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YAK Car Pic of the Day

Filed under: You Auto Know
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Ford Festiva, Killeen, TX

Imagine my shock when driving down the street last January in Killeen, Texas where I came across this Ford Festiva! I assumed someone probably kept it in the back of their big ol’ pickup as a spare instead of an extra tire. Then I was somewhat relieved when I spotted the Montana license plate on the back. Then again: a) a Festiva… in Montana?; and b) who in God’s name would drive one of these things all the way from Montana to Texas (unless of course, going back a sentence or two, they carried it in the back of their big ol’ pickup!). The Festiva, sold in the U.S. from 1987 to 1993, was designed by Mazda, and sold by them in other countries as the Mazda 121. The North American Ford Festiva was actually built under license by Kia Motors of South Korea, who sold it (again, in other parts of the world) as the Kia Pride. Confused? Welcome to the club!

— Jim Corbran, You Auto Know


  • I’m not the least bit surprised. I see them everyday. There are about 12,000 members on fordfestiva.com. That is for a supposedly “disposable” car made 2 decades ago. Tens of thousands are still on the road because they are that durable. I’ve found 11 with over 500k miles. They can get over 50 mpg. And they are actually huge inside. Needless to say owners are RABID!

  • Joseph Coppola

    OMG. My wife owned one of these babies. She was stationed @ the Naval Comunications Station, Suda Bay, Crete in 1990, hers was made up in Germany. It was a real beater, but it was flubbing indestructable. She shipped it back to the CONUS (Navy paid for the move) where we used it as a beater in Charleston SC. I sold it to the skipper of my submarine (USS GEORGE BANCROFT SSBN 643 (BLUE CREW) & he drove it as a beater for a couple of years. We got ordders for Naples, Italy, so I bought it BACK from the Captian & we (the Navy) shipped it BACK to Europe. I drove it there for about a year, then sold it to a Chief Yoeman. Last I saw it she was driving it down the Via Vomero. That was back in 1993. It might still be bangin’ along!It was a great car.

  • Joseph Coppola

    CORRECTION TO MY ABOVE BIG BLOG!!! My wife just informed me that her car was a Ford FIESTA not (repeat NOT) a Ford FIESTIVA. Sorry for misleading the populous of the Queen City. Save Ulrich’s Tavern!