Thursday, April 4, 2019

When econoboxes evolve into hot hatches... part 2.

For this post we'll return to North America and have a look at the Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon twins from Chrysler Corp. Introduced in 1978 the Omni/Horizon was a five door subcompact produced in Belvedere, Illinois. Loosely based on the European Simca Horizon this hatchback was the first North American built front wheel drive vehicle to sell in large numbers.
88 Dodge Omni, source in properties

Friday, January 25, 2019

When econoboxes evolve into hot hatches

The focus of this blog has been econoboxes, regular run of the mill vehicles that got you from 'A' to 'B'  in reasonable comfort while consuming as little fuel as possible. However, some manufacturers, and the car community in general, chose to take things to the next level and turn these vehicles into hot hatches! 

The obvious one for a Festiva enthusiast is the Ford Shogun, not a factory build but one  done by Chuck Beck and Rick Titus who created a "compact econobox with a bonkers drivetrain mounted behind the driver" (quoted from the Grassroots Motorsports article featured in this post.)

Photo from the Grassroots Motorsports article linked above

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Winter Driving Woes


There's lot of fun winter things to do in our area... skating on an outdoor rink or pond, cross country skiing across a frozen lake, downhill skiing at a nearby mountain park, tobogganing. Some of these activities are within walking distance of the house but others require driving.

Ice Magic Festival, Lake Louise AB January 2017
Winter driving as a whole doesn't bother me but there are a few things about it that do; noisy tires, increased fuel consumption and dirty cars.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

There's parts from how many cars???!

Rolling on Toyota Corolla GT alloy wheels
The manager at my local AutoValue store calls our car "Frank" as in Frankenstein.... perhaps he's got good reason to! Let me explain: in the years we've owned a Festiva (we purchased our first one in 2001) we've done a lot of work on the car and since there is next to no aftermarket support for it we've had to improvise and source items to adapt and modify. The Festiva community, particularly the forum at and more recently the Ford Facebook group, has been a very creative one. Not only creative but willing to share those ideas and discoveries.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

What makes our Festiva different?

I had the opportunity to show our Festiva in the 2018 version of the annual Bowness Auto Parts Show & Shine. This show is held not far from our home so a some of those people had seen us driving around. Quite a number of people stopped by to ask questions and find out about the car. Although there has been quite a bit of work done on the car it is hard to tell if you aren't familiar with the Festiva. This post will be a comparison of our car and a stock Festiva. You can read more about the "in-between" on this page

Display spot acquired in front of Cadence Coffee

The biggest change is in the engine compartment. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

WESTIVA X... the big day

Saturday morning dawned cool and showery so I was a little worried about the weather. But by the time we left the house to make our way to the venue the sky was well on its way to clearing and the temperature was rising. Two of the attendees, Bob from Pasco WA and Ryan from the Edmonton arear, had stayed with us on Friday night so we headed out together with an initial stop at a local gas station so that Ryan could fill up.

Bob's, Ryan's and my Festiva just getting ready to leave. Yes that is a trailer behind Ryan's car!

We were running a little late so I headed off leaving Bob and Ryan to follow at a more leisurely pace.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Westiva X... almost there!

Westiva 2017 attendees

Well here we are on the eve of Westiva X. The weather is looking quite pleasant with a forecast highs ranging from of 18º-20ºC/64º-68ºF with a mix of sun and cloud.