January 01, 2001

The K-Car saved Chrysler and spawned a generation of derivatives. The Chevette soldiered through an eleven-year run. Though their names easily rise to mind, American compact cars from the ’80s were mostly notorious or immemorable. Japanese manufacturers introduced charming competitors built with considerably more care, and by the late 1990s, an entire generation of enthusiasts and auto media roundly understood the Big Three’s small-car entries as value propositions — but not much more.

The Ford Focus aimed to erase the stereotype at its American launch in the 2000 model year. Its physically sharp lines emerged from Ford designers’ “New Edge” ethos, which emphasized intersection, angular creases and geometry. The New Edge school of thought was the most radical design philosophy to apply to American compact cars in decades, and continued into the interior, where arcs cascaded into each other to create triangular buttons and an asymmetrical center stack. Material quality, panel fit and textures were more credible than anything else in the Ford portfolio at the time, marking a turning point for the company.

When the decontented 2001 Honda Civic arrived without the four-wheel double-wishbone suspension and high-output engine lineup of its high-reaching predecessor, the Focus moved confidently ahead to lead as the most desirable compact car in its time. Bodystyles included a station wagon, along with three-, four- and five-door Focus variants, as well as a high-revving SVT version that behaved with all the raucous raciness that Honda lost along the way. Car and Driver Magazine commended the first-generation Ford Focus by bestowing membership among its prestigious “10Best” list of engaging-and-attainable cars — three times, in fact, during the car’s first three years of production.

Today, the present-day Ford Focus still earns top-tier status in a much more sophisticated field of compact cars. Legions of fans of the first-generation Focus still exist around the world, maintaining their cars with upgrades and spare parts from salvage yards such as Pull-A-Part. Among the most desirable Ford Focus option packages are the Kona Focus, Sony Focus and Centennial Edition. Each special package included unique trim and optional features that are now rare and sought after among Focus fans.

Browse Ford Focus salvage parts at Pull-A-Part in your area. You may well come across special edition Focus parts that are hard-to-find. If you use Pull-A-Part to keep your first-gen Focus in top condition, send us a photo on Instagram to show us your ride.