Junkyard Find: 1990 Ford Festiva

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

By 1990, it just wasn’t done for Detroit to build its own really small subcompacts. Instead, badge-engineered cars designed and/or built by overseas subsidiaries or partners got the job done. GM had the Suzuki-based Metro, Chrysler still had the Simca-based Omnirizon, and Ford had the Mazda-based Festiva. You still see the occasional Festiva on the street, what with gas prices being what they are, but most of them were crushed long ago. Here’s one in Denver, sitting in the limbo between the street and The Crusher.

Imagine putting in 238,001 miles behind the wheel of a Festiva!

The Festivas will march unmourned into the shredder… until the day there are no Festivas left.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • CarGal CarGal on Dec 05, 2013

    Ugh. One of my girlfriends had one of these in college. To be fair, it held up extremely well but dear Lord you do not want to cross-country in one of them. ....which we did. Never, ever again. First and last time I drove a car with no power steering.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Dec 28, 2015

      Fortune favors the bold, and I can think of none bolder an act than cross country in one of these.

  • Laserwizard Laserwizard on Dec 28, 2015

    I bought one of these used from my brother-in-law - it had 60k on the odo when I took possession and put in 100k and traded it in for $400. I drove it for 5 years. It was a blast to drive though its transmission was problematic at the end. It was made of sheet metal so thin that it dented if you looked at it, but it was like driving a go-cart. It managed to get 47 mpgs on a trip on the highway - but my 1997 Escort can get 50. This thing was roomy as well for a car so small.

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