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


We embark on the significant and world tale of a subcompact hatchback now. Your author referenced it past 7 days in Portion I of our Kia huge cars sequence, and now it is time for the promised in depth Rare Rides protection! Created in different areas all-around the earth, our matter auto lived a prolonged everyday living and had no much less than 10 identities around its extraordinary 17-yr span. We’re going to occasion, karamu, Festiva, without end.

The Festiva’s tale started out in the Seventies, as Ford amplified its possession stake in friendly and healthful Japanese automaker, Mazda. The two companies’ relationship started off in the latter aspect of that 10 years. Mazda had been in a rough place economically since the Sixties, and Ford bought its possession on the inexpensive. Ford’s initial investment was a paltry seven % stake in the Hiroshima organization.

The marriage deepened in 1979 when Ford poured in some far more dollars and elevated their stake in Mazda to 24.5 per cent. The timing occurred to align for each organizations with regard to an all-new subcompact providing, as Ford’s merchandise was outdated and Mazda had some free style and design potential.

As far as Ford was concerned, subcompact offerings were being break up into the Pinto for the North American market place, and the Fiesta for Europe and other places. The Pinto had a awful standing and was close to the finish of its lifestyle following remaining on sale since 1971.

The West German and Uk-manufactured Fiesta was a bit more recent, but would not previous a great deal longer in its to start with-gen Seventies guise. On sale considering the fact that 1976, German illustrations had been readily available in North America amongst 1978 and 1980. The first Fiesta was usually very well-gained, particularly in North America simply because the Pinto alternative was crap.

The Fiesta ongoing in generation through 1983 in its preliminary model, in advance of it was replaced by the Fiesta Mark II. But that Fiesta, like the to start with, was more for European consumption and would not do the job as a earth car as nicely as one thing goal-designed. Maintain that considered.

More than at Mazda, there was only one particular subcompact automobile in the company’s history, and it was only these types of on a technicality. Named the Carol 600, the coupe and sedan have been marginally bigger versions of the Kei R360 coupe, which was also sold as the Carol. Its 600 name was because of to its 586-cc motor, and it graduated from Kei to subcompact since it had much larger bumpers. Inside, the space was the exact as the lesser car or truck.

The “larger” Carol 600 was of a larger tax bracket and proved unpopular for the reason that it presented no strengths above the Kei edition other than a larger engine. The 600 was on sale for two product decades before it was pulled from manufacturing, with about 8,800 illustrations bought. Mazda didn’t make an additional subcompact right until 1986. Back again to Ford.

Presented the Pinto was done and the Fiesta was not intended for North American use, Ford would go devoid of a subcompact featuring for a couple of decades. In 1981 the compact Escort grew to become the replacement for the subcompact Pinto, which had straddled the dimensions courses with how substantial it was. The substitution for the Fiesta in North The usa would be a true subcompact.

In Europe, the Fiesta Mark II would go on as the smallest car on provide in the supermini course, when the European Escort was in its third generation and was thought of a small loved ones auto (compact). The freshly designed subcompact would not be sold in Europe but would be offered eventually by Ford Australia to that industry.

Products will need analyzed, Ford approached Mazda with its sizeable early Eighties ownership stake and directed the Hiroshima individuals to develop a new subcompact auto. The identify Ford picked was Festiva, undoubtedly in hopes the reputation and accomplishment of the extant and likewise named Fiesta would rub off on its new import. The resultant Mazda-developed trip was a useful, sq., three-doorway hatchback form.

Although it wore a Ford badge, it was immediately apparent the Festiva was a Japanese structure. Its all round theme was “practical box.” An unadorned fascia introduced two sq. composite headlamps, which ended up flush with the grille and applied amber corner markers. The grille among was human body-colored and showcased a incredibly simple singular bar with a Ford emblem in the center. The bumper was concluded in a gray rubber (or system-colored on larger trims) and had pretty much no decoration other than two transform indicator lamps.

The hood had small decoration and only a modest ability bulge that tapered off right before the foremost edge at the grille. The upper half of the Festiva’s hood experienced a single elevated detail, in the form of a centrally-placed black plastic windshield sprayer nozzle.

Fenders showcased a one character line that ran straight to the finish of the brief physique. It was interrupted by a really evident fuel doorway on the driver’s aspect, and a black door deal with that was pulled from the Ranger. Facet rub strips ongoing from front to rear wheel nicely and highlighted a contrasting tape stripe inside of them. They had been black on reduce-end products, but body-coloured if a much more zesty trim.

At the rear, the tall greenhouse met with a very simple rear hatch for most practicality and visibility. Pillars all all around were thin, a nod to the somewhat lax crash basic safety standards of the Eighties. There was 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 1 may count on on these types of a course of car, the Festiva’s interior was constructed to a rate and used a considerably less is a lot more design and style theme. In entrance of the driver was a two-spoke Mazda steering wheel, and over and above a pretty easy set of gauges. Speedometer, temperature, and gas were being the only gauges made available. No tachometer was current, even with a manual transmission. In other places, the cabin experienced pretty straightforward HVAC sliders, a very very simple stereo, and no middle console. Among the flat bucket seats was the shifter and parking brake, and almost nothing else.

The Festiva’s seats had been instead unadorned, however some illustrations utilised additional upmarket ribbed velour as their seating substance. Door panels were being similarly easy, lined with a bare minimum amount of padding, and finished largely in vinyl. Seat belts were being everyone’s minimum favored form: Automatic and attached to the doorway for the shoulder, with a manual lap belt. In standard, convenience and advantage characteristics were being stored at a least, in order to make sure the lowest pricing possible.

There’s not a good deal remaining to say about the exterior and inside 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 deal with its crucial world debut.

[Images: Ford, YouTube]

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