far beyond its 230km/h limiter.

Obviously you can’t buy a new Falcon GT anymore, but the good news is, Ford still knows how to make a car that’ll put a whopping big grin on your face. Like the Fiesta ST.

It trades the Falcon’s brawny displays of strength for finesse, agility, and feedback. In fact, it turned up to Performance Car of the Year 2013 and stole third place, beating HSV’s GTS, Jaguar’s V8 F-Type and even Mercedes- AMG’s A45 along the way. Then there’s the fact it’s our double Bang For Your Bucks (2014, 2015) value champ.

Yes, some of you might think it has half an engine – driving the wrong axle – and not enough doors, but pedal one fast and we dare you not to get out and want another go. It is one of today’s best value performance buys.

Sadly you can’t buy a Falcon GT anymore, but the ST is the silver lining

Here’s one we found on Trade Unique Cars

NOW $28,500

2004 FPV GT 75,000km, automatic, $28,500

OKAY, so it’s a four-speed auto (boo), but according to reviews at the time, the five-speed manual wasn’t much chop either. Consider the Fiesta ST as scoring points if you really must have a third pedal.