Edmunds dealer partner, Bayway Leasing, is now offering transparent lease deals via these forums. Click here to see the latest vehicles!

Where are all the Festivas?

debrahilldebrahill Member Posts: 13
edited March 2014 in Ford
My 1990 Festiva L Plus, with only 27,000 miles got
nerfed while parked in front of my house. I am so
upset. The insurance folks want to total the car
for $2200. (Keep in mind we are talking San
Francisco Dollars, which do not go as far as other
US currency,) I have tried to locate
another Festiva with an automatic transmission but
with no luck. There are none to be found, even
tried 14 different used car searches on the web and
could only track one down in Ohio with a standard
Can anyone offer up a possible solution? I
really do not think the price being offered is
fair, since I am unable to replace it with the same
vehicle. I know fellow Festiva owners know exactly
what I am talking about when it comes to loving
our "toy cars". Hey, I enjoyed the fact that the
tires were really just Hostess Donuts....
Any suggestions?


  • cinemafiacinemafia Member Posts: 57
    San Francisco dollars are about the equivalent of pesos, or maybe yen.

    Yeah those festivas are nifty little go-carts, but seriously if you still want a good, reliable little twqo-door hatchback, pick up a Geo Metro from 1989-1994. They're about the same price and will give you about the same performance (or lack of), increadible gas mileage and clown-car-like cargo capacity.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, to be honest, they weren't all that great a car, mechanically, and also they didn't sell very well. In that price range, perhaps an older Honda Civic would suit your needs (although given the average 16 year old Californian's propensity to cover Civics with stickers and wings, good luck finding a stock one.) Also, I was about to suggest finding one with a manual transmission, until I noticed you're in SF...they ONLY city in the world that I'd own an automatic in. I visited a few times and told my friend there I could become rich opening a clutch and brake shop. :)
    (By the way, please educate this New Englander..what is "nerfed"?)
  • cinemafiacinemafia Member Posts: 57
    I was wondering about that too...what the heck is nerfed??? I mean I know LA and San Fran are very different cities in the same state, but I didn't know you guys had a different language up there.
  • debrahilldebrahill Member Posts: 13
    I live on a hill, (not a surprise for San Francisco) anyway the car was parked in front of my house, minding it's own business. Mr. Wong comes flying down the hill and *BLAM* bounces his Taurus off my car (i.e. nerfed). I hear the crash, run to the front window and find my car now on the sidewalk, in the neighbor's driveway. His car comes to a stop near the end of the block. Nerf isn't a technical term, but certainly covers the experience of bouncing cars. I thank you for the suggestions for replacing the car with something different, but I want to replace my late Festiva with another. They are only 141" long and can fit in the smallest of parking spaces. It got me around town and was a delight. I never had any problems and it ran flawlessly. I _loved_ my go cart. AND if they are so under appreciated, why can't I find one for sale? I even tried all the various on line methods to search for one, in a 250 mile radius and found
    *Zero* available. It's easier finding a 63 Falcon Ranchero than a Festiva! And they taunt me, as I got off the bus last night on my way home from work, someone scooted past me in their Festiva :(

    I am still seeking advise in finding another...
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    The reason you aren't finding any for sale is largely due to the fact that they WERE (and are) underappreciated. People bought these cars to use up and discard, like a cheap appliance. It is very rare to see anyone buy a car at this price point and actually take care of it. How many pristine Escorts or Neons do you see on the road? Like any machine, inexpensive cars like the Festiva quickly turn into "rats" if neglected day in and day out. This was a small, underpowered car ill-suited for life on U.S. highways; most have been used up and junked. If you REALLY have to have one, I think you are going to have to be willing to travel to get it.
  • debrahilldebrahill Member Posts: 13
    You know, mine was a rare one. It was pristine... not a dent or scratch, and yes I understand I will have to settle for less. It was used for running about town. Highways weren't an issue, but it handled the twists and turns down Highway 1, (the coast road) to Santa Cruz and back with ease.

