Friday, July 31, 2015


Ford Festiva, econobox, red Ford Festiva, blue Ford Festiva
Just what is an econobox

I thought it might be interesting to see some different definitions of the term 'econobox'.  Here's a few...

Oxford Dictionaries:
A car that is small and economical rather than luxurious or stylish

Urban Dictionary:
Econobox is a term used to describe a cheap small car normally gas friendly with little to no factory installed options.  

Merriam Webster:
a small economical car 

Collins Dictionaries:
a small vehicle that is basic and fuel-efficient and has no unnecessary extras

Your Dictionary:
A small, economical automobile with few amenities 

What do you think? Are these what you expected? Tell us your definition in the comment section.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Westiva 2015... another great get together with fellow Festiva fanatics

We couldn't have asked for better weather for this year's edition of Westiva held at the usual venue, Wedge Pond Day Use Area in Southern Alberta's beautiful Kananaskis Country.

On Highway 40 southbound en route to Wedge Pond.

I drove up a bit early so as to be there before any of the expected attendees arrived. Claimed a spot, unloaded a couple of things, set up my chair and waited. First to arrive was Gary and his family in their 1990 Festiva LX. Gary is a Westiva regular, this being his fourth or fifth time. The LX the top of the line version of the Festiva with all the desirable Festiva goodies. Gary bought the car new in 90 and still uses it as his daily driver, mostly going back and forth to work. In the ensuing twenty five years he's put on just over 320,000km/200,000 miles and still boasts fuel consumption in the 47-57 mile per imperial gallon range.

Gary's 1990 Ford Festiva LX.

Chatted with Gary and family for a bit then our next attendee arrived. Ryan drove down from Leduc, Alberta a one way trip of about 360km/225miles in his 93 GL Sport. This was Ryan's first time to Westiva. His car is also his daily driver and has seen a lot of wear, tear and misfortune. How many cars do you know that have had scaffolding fall on them! On another occasion the hood has also popped open on the highway breaking the windshield and damaging the cowl. More misfortune arrived when a driver who had just picked up their loaner car from a body shop crashed into him!!!

Ryan's striped 1993 Festiva

Not too long after Ryan arrived Kevin and Damian showed up in "The Hamster", a shortened 1990 Festiva! Yes, I said shortened!!! Twenty two inches have been cut out of the length of a car that is less that twelve feet long to begin with. They were inspired by a couple of things... the shortened VW vans that were around a number of years ago and an episode of Monster Garage in which a Festiva was shortened and run in a very large hamster wheel contraption. The amazing thing is that they drove from Kamloops BC to get to the meet which is 575km/360 miles one way. Keep in mind that this is in a car with no roof and worn out rear springs! They camped overnight at Lake Louise and it rained quite a bit overnight so they were a little damp in the morning but still in great spirits. You can follow their exploits on Twitter (@DawgStrip) and YouTube.

No roof gives lots of headroom...

Seats are now located where the back seat used to be.

These guys have a sense of humor... stickers on both sides where the windows used to be!

Last to arrive was Brad and family with their1990. Brad is also a regular and travels from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. With a one way trip of 850lkm/530 miles, Brad earned the "farthest travelled" award. Although he's been to three or four Westivas and this is the first time he's won that prize! Brad's car is powered by a 1.8l DOHC engine sourced from an Ford Escort GT, features shaved door handles, custom hatch, along with a custom front bumper made from a modified aftermarket piece originally intended for a Honda Civic. I have to apologize to Brad as I didn't get any pictures of his car. The one below was taken last year just prior to leaving his home on the way to Westiva 2014.

Brad's custom 1990 Festiva
Unfortunately no other econoboxes made it this year. I had recieved a call from a Calgary gentleman who said that he and his wife each owned Geo Metro convertibles and were very interested in attending. Perhaps the forecast of late day thundershowers shaped their plans.

Here are a few more photos from the days activities....

L-R: Mine, Gary's, Ryan's

L-R: The Hamster, Ryan's, Gary's, mine, Brad's
Picnic time.... Upper Kananaskis Lake

Upper Kananskis Lake. Ryan is closest to the camera and that's where the water line should be!!!
Kananaskis Country not only has some beautiful scenery but is also home to lots of wildlife. Over the years I've seen moose, lynx, coyotes and more. Here's what we spotted today....

Mountain goats...

Young grizzly about 20 feet off the side of the road!
The goats were right at the corner where you turn off Highway 40 into Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. I spotted the bear just after leaving the upper lake just across from the road from where we had had ice cream earlier in the day! Ryan was behind me so I know he saw it too. Not sure if the others saw it as they were a few minutes ahead of us.

All in all it was a great day. Thanks to all who attended and thanks to Sharon for bringing out a wonderful picnic lunch for us all. Thanks also to for the giveaways and gift certificate given as the prize for farthest travelled and to the Crowfoot Big Bucket Car Wash for the gift cards.

Looking forward to Westiva 2016. Tentative date: July 16th, same place, same time!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Afternoon drive in my 1992 Ford Festiva powered by a Mazda B6 SOHC

An afternoon run in my customized 92 Ford Festiva GL Sport powered with a modified Mazda 323 1.6l SOHC engine. This is just a short section of the drive northbound on Alberta Highway 762 between Millarville and Bragg Creek. I mounted the camera on the dash directly in front of the driver and was surprised at the amount of wind noise that was picked up in spite of the windows being rolled up. I'll have to try a couple of different spots.

The video is my first GoPro film and first YouTube post. It's pretty basic with no fancy editing or music. Hope you like it...