This 1982 Ford Ghia Shuttler Concept Might Be The Cutest Ford You Can Buy

Ford really should have put this into production.

byGabriel Loewenberg|
News by Brand photo

For the 1981 European Motor Show in Brussels, Ford and Ghia displayed their latest concept, the Ford Ghia Shuttler. It was based on the Fiesta, which was the "hot hatch" at the time. After spending many years in various collections, the world's cutest Ford is up for sale. 

Too often, a one-off concept car is just so ridiculous that it is often forgotten about, or even destroyed by the manufacturer. Some of them do make it to production, only after the accountants take all quirkiness and fun out of them. This is one car that Ford really should have produced.  

Everything about this car is both "retro" and "future" at the same time. While it has a look very reminiscent of something eventually on offer in the 1990s, it still wouldn't seem too out of place today. The early Ford Fiestas have their own cult following, but imagine if Ford would have put this version into production? The Shuttler's curved edges, in-set door handles, and integrated rear spoiler could have pushed design aesthetics in a completely different direction throughout the 1980s.  

The interior of this one-off features a driver-centric gauge cluster behind the steering wheel. The dash itself is a sort of shelf, wrapped in suede. Sure, it doesn't feature a modern infotainment screen, but I bet you can just wedge an iPad in there and you'll be good to go. 

The orange carpet might be the only questionable thing here, but it does match the orange embossed stripe that runs down the side of the car.  

These are the bullet-point descriptive highlights from the listing on Hemmings:

  • One-off Ghia Concept/Showcar
  • Beautifully conserved, original engine, paint, interior
  • Fully functional- only 1419km
  • Extensive Conservation/ service/restoration just completed
  • Four cylinder 1.3L front wheel drive; four speed manual transmission
  • International Auto Show Concept (1981-1983); loaned to the French National Automobile Museum Mulhouse 1983-1986; Ghia Collection 1983-2001; RM Collection 2001-2005; Private collection 2005-present
  • Early City/Urban Car Concept
  • Metallic anthracite with orange accent and grey/brown suede interior with orange accent

My personal favorite design element here are the 20 holes in a grid pattern on the hood. This is the air intake for the 1.3L, 40 hp Ford 4-cylinder engine. 

Yes, only 40 hp. The Shuttler is so small and light, it's probably the most fun you'll ever have in a 40 hp car. Who wants to go fast in this car anyway? This is something you want to been seen in. 

There is no price listed, but according to several websites, the car last sold in 2005 for $11,000.