    Tell me where to travel, and I'm there....

    btw, if it is a rat, I'd be happy to turn it into an 'art car' The silly toy car quality lends itself to such a future.
  • cinemafiacinemafia Member Posts: 57
    If you're really looking for that "Art Car" mystique, why not get a Yugo? I still see 'em putting around town here in L.A., and even saw one on a used car lot fro something like $250. Then again, their heyday of artistic reinvention was kinda 80's so you may seem behind the times. Well I wish you good luck in finding a little Festiva, and remember, you can always be cool like that auto parts commercial (was it Kragen?) where the guy in the bright yellow festiva gets his new "euro-style' windshield wipers and pulls up to a red light next to a muscle car and just turns on his wipers while the muscle car tears off at the green light. That commercial immortalized the Festiva...
  • cinemafiacinemafia Member Posts: 57
    I found half a dozen Festivas for sale in California!

    The one closest to you is a '91 at a dealer in Daly City for $1595. Another is a '91 stick shift in Laguna Beach for $2000, another is an all red '92 stick shift in Long Beach for $3200, one a '91 blue automatic in the Moreno Valley area for $2450. Just go to http://www.autotrader.com and run a search under collector cars, not the regular search, for 89-92 Festivas anywhere in California any price range and you'll get about six matches. Good luck!
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Debrahill, I understand the attachment to a particular car. If you can't find one close by, let me know and I'll do some searching in my area. I bought a pristine BMW 320i from the original owner in L.A. a few years back, and shipping the car to Houston cost about $450.00.
  • debrahilldebrahill Member Posts: 13
    Thanks for being on the look out. I indeed appreciate the heads up, and am as serious as a heart attack about replacing my toy car. I had already called the Daly City dealer and the car was sold. Go figure, with everyone teasing me about my preference in vehicles, I must not be the only *nut case* around here. I will check the auto trader again, I was just doing a ford/ festiva/any year/ any price/ anywhere search. Where is Moreno Valley? I need an automatic.....

    btw, cinemafia, I didn't see that commercial, but obviously enough did. I used to *love* embarrassing the other cars by darting off the line at an intersection... they were so smug that they didn't think a Festiva had the capability, but I know better. *zoom* then *putt putt*
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    Do you NEED an automatic, or would just really prefer one?
  • cinemafiacinemafia Member Posts: 57
    Too bad about the Daly City one. Well the automatic in Moreno Valley might still be around. Moreno Valley is down here around Ontario, San Bernadino, that area. East from L.A., in the 909 area code. About 400+ miles for you to drive I suppose! Well good luck again.
  • debrahilldebrahill Member Posts: 13
    Sadly, the word is NEED. Never learned the stick shift routine, otherwise I'd probably be obsessing about a sportscar.... when driving blonde, it's better to keep it simple
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, no time like the present...If you can drive stick in SF, you can do it anywhere. In this category of cars, the majority of Festivas and others were probably sold as 5-speeds. And you don't need a sports car to have fun with a stick...I'm going to be buying a Passat wagon with a 5-speed here soon! If you CANNOT find a Festiva, what about the following: Subaru Justy, Suzuki Swift/Geo Metro, VW Golf (a bit bigger than the others, but roomier and still very easy to park, Honda Civic hatchback (ditto the Golf comments) Mazda 323 hatchback, Ford Aspire (the Festiva's replacement,) Ford Crown Victoria (unnerfable, plus your neighbor will think you're a cop and try harder not to hit you. :-) )
    Also, if you call AAA, they can direct you to a driving school that teaches the fine art of the manual transmission. Like I said, in this segment, the majority of cars will be manuals.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    My wife is blonde, and she's more militant about buying nothing but 5-speeds than I am... :-)
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Debrahill, if your budget can stretch to a new car, don't forget to drive the Focus ZX3 - I did, and bought one immediately. This car was designed by Ford of Europe, and offers amazing performance and style for the price... but it is longer than 144", however :)
  • debrahilldebrahill Member Posts: 13
    I appreciate your suggestions for replacements but am determined that it will be another Festiva. If they were available in the states, I'd move on to a Ford Ka. I was in Italy last month, and the small cars are so cool. There was also a model called the Smart. I couldn't figure out who the manufacturer was, or how the thing worked, but it appeared to be a hybrid gas/electric. My Festiva obsession would melt away could we get Euro models.... :(
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    is built by DaimlerChrysler, formerly in a joint venture with Swatch (yes, the watch company), who left the venture sometime last year. I don't think it's selling too well. I, too, was in Europe a few years ago, and liked their cars in general, but found the smallest models to be TOO small. I'm not a fan of big cars, but cars like the VW Lupo, Fiat Cinquecento, etc., are really not practical for US roads, even places like SF, Boston, or New York. Maybe as gas prices go through $2.00/gallon, people will regain some common sense and do away with their SUVs, but I think the Golf/Civic/Focus-sized car is really the practical limit for the US, size-wise. Having said that, I think a hybrid gas/electic car, no matter what the size, is a great idea, especially for mostly city driving, as it sounds like that's mostly what you do.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    ...but I agree with lancerfixer - the U.S. is not a friendly or practical place to run a truly small car. I have a good friend who owns a '67 Mini Cooper S, but only runs it on the track. It is going to take a miracle, as well as a doubling of gas prices to force Americans out of their obnoxious pickups and SUVs - I'm not holding my breath. I'm 6'5", and fit nicely in the Focus. If Ford would bring the Ka over here, and I fit inside it, I'd consider one... but I'd be taking a serious risk on all but quiet suburban streets.
  • debrahilldebrahill Member Posts: 13
    I confess, I remember the gas shortage and odd even days for gas station runs in the early 70's.... (not that I was old enough to drive ) The SUV thing makes no sense to me, off road in the city means sidewalk. But I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg for idiots, I spotted a *stretch* SUV here in San Francisco. Damn, it was ugly!

