Friday, September 27, 2019

If you plan it they will come... part one

The day started out a little chilly with the Calgary weather forecast calling for snow!!!!

Fluids topped off, luggage, tools and parts all packed. Ready to go!!
The roads were familiar as we have done this route a number of times in the past. It was raining on and off for the whole drive to Moose Jaw.


Alberta prairie views


Welcome to Saskatchewan

Thursday, September 26, 2019

If you plan it they will come.... day zero

We are about to embark on will most likely be our longest road trip to date! It's been a bit of an adventure already with a number of mechanical issues that needed looking after with the car... new head gasket and valve seals, replaced the turbo, and a new front crank seal to name a couple. I also had the wheels rotated and balanced and did an oil change.



This trip will be a little different than our previous ones in that we will be travelling with Sharon's sister and her husband. We will be in the Festiva and they will be in their class C motor home. This allows us a bit more flexibility as we don't have to rely on hotels for our accommodations! We do have a few hotel nights booked though.

Here's a general overview of our trip:
  • 2 provinces
  • 22 states, 12 of which we haven't been in before
  • approximately 11,000km / 6,800 miles
  • 20 days
  • 1 Festiva meet!
 
Approximate route
A few of things we're looking forward to:
  • Time in Amish country
  • Two full days in Washington DC
  • A return to Festiva Madness! Our last visit was back in 2011
  • visiting the towns where a couple of our favorite HGTV shows are based
  • New Orleans
  • Pikes Peak
I'm going to try and post updates daily but it might end up being weekly, that will depend on access to wi-fi.

What are your favorite road-tripping hacks? We'd love to hear from you so leave your comments below.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

WESTIVA... now and then

Westiva, the annual Festiva meet in Alberta's Kananaskis Country, continues with new hosts and a new date. It's being held on Saturday, August 24th. Search google maps for Wedge Pond, Kananaskis, AB for directions to the venue.

Sharon and I decided that 2018 would be our last year as hosts and we're glad to see Ryan Prins take on the project. Automotive writer Greg Williams has written several articles about this event and this year is no exception. Here's the link to the latest.



Over the years there have been as few as four cars to as many as ten. This year looks like it might have the largest attendance yet with Festiva owners coming from as far away as San Jose, California. Others are coming from Idaho, Montana, BC, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

What if....

... Kia were to reintroduce the Pride for 2020?

Top Gear Philippines recently posted an article on just that subject. After sharing the article to the Ford Festiva community one member decided to take it a step further.


 
From the Top Gear Philippines article


Considering that the Kia Pride, Mazda 121DA and Ford Festiva are essentially the same car with different trim it wasn't too much of a stretch to reimagine the Kia as a 2020 Ford Festiva!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Community support

With the econoboxes of the 80's and 90's getting on in years it's great to see members of the community reaching out to support its members. One example is Ben Rogers and his store121 Apparel.
One of many designs in the 121 Apparel store
His initial offerings featured the Festiva, Mazda 121 and Kia Pride. He included other vehicles that were in some way connected to the Festiva/121/Pride trio such as the Mazda 323 family, the Capri XR2 of the time, and Ford Escort GT. The response has been so positive he was encouraged to include quite a number of other marques of the same era. Follow the link above to see his latest offerings!

If you know of anyone supporting their car community in a similar fashion let us know in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Finding parts

Even the "newest" Festiva is now over 25 years old and parts are getting increasingly harder to find.  The local franchise parts stores are hit and miss on most parts but RockAuto continues to be a fairly good source. 

 
One owner '91 Ford Festiva GL. Picture taken July '18

Automobile manufacturers have been equipping their offerings with larger and larger tires. Econoboxes from the 80's and 90's were sold with mostly 13" tires and some, including all years of Festiva in the North American market, were shod with 12" diameter wheels and tires!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Following up...

In my first econobox to hot hatch evolution post I featured the Renault 5 and its Turbo and Turbo2 variants. One of my favorite YouTube channels is Jay Leno's Garage and his April 22nd post featured the same car so I thought I'd share that video for your enjoyment.




I did a bit of digging around and found another Petrolicious video...




We'd love to hear from you. What would you suggest for another econobox to hot hatch evolution post? See you next week!

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.

http://dev.hatchheaven.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/dodge_omni_2_88.jpg
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.