1989 Ford Laser – the bargain amazer

My very first car was a Moroccan beige 1989 Ford Laser GL bought from another family member for the tune of $4500. Purchased in Grandma spec condition (you’ll probably guess from who now) in the year 2000, today we look back on what an amazing little thing it was and how much a decent example will set you back today.

As a first car, my 1989 Ford Laser was ideal. With 140 thousand country kilometres and 4 cylinders of not much fury at all contained in a basic shell with hardly anything special to stand out from anything, it really came to form when you discovered how much it kept going and going and going no matter what. It shared a lot of bits and pieces from the Mazda 323 and for a kid learning the basic elements of safe driving, it was a fantastic and affordable entry into the world of motoring.

It once ended up in a ditch, it got jumped on and graffiti on by a drunk, I moved house in it (a decent feat considering it’s not exactly huge..), someone attempted to break into it, it raced against any and everything at traffic lights (and rarely won ever) and when it finally came time to part ways it (according to the mechanics report) was leaking oil, fuel and coolant and yet still performed admirably. No wonder I enjoyed the time we had – it kept kicking no matter what happened to it!

You got what you paid for though which made it like a pizza, holding all the the extras and leaving you with just the base. No power steering, drum brakes, no cruise control, no electric windows, carb fed, no tacho (you guessed when to shift), not much power but brilliant economy from a tiny tank. No frills motoring but relatively easy to work on, plenty of parts available and lots of examples left if you ruined yours.

Of course I always lusted over a turbo Ford Laser TX3 variant once I learnt of its existence (and still do obviously) but hey, there was rarely a job the beige beast couldn’t handle. And I threw a lot of work it’s way.

But now in 2015, how’s the beige bomber (and other colour options) faring? Is there still a decent example out there (that probably should be in a museum by now considering it’s a 26 year old car?) Lets see:

THE GOOD 

1989 Ford Laser Ghia

1989 Ford Laser

With incredibly low k’s (84,000 which equates to roughly only 3200 ks per year) this little blue 1989 Ford Laser Ghia is in ripper condition. With only one owner it’s an absolute steal for anyone learning how to drive or an experience with zero driving assists can give you for $2200. And look how clean it is on the inside!

THE BAD

1989 Ford Laser

When you’re trawling through car sale ads on Gumtree and you find one with only one picture that looks like it was take in the early 90’s, behind a fence, surely you must wonder what the owner was thinking. No engine shots, no interior shots, nothing but the description which reads: Needs some things to meet pit pass but still runs beautiful

Well we truly couldn’t ask for everything for $200…

THE UGLY

1989 Ford Laser Laser 4

If my first car wasn’t rotting in a paddock somewhere, I’d imagine it’d look like this. Left out in the elements for quite some time (26 years maybe by the looks of things) it’s currently working work with decent tires but no battery. At close to 340k it’s seen quite a bit of this beautiful country and if it could talk would probably tell you to pressure wash it out of it’s misery. Still, if you have the hankering for a big pile of parts (and dirt) this beast can be yours for $400.

So…uh…where did all the Moroccan Beige ones for sale go? Surely they’re all not rotting in a paddock somewhere…

Leave a Reply