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 area, 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.
As has happened the past couple of years Joe was already there with his Festiva, the "Bomber".Bob and Ryan weren't too far behind and it wasn't too much later that Gary arrived in the 1990 Festiva he purchased new! To round out the event Hagen showed up in his Subaru Justy. This wasn't Hagen's first time at Westiva as he had brought his Subaru Vivio back in 2012.

Enroute to Wedge Pond southbound on Alberta Highway 40.

Here are a few items of note regarding this year's edition of Westiva:
  • although the day started out a little cool and showery the weather was perfect by the time we arrived at Wedge Pond
  • this was the only time there were no "first timers" in attendance
  • this is the third time Bob has made the trip up from Washington, each time in a different Festiva
  • Ryan and his family were on their way home after a five week trip that had taken them as far north as Alaska! And that's with towing a trailer behind the Festiva!

Five Festivas and a Justy

Looking toward the "Wedge"

Most of our time together was sharing Festiva stories in particular and car stories in general. There wasn't as much interest from passers-by this year but a few people did stop and have a look. While we shared a picnic lunch I handed out the awards. The "long distance" award was given to the person that was furthest from home and that trophy west to Bob Kiddy from Pasco WA. Everyone in attendance was given a ballot to vote for their favorite with the trophy being awarded to Ryan and his family. Ryan and crew also won the "furthest travelled" award as they had travelled close to 10,000km before arriving at Westiva. The prize for that was a gift card from 

So here's a brief rundown on the attendees:

With the trailer top raised.

  • Ryan's  '92 Festiva, named Canadiana, has its stock 1.3l SOHC engine and manual 5 speed gear box. Ryan has beefed up the suspension and electrical system to allow him to tow a fairly hefty trailer. He has also added sound deadener  and air conditioning. Ryan hand built the trailer using 2x2's, foam panels and fibreglass. It carries all their camping supplies and when set up has room to sleep all four of them. They're midway through an epic 20,000km road trip that has already seen them visit Alaska and has yet to take them to Canada's maritime provinces! Ryan and Julie have a blog for their epic trip which you can find by following this link. You'll also find some details on the trailer itself on that blog.

  • Next up is Joe's 1991 Festiva. He and his friend Brian made the trip our from Saskatoon for the third time. Each time they're here there have been more little details added with this year's additions being some subtle interior changes such as the shift knob. The drivetrain remains the same as last year, a 1.8l DOHC engine sourced from an early Ford Escort GT and the Fiesta seats he installed before last year's trip are still providing a comfortable ride. 

Bob's 93 Festiva
"Long Distance" trophy awarded to the person furthest from home

  • Here we have Bob's 1993 Festiva. Although hailing from Pasco WA Bob actually drove from Sequim WA to get to the meet, almost double the length of the drive from home! Bob has upgraded the wheels and tires on this car as well as transplanting a 1.6l SOHC Mazda engine into the engine bay. This was Bob's third trip to Westiva and each time has been in a different Festiva.

Gary's 1990 Festiva LX

  • Gary's Festiva is  1990 LX which he purchased new 28 years ago. It is as stock as can be, still running the original 12" wheels and sporting all the LX goodies. The car is driven almost every day but has still only racked up just over 320,000km/198,000 miles. Gary says his biggest challenge is staying ahead of the rust.

My own '93 Festiva

  • Not much has changed on my own '93 Festiva which is far from stock. Still running the Mazda turbo engine but have recently put on new tires. Still working on the A/C... all the pieces are there, just trying to figure out the wiring. If you'd like to learn more about what I've done please go to this page here on the blog

Hagen's trusty, rusty Subaru Justy

  • Last, but certainly not least, we have Hagen's 1988 Subaru Justy. Hagen has gone with a very interesting wheel and tire combo. The wheels themselves are VW 15"x3½" "space-saver" wheels shod with 145-45R15 tires originally spec'd for the front of a Smart Fortwo! This car is driven almost every day and has served Hagen well over the ten years it's been in his possession. In that time he's replaced the wiring harness, fuel lines and fuel tank as well as converted to fuel injection from the stock carburetor.

After a couple of hours of sharing stories we had our picnic lunch then took the 30 minute drive up to the Boulton Creek Trading Post. The ice cream was especially tasty today as it was sunny and hot!

Lunch in the trees at the Wedge Pond Day Use Area

In the Boulton Creek parking lot.

To round out the days' activities some of us were able to join a tour of the Fred Phillip's car collection. I would highly recommend not turning down an invite! Proceeds from the tour go to the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Center.... here's Fred to explain it better.

Sharon and I would like to thank everyone that has come to Westiva over the past ten years. We've met some great people and made many friends. Thanks too to Greg Williams who has written three or four articles about our Festiva adventures in general and Westiva in particular, you can find his latest by following this link.

Thanks also to for providing  a gift card along with some magnets and flyers to hand out at the event. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm extra happy now to have made it last year, as this years was out of the question. Has anyone offered to pick up the mantle for another? I guess Bob nailed down the "Most Westivas for a Gringo" record, or have there been more? Thanks for hosting all these years, Ian and Sharon.