|Total Production Figures for Fiesta Fly models built.|
To quote Stuart Twight "MYTH BUSTED" started a long 7 year trail to find out just how many Fly conversions took place. It is commonly accepted that the Crayford Car Co. built a few - approximately 18 - and then sold the licence to F. English in Poole Dorset at about spring 1981. Although I have been fortunate enough to locate several of the staff involved directly in the manufacture of the "Fly" at English's Coachworks, only very limited records were kept. One thing that was not recorded were the Registration Nos. given to each car as it left the factory to either a direct purchaser or a Ford Dealer or another Trade Outlet. The attached copies show the names and or businesses, the town and for propriety reasons I have deleted actual addresses of individuals.
Research to date - and that is a lot of internet and telephone calls - has proved a dead end - many Ford dealers have been swallowed up - including F. English - into larger conglomerates - and many garages are now anything from a Tandoori to a Kitchenware shop. I have traced the two 1100 Fly cars to Bougart of Jersey main Ford dealers but no trace of the cars and also a Mr Bell of Tunbridge Wells who advises the car went to his son then to a friend in Sevenoaks but was written off. Two XR2 Fly cars a silver and white one each both have their original name plates on - Quicks' of Leicester and Endeavour of Brighton and several including my own have English's registration plates still on the car.
One of the best documents is the June 1983 invoice List of cars sold - 14 in all so very nearly the 4 per week target - and there are 3 x 1.3 Sports in there too!! Noticeably the number of XR2 cars is high both from dealers and private orders. In addition during June 1983 3 cars in for refurbish and 5 XR2 orders in progress.
The overall picture shows 8 out of 10 orders were from dealers and 8 out of 10 cars were XR2 during the period between June and Aug 1983. The Fleetway order for 4 x 1100 with a possibility of 20 to follow it would appear this did not firm up as the company (Fleetway) lasted barely 12 months !! The 4 may well have been delivered but that is the lot. In addition one Fiesta Van was converted to a Fly and 7 Fly kits were sold by Crayford to a Ford dealer in Valencia in Spain but David McMullan confirms the cars were never built - wonder what happened to the kits ??
The article in Autocar 25th June 1983 confirms 100 Fly cars had already been built, the sales brochure we all know by F. English confirms that " only 250 can be built per year" and finally the agreed production figures for the planning assumptions, and memo dated 8th June 1983 indicates that 4 per week and 207 per year were the target. Clearly by July and August of 1983 they were well in excess of those figures.
It would be fair to assume that between 150 and 200 Fly cars were built at F. English, with 74 on the register to date, we hope this now attracts more to join. When we then look at the MK2 Fly and onwards to AGM in Holland and then the morphing of the Fly into the Flirt over a period of approximately 10 years a fair number of Fly cars are out there - still !!