1998 Ford Puma 1.7 VCT 16v
Super, unmolested example showing just 72,160 miles by its 3-owners; magazine & YouTube feature car; a proper Future Classic
Supplied new in May 1998 by Essex Ford of Billericay, this tidy and wonderfully unmolested example was, as with all Pumas, built exclusively at Ford's Niehl plant in Cologne, Germany. Stylistically, the Puma continued Ford ‘New Edge’ design philosophy following on from the KA, although the styling was more popular and even won Top Gear’s car of the year award in 1997.
Under the bonnet in this car, we find the 1.7 litre VCT 16v Sigma engine, co-developed and built by Yamaha (the engines were shipped to Yamaha in Japan for completion and then back to Cologne for installation). The 1.7 lump was considered quite potent for the time, driving the front-wheels through a sweet 5-speed gearbox developing 123bhp and 157NM of torque – enough to propel the 3-door, 4 seat hatch to 60mph in just 9.2 seconds – they certainly still feel potent and agile with Ford’s legendary sharp front-wheel drive handling.
This earlier example is finished in silver with blue cloth interior and wears its original Turbine alloy wheels. Inside we find a wonderfully period Ford phone cradle/charger, radio/CD player, air conditioning, electric windows, air bag and PAS. As a 1.7 VCT version, the car also came equipped with low-speed traction control and ABS.
Showing just 72,160 miles covered by its 3 owners the car presents well. The car is relatively well-known, having been owned and ran by a Media House as part of a long-term budget modern classic feature, the ownership being documented on both YouTube and through the paper version with various works under taken to improve and maintain the car during this time.
The history file includes the current V5C, old style V5C and original V5 along with the owner’s pack, service book showing 5 stamps (4 by the supplying dealer), the last in July 2011 at 44,499 miles and a file of invoices for continued parts and service work undertaken.
Recent works of merit include a replacement brake calliper in 2019, timing belt service in December 2018 at 57,673 miles, a repair to the NSR inner sill in November 2018, new rear axle bushes in July 2015, new thermostat and housing in May 2014 and further historic service invoicing dating back to September 1999 at 6,392 miles. In addition, we find the original Vehicle Inspection Certificate when delivered new in ’98 stamped by Essex Ford and some 13 old MOTs dating back to 2003 and current MOT valid until November 2021 showing just one minor advisory for slight wear to the NSR axle bush.
With 2 keys, this ever so chic and trendy Puma 1.7 VCT is ready to be enjoyed or put away for the future. Given smart, lower mileage unmolested examples are now increasingly rare with dwindling numbers. A similar car recently made £2,700 at another auction house – signifying the investor market is looking at the emerging collector Modern Classic market of 90’s coupes, and, like all fast Fords, these will have their day – buy now while you still can.
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