Sunday, July 26, 2020

European hatchbacks: fourth in a series.

Welcome to the fourth and final (for now) post in our series on a number of econoboxes, and their "hot hatch" variants, that were not available in the North American market. In this post we'll journey to Italy and Japan!


First to Italy to have a look at the Fiat Tipo. This subcompact first went on sale in the European market in June of 1988 and in the UK the following month.It was only available as

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Putt Putt: Memories of a first car


I've been involved in the Festiva community for almost twenty years and over that time I've met a lot of other owners, both locally and internationally. I've also had the opportunity to help some owners keep their cars on the road. I recently parted out a Festiva as it was beyond saving with rust having taken its toll. I asked its owner, Sara, to share the story of that car and here it is...

May I introduce Putt Putt!

My younger sister (Jana) purchased the car in July 2013,shortly after she turned 16, from a guy in Calgary named James; she named it “Putt Putt” because of the sounds it made. It was just shy of 118,000 km and from what I heard, it was very lightly used and had just been sitting in a garage mostly

One time when she was driving our cousin home from school, smoke started coming out of the radio and they had to pull over and get picked up. Luckily it turned into nothing worse!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

European hatchbacks: third in a series.

Welcome back to France! After a quick trip across the channel in the previous Euro hatchback post we've returned to take a look at the Renault Clio and Citroen AX econoboxes and their hot hatch variants that were not available in the North American market.
 
European econoboxes and hot hatches.

The Renault Clio was introduced in 1990 to replace the successful but aging Renault 5.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Festiva by any other name

May of us have nicknames for our cars and Festiva owners are no exception. Sometimes our cars are named by others, some names stick and others don't.

Here's a few of those names, and stories behind them, from friends in the Festiva community!

Ben in Kentucky:
It was my brother who named Frito. Shortly after acquiring the vehicle he was cleaning it out for me and found an empty bag of the Frito’s snacks in the interior. His brain connected that to the film “Idiocracy” in which one of the main characters names is Frito, and also features a white Festiva GL in a rather hilarious monster truck segment. I liked the name, particularly for its unique brevity, and for its similarity to the another white Festiva in the community called “Pedro”.

Frito: a very well travelled Festiva!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

European hatchbacks: second in a series.

Welcome to the second of four posts featuring a number of econoboxes, and their "hot hatch" variants, that were not available in the North American market. These will be models available from the late 80s until the mid to late 90s manufactured in France, the UK, Italy and Japan!

European econoboxes and hot hatches.

In this week's post I'll introduce you to cars from both sides of the English Channel.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

A case of mistaken identity... it's NOT a Fiesta!

One of the bane's of Festiva ownership is that people aren't sure what kind of car they're looking at and are prone to call it something other than what it is. The most common alias is Fiesta, and it has happened to me so often I've given up correcting them!

Not a fiesta!
So for more of a lighthearted post I thought I would share a few mistaken identity stories from the Festiva.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

European hatchbacks: first in a series.

The selection of econoboxes in North America in the late 80's and early 90's wasn't a wide one.There were a few domestic models but most were captive imports such as the Ford Festiva and Dodge Colt or models directly from Honda, Toyota and the like. Cities and towns are generally spread over long distances in North America so cars, and trucks for that matter, tended towards the large size for comfort and because we had the room! Such is not the case in Europe. Towns and cities are much closer together, countries smaller and the continent is more densely populated. If you took a twelve hour drive in Canada or the US you wouldn't leave Canada or the US. A twelve hour drive in Europe, for example from Amsterdam to Milan could have you  in a total of six countries; Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and Italy! That's part of the reason that the majority of cars in Europe tend to be smaller. Combine that with the high cost of fuel and the result was, and still is, a much larger selection of cars that would fit into the econobox category. 

European econobox and hot hatch
This is the first of four posts coming over the next couple of months that will feature a number of those econoboxes, and their "hot hatch" variants, not available in the North American market. These will be models available from the late 80s until the mid to late 90s manufactured in France, the UK, Italy and Japan!