Monday, July 14, 2014


July 12 dawned with clear skies and very little wind. The forecast was looking great as well with a high of 30°C/86°F predicted.

We had announced an 'official' start time of 10:00am so made sure we left home with plenty of time to spare. We arrived at the Wedge Pond day use area in Kananaskis with two Festivas, mine and my daughters, just after 9:30 and claimed a few parking spots. I have to admit right off the top that I spent way too much time talking with everyone and not taking photos.  

First to arrive was Casey in his green/gold 89 Suzuki Swift GS. This car was originally from Holland and as such had a few differences from the North American version. Casey has totally rebuilt the engine with a number of performance enhancing modifications. The turbocharged 1.0L 3 cylinder is force fed with over 15lbs of boost and runs on 94 octane fuel. He showed up without his hood as it was in the middle of some rust repair. I most regret not getting a photo of his very clean engine bay.

Casey's 89 Swift GS

Next to pull in were Wilf and Roseanne in their bright red 90 Suzuki Swift GT from Spruce Grove AB. They purchased the car new in 1991 and other than a few minor touch ups it sports its original paint. Wilf tells me he had the car treated with RustChek shortly after he got it and kept the treatments up over the ensuing 20+ years. Add to that the car has been garaged all its life and driven only in the summer for the past six years explains how he has been able to keep it in such good condition. The engine bay of this red rocket sports a 1.3L DOHC 16 valve engine with a turbocharger hung on the front! He too has rebuilt this engine and added a few performance upgrades. The original plastic headlights have been replaced with glass units filled with HID bulbs and most of the factory decals have been removed. Other than that the body is stock and original.

Wilf & Roseanne's 1990 Suzuki Swift GT

We didn't have to wait too much longer for our next guest. Brad arrived in his gorgeous 1990 Ford Festiva. He and his daughter hail from Prince Albert SK. They drove down a couple of days early and had been camping at Mount Kidd RV Park, a five minute drive from our venue. Brad's car features shaved door handles, a fibreglass hood, custom front bumper and headlights, Nissan seats and a paint job featuring white base with a blue tinted clearcoat. His engine bay is stuffed with a 1.8L DOHC 16 valve engine sourced from a Ford Escort GT. Brad has been a regular at Westiva, this being his fourth time. Each time he's come there has been one or two upgrades too. I have to apologize to Brad as I didn't get any photos of his car so these are from past meets. The big difference for this year is that the engine compartment has been cleaned and tidied up considerably and a fibreglass hood has been installed.

Brad's 1990 Ford Festiva

Another 'regular' pulled in shortly after Brad's arrival. Tom's Festiva is currently immobile so he brought his lifted Kia Sportage. Being built by Kia and equipped with a Mazda based 2.0L DOHC engine, and FE-3 if I remember correctly, it fits right in with the Festiva family. The closest I got to a picture of Tom's little off road beast is the one in the group photo at the end of this post.

Our last arrival was Bob II and his son, Bob III, who had driven up from Pasco WA. The engine in their 1991 Festiva automatic had just been rebuilt and had only 500km/300 miles on it before heading out. While putting things back together Bob added power steering to complement the A/C that was already there. Both these items were optional when the cars were new. This was Bob's first time to Westiva and we're glad they came!

Bob's tidy engine bay.

Westiva has been primarily focused on the Ford Festiva but it was decided to include other econoboxes from the late 80s and early 90s as we are all facing similar issues as our cars age, like parts availability. It was great to have Casey, Wilf and Roseanne join us and hear of their exploits and adventures. They are members on the forum.

I would like to thank for providing a gift card to give away at the meet as the prize for the furthest traveled. This year it was presented to Bob who beat out Brad by only 40km/25miles.

L-R: Tom's Sportage, Brad's 90 Festiva, my daughter's '93, my '92, Casey's '89 Swift GS, Wilf's '90 Swift GT, Bob's '91 Festiva.
After a great time of car talk and a picnic lunch we all cruised south down Highway 40 to the Boulton Creek Trading Post in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Why you may ask? For ice cream of course! And to enjoy the scenery and twisty roads. It's about a 30 minute drive from Wedge to the trading post and we managed to keep together fairly well. After a delicious and refreshing ice cream Brad had to leave us and head to meet family in Drumheller AB. Before continuing on to Upper Kananaskis Lake Bob and his son took their leave as well. They were heading back to their hotel and hitting the road early Sunday morning for the homeward trip.

A short, five minute, sprint brought those remaining to the parking lot at the lake. Most of us took the opportunity to dip our feet in but Casey was a bit more adventurous and dove in for a quick swim. We hung out together for a while and then went our separate ways, Wilf and Roseanne to Spuce Grove, Casey to the southern end of Calgary via the Highwood Pass, and the rest of us back home via the shortest route.

I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all with everyone saying they are looking forward to coming again next year. Bob even said they would come with two of their four Festivas rather than just the one. Having the Suzukis there was a treat and hopefully this will encourage more to come as well. Thanks to everyone for making the day a great one!

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