The Ford Festiva, a Subcompact and Worldwide Kia by Mazda (Part I)


We embark on the crucial and world wide tale of a subcompact hatchback right now. Your writer referenced it last week in Component I of our Kia substantial autos sequence, and now it’s time for the promised comprehensive Unusual Rides coverage! Produced in numerous places around the entire world, our subject matter car lived a lengthy daily life and had no fewer than 10 identities in excess of its impressive 17-yr span. We’re heading to celebration, karamu, Festiva, forever.

The Festiva’s tale commenced in the Seventies, as Ford increased its possession stake in pleasant and wholesome Japanese automaker, Mazda. The two companies’ connection began in the latter part of that ten years. Mazda had been in a tough location financially considering that the Sixties, and Ford acquired its ownership on the inexpensive. Ford’s initial financial investment was a paltry seven per cent stake in the Hiroshima business.

The marriage deepened in 1979 when Ford poured in some additional hard cash and lifted their stake in Mazda to 24.5 per cent. The timing occurred to align for each companies with regard to an all-new subcompact providing, as Ford’s merchandise was outdated and Mazda experienced some absolutely free style capability.

As much as Ford was worried, subcompact choices were break up into the Pinto for the North American market, and the Fiesta for Europe and other places. The Pinto experienced a terrible standing and was in the vicinity of the close of its everyday living soon after staying on sale given that 1971.

The West German and Uk-manufactured Fiesta was a little bit more recent, but would not last substantially more time in its first-gen Seventies guise. On sale since 1976, German illustrations have been available in North The united states among 1978 and 1980. The initially Fiesta was generally nicely-been given, notably in North America because the Pinto different was crap.

The Fiesta ongoing in output by way of 1983 in its first edition, before it was changed by the Fiesta Mark II. But that Fiesta, like the very first, was a lot more for European intake and wouldn’t operate as a planet car as nicely as a little something goal-developed. Keep that thought.

Above at Mazda, there was only just one subcompact automobile in the company’s background, and it was only these types of on a technicality. Named the Carol 600, the coupe and sedan had been marginally greater variations of the Kei R360 coupe, which was also marketed as the Carol. Its 600 title was owing to its 586-cc motor, and it graduated from Kei to subcompact since it experienced greater bumpers. Within, the room was the similar as the smaller sized vehicle.

The “larger” Carol 600 was of a increased tax bracket and proved unpopular due to the fact it offered no strengths above the Kei version other than a larger motor. The 600 was on sale for two design decades prior to it was pulled from generation, with about 8,800 examples sold. Mazda didn’t make a further subcompact until finally 1986. Again to Ford.

Specified the Pinto was accomplished and the Fiesta was not meant for North American consumption, Ford would go devoid of a subcompact giving for a couple of yrs. In 1981 the compact Escort grew to become the alternative for the subcompact Pinto, which experienced straddled the dimension courses with how significant it was. The substitution for the Fiesta in North The us would be a true subcompact.

In Europe, the Fiesta Mark II would proceed as the smallest car on offer you in the supermini class, whilst the European Escort was in its third era and was thought of a little family members auto (compact). The freshly established subcompact would not be sold in Europe but would be sold eventually by Ford Australia to that sector.

Product or service have to have analyzed, Ford approached Mazda with its considerable early Eighties possession stake and directed the Hiroshima people to develop a new subcompact automobile. The identify Ford picked was Festiva, surely in hopes the standing and accomplishment of the extant and equally named Fiesta would rub off on its new import. The resultant Mazda-created trip was a useful, sq., a few-doorway hatchback condition.

Nevertheless it wore a Ford badge, it was right away distinct the Festiva was a Japanese style. Its total concept was “practical box.” An unadorned fascia offered two square composite headlamps, which were flush with the grille and made use of amber corner markers. The grille concerning was system-coloured and highlighted a really basic singular bar with a Ford emblem in the center. The bumper was finished in a gray rubber (or body-coloured on better trims) and experienced almost no decoration other than two turn indicator lamps.

The hood experienced nominal decoration and only a modest electric power bulge that tapered off right before the leading edge at the grille. The upper 50 % of the Festiva’s hood experienced a solitary lifted detail, in the sort of a centrally-placed black plastic windshield sprayer nozzle.

Fenders featured a one character line that ran straight to the stop of the shorter overall body. It was interrupted by a quite evident gas door on the driver’s facet, and a black doorway handle that was pulled from the Ranger. Side rub strips continued from front to rear wheel perfectly and showcased a contrasting tape stripe within just them. They have been black on lessen-conclude versions, but physique-coloured if a additional zesty trim.

At the rear, the tall greenhouse fulfilled with a very simple rear hatch for utmost practicality and visibility. Pillars all close to had been slender, a nod to the relatively lax crash basic safety specifications of the Eighties. There was very little adornment at the rear, just a basic established of badges, a rear wiper, and a bumper with a cutout for the very small tailpipe.

As one may well hope on these types of a class of car or truck, the Festiva’s interior was crafted to a cost and utilized a fewer is a lot more style concept. In front of the driver was a two-spoke Mazda steering wheel, and over and above a extremely uncomplicated established of gauges. Speedometer, temperature, and gas ended up the only gauges provided. No tachometer was current, even with a handbook transmission. Somewhere else, the cabin experienced very easy HVAC sliders, a pretty simple stereo, and no centre console. Amongst the flat bucket seats was the shifter and parking brake, and nothing at all else.

The Festiva’s seats had been somewhat unadorned, although some illustrations used a lot more upmarket ribbed velour as their seating product. Doorway panels were equally very simple, coated with a bare minimum total of padding, and completed largely in vinyl. Seat belts have been everyone’s the very least beloved form: Automatic and connected to the doorway for the shoulder, with a manual lap belt. In common, convenience and benefit characteristics have been stored at a bare minimum, in buy to assure the lowest pricing probable.

There’s not a good deal still left to say about the exterior and interior styling of the super simplistic Festiva. We’ll wrap up there, and understand about the Festiva’s engineering and mechanicals in Part II. We’ll also cover its critical planet debut.

[Images: Ford, YouTube]

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