Unexceptional Classics

Unexceptional Classifieds: 190-mile Ford Ka

by James Mills
4 November 2022 2 min read
Unexceptional Classifieds: 190-mile Ford Ka
Photos: Anglia Car Auctions

Price: Auction (sold for £4644)
Mileage: 190
Condition: Instant Ka-lassic
Advert: Anglia Car Auctions

The launch of the Ford Ka stays with me for several reasons. Although it was way back in 1996, my fellow car-sharing motoring hack was one James May, before television came calling but after his creatively self-orchestrated exit from Autocar magazine. The pair of us had been well wined and dined the night before the test drive, – which was combined with the facelifted Ford Mondeo – felt a little subdued and were occasionally required forced to crank open the windows, as noxious gasses were being emitted from unseen body parts.

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Quickly, however, it become blinking obvious that the cut-price (£7,300 for a Ka 1), parts-bin-special Ka was far more than the sum of its scavenged parts. The cabin was a masterpiece in design, with a perky appearance and clever solutions like the spinning, rubberised air vents and glovebox which revealed a glasses case when rotated.

Ford Ka

Hidden away beneath its stand-out design that brought together utility and form in a rare harmony – the work of the late Chris Svensson – was an old Fiesta platform and an even older, 1.3-litre, four-pot engine that could trace its roots back to the ‘60s, long before the young, first-time car buyers Ford hoped to attract were born.

As we zipped about deserted island roads (memory fails me) the Ka came to life, demonstrating that just because a car was built to a budget didn’t mean it had to feel as depressing as the inside of a student’s fridge. Its ride, steering and handling were a highlight, and in much the same way the original Mini made drivers feel good about being behind the wheel of a budget car, the Ka cheered you up if you chose to drive it with any degree of enthusiasm

What a shame, then, that this week’s Unexceptional Classified hasn’t been driven much further than the local MOT testing station once a year.

A look at its annual mileage on the MOT history shows it has accrued one or two miles each year, and is currently said to have travelled all of 190 miles. In time honoured, motoring hack cliché fashion, I’ll do the maths for you: that means the 2004 Ka has averaged 10.5 miles a year.

It’s for sale this weekend with Anglia Car Auctions, which tells us it’s a three-owner Ka “still with that new-car smell” and states that the most recent work done was a service performed last November. Leaving cars sitting for years on end rarely does them much good, so anyone toying with the idea of buying a still-to-be run-in Ka should have their wits about them and see what, if any, preventative maintenance was done to run the engine and change the fluids over time.

And finally, shameful as it is to admit to, it has taken a mere 26 years for me to find out whether the Ka name had any significance beyond the obvious wordplay. It does: the ancient Egyptians believed that Ka was one of the key elements of a person’s soul. Bet James May didn’t know that.

Read more

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  • John doe says:

    190 miles is great and all, but it’s still ugly and outdated lol. My condolences to the person who wins

  • Stephen+Pye says:

    It’s part of motoring history and they are fast disappearing from our roads. The prices of them will only go one way in the next 5 to 10 years. Buy one now why prices are still low.

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