    btw, if I were a gear head and could keep one running, I'd want a Mini or a Sunbeam instead...
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    Any luck finding a Festiva yet?
  • rex12rex12 Member Posts: 133
    That's a great reason to love the current gas prices. I don't know about you but, here in Metro Detroit it's running $2.10 a gallon for regular.

    HEY! My car is averaging 37mpg do I mind? Well, it's a bit out of my pocket book but, anything to get the damn SUV's off the road! I love rubbing it in, telling my SUV driving friends about mileage over 30 just makes them shake their heads!

    Hurray for the economical hatchback!
  • jingles1jingles1 Member Posts: 1
    I too am not very upset at the pump and enjoy watching the SUV owners take a nap while their tanks fill up...not to mention, donate a major organ to pay for it.

    My enthusiasm would cease upon coming in contact with one but, I'll cross my fingers and drive as safely as possible.

    Speaking of SUV's, believe it or not my Festiva looks like one when parked next to my Austin Mini. I thought it was funny that the Mini was mentioned earlier and the same year for that matter. I love them both, but, must give the reliability award to the Festi.

    If anyone wants a mini, check out minimania.com. It's truly one of the best sites I've found on the net. Look under "Private Sales." I found my 67 Austin Mini MK1 posted on the site and had it shipped from England to the east coast. Plenty being sold right out of the states also.

    Anywho, good luck with the Festiva and happy driving. I'm on to the focus ZX3 next(Beautiful Car) or the PT Cruiser if I can be real patient.

  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    If you can't locate that perfect Festiva, why not go smaller? The Mini would be a good choice, or how about a Citroen 2CV? Ah, nothing like a bit of Gallic charm. Or maybe a microcar? BMW Isetta, anyone? Or maybe something REALLY obscure like a Goggomobil or Messerschmidt KR200? If you want an urban runabout that can be parked anywhere, and sips fuel like a hummingbird, these cars might be worth the search. Just stay away from those SUVs, though :(
  • debrahilldebrahill Member Posts: 13
    I have not found my Festiva yet. It seems as though there are many with a standard transmission but the automatics are scarce... as for a smaller car, I would be game were they reliable. When I was in Paris there was a great little 'thing'(didn't get the name) that could be parked pulled in rather than parallel and just match the width of the other cars. In Italy I fell for the Ka, also made by Ford... why can't we get them here????

    In the meantime, I am fighting it out with those insurance rats who think they can give me a couple of dollars to total my "old useless piece of tin that blah blah blah...."
  • gtkachgtkach Member Posts: 10
    I take exception to those who say the Festivas were not good cars. My 88 Festiva is still going strong and maintenance has been practically nil. I've had other Fords (Taurus and 2 Escorts) and this Festiva is by far the most reliable I've owned.
  • debrahilldebrahill Member Posts: 13
    Please don't get me wrong! I loved my Festiva and I agree 100% that it is a reliable car. It is the insurance guy who is trying to get me to settle and total my 1990 L Plus (that had only 27K miles), that uses the lump of useless tin angle. I have friends with an Aspire, now that one is a pile of rattling tin.....
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    It doesn't matter what you think of the Festiva, or the insurance guy's personal feelings toward you car, he's giving you a check based on what the MARKET says about your ex-Festiva. Based on the current car (and I use that term loosely) buying trends, I'd say your vehicle is more useful TO THE MARKET in its ore state. It doesn't matter what value you or I or your insurance guy place on it.
  • debrahilldebrahill Member Posts: 13
    Unfortunately, I realize that. However, they are not even willing to meet the blue book quote. I get really cross when I face the fact that to date, I cannot find a car *in any condition* for the amount of money they are offering me. There was a Festiva available about 100 miles from San Francisco, out in the farm country. They wanted $4000. and it had close to 100K miles. I decided to be a smart [non-permissible content removed] and told Mr Insurance to go get me the car, park it in front of my house, and that would get my file off his desk... needless to say he was not amused, did not get me the car and now I have the claim in arbitration.... oh well.
  • kdominczakkdominczak Member Posts: 174
    It makes perfect sense here in USA where gas prices are going up and up.
    The car market here is turning towards four-cylinder cars, and it's not a coincidence ,it's a logical way to go when gas prices are becoming so expensive.
    I think it will take another 5 to 10 years by the time today's truck based SUV's will naturally dye out. Today, if you'll ask anyone who owns SUV ,why did you decided to buy one, and why you did not consider any smaller cars ? In many cases answers will be "because I feel safe in it" and
    "gas is so cheap these days and I can afford it"
    It was the case last summer when gas was cheaper than spring water. Are you ready to fill it up for 45$ now (and remember you are still paying your loan off around 450$ every month ,all while your monthly insurance is just nailing your financial coffin.
    Gas prices are way up since last year , economy will not soar for much longer, those two major facts will kill SUV's the same way they've created them.
    It is becoming a very high price for your safety and comfort.
    If Ford will follow it's great success of fantastic Focus and will push in with a new Ford Fiesta kind of car (it looks very interesting in the post above) others will follow.
    GM can bring their great Opels here, Fiat is doing a lot nicer cars lately.
    Do you agree....?
  • debrahilldebrahill Member Posts: 13
    I can only hope you are right,with the suggestion that SUVs will become too expensive. A taxi driver here in San Francisco, has a scarier possibility... after a couple more years, and it's time to get a new auto, all these out of date SUVs will become the first cars for the family teenager.... how's your medical insurance?
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Here in Houston ("Where Trucks Are King"), I see ratty SUVs all the time. Most of them are driven by low income wannabes and kids. I especially fear the lowered Explorers running tiny chrome wheels with wide whitewalls, and sporting garish backyard metallic paint jobs. I realize this is America, but I think all this trash should be removed from the road and crushed. Whatever happened to good taste and common sense?

    Debrahill, there is a creampuff Festiva here in my apartment complex - a silver one, no less. It has a manual tranny, but if you are interested, I can put a "do you want to sell this car?" note on the windshield - let me know.
  • debrahilldebrahill Member Posts: 13
    Gotta say, you're a doll, but I *really* will wait for an automatic. It is just to scary to try to learn new tricks in a city filled with lots of tall hills....

    I am sorry to learn that the plague is already upon us with the rat SUVs. At least you can spot them coming?
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    It's been a couple weeks...any luck yet?
  • occupant1occupant1 Member Posts: 412
    found a silver 1992 Festiva on eBay in Columbus OH for $275 but alas, a standard transmission, and with bad transmission bearings at that. I'll keep my eyes open. I have seen Festivas in junkyards with over 200K, I am sure there are plenty on the road, finding an automatic will be tough. I remember test driving a standard Festiva a couple years ago, the clutch pedal is so far off the floor that I hurt my calf trying to declutch.

    If I find one here in Dallas I'd be willing to deliver it to you for gas and a bus ticket and whatever it costs. I'll keep you posted!

  • inuvikinuvik Member Posts: 163
    Well, did you ever get your Festiva replaced? It's been awhile since we've gotten a update.
  • wonderwallwonderwall Member Posts: 126
    what was/is the difference between a festiva/ aspire & the mazda 121 which is sold in europe and japan, etc? did mazda make the 121, while kia made the festivas & aspires? or did kia make and do they continue to make the mazda 121?
  • marbymarby Member Posts: 34
    this link shouls help answer your question,
  • clurdclