Mother and son team, Denise Kunzi and Daniel Goodall, from Middlesex, were the winners of the ClassicLine sponsored 2019 Gemini Events Pride of Ownership awards at the Knebworth Park Classic Motor Show with their 1987 Ford Fiesta XR2. After the event, we caught up with Daniel to find out more about their retro Ford.

Daniel has been into cars from a very young age. His parents would often take him and his brother to Santa Pod Raceway to watch the drag racing events, as well as many local car shows.

The 1986 Ford Fiesta XR2 has been in the family from new. Denise bought the car from a dealership in Birmingham in 1987 and has kept it all this time. Daniel’s auntie collected the car from the dealership on behalf of Denise, however the dealership registered the car in her name by mistake! This was not noticed until the mid-90’s when Daniel was routinely stopped by an officer who checked the ownership details – not good for his license at 19 years old!

From 1987 until 2000, the Fiesta nicknamed the Red Devil, was used as a daily driver. Then in 2000, the car suffered a light bump which broke the front spot lamps. From then onwards it was deemed as a weekend toy, succeeded by a newer daily driver with power steering. The Fiesta sat in the family’s back garden unused for the next 14 years.

Daniel tells us that Denise had always said one day she would love to restore her much loved Fiesta as it was the first car she ever bought herself. So, in 2014, as a surprise for his mum’s 60th birthday, Daniel, together with his brother Richard, had the car fully restored by family friend Jamie Sami at West London Car Care Centre in Harlington.

Briefed with the task of keeping the overhaul a surprise for Denise, the team started work on the restoration. After stripping the car back to a bare shell, they were surprised that the only rust to be found was on the side sills and near side rear arch – not bad for a 30-year-old vehicle!

Today, the car still retains its original panels and floor plan. The original factory fitted 1.6cvh engine was partially rebuilt by Richard and Daniel. The brothers added new valve stem seals, and a ported and flowed cylinder head with a Kent 22 cam shaft and adjustable cam timing pulley. The car has been hopped up with the addition of twin 40 DCNF carburettors, a full four branch manifold and 2.25-inch exhaust system. All the original parts have been kept, so there is still the option to convert the car back to standard.

Daniel tells us that setting up the carbs did cause a bit of a headache but with help and valuable input from friend Lee Andall, from L.A. Auto Works, it was easily solved.

The car still retains it 5 speed gearbox but with all new original spec suspension. Daniel did add poly bushed top mounts and adjustable camber bolts to the front as a slight modification. The brakes were also overhauled. The original steel wheels and plastic trims were kept, as it was from the dealership in 1987!

Inside, the immaculate interior is original too. The only modification is a sound system upgrade.

On the day of Denise’s birthday, the brothers took their mum to the garage to surprise her with the newly restored Ford Fiesta! With one of Denise’s favourite Elvis songs playing in the background, they unveiled the car to her. “It was a very emotional reunion, something my brother and I will always remember”, says Daniel.

Since the grand unveiling, the trio have kept the car as clean as possible, with checks and general maintenance looked after by Jamie Sami who now owns his own company, Paint & Prep. Jamie keeps on top of any jobs that need doing, like a sight imperfection in the Rosso Red bonnet paint that needed attention recently. Daniel recommends Paint & Prep and advises they can be contacted on 01895 603350.

Although Denise doesn’t drive much now, the whole family enjoy the Fiesta. Daniel drives the car, with Denise and his daughter, to as many shows as possible and once a week to work if the weather is nice. “The longest round trip was over 450 miles from a car show in the Midlands to West Wittering for a BBQ on the beach in the evening!”, Daniel says.

As members of the XR Owners Club, Daniel and Denise attend many of the clubs events, as well as many classic Ford and classic car shows. “If it wasn’t for the club, we would never really attend shows. They have been fantastic, very friendly and helpful. They also hold social events once a month and pub meets which are great. If you own an XR of any kind I would suggest you join the club”, Daniel tells us.

The win at the Knebworth Classic Motor Show did come as a great surprise to the pair as the rarely enter judging categories. “It was my mum who pushed me too. Very happy she did! Mum doesn’t drive anymore so she likes to go to the shows as often as possible with the family”, says Daniel

The XR2 has also been shown at the Restoration Show in March 2019 on the XR Owners Stand. Daniel tells us, “we got to meet Mike Brewer from Wheeler Dealers at the show. We then met him again at a gathering at Ford’s Head Office when he was looking at the car. He recognised my brother and I and asked where our mum was! She came over and he posed for a photo with her”.

The family have also been privileged to meet the designer behind the Ford XR range, Rod Mansfield of Fords SVE department. He even signed the inside of the glove box for Denise! If you see Daniel and Denise in their Ford Fiesta XR2 at a show, stop and say hi!

Voting has begun!

For further details on Gemini Events classic motor shows, visit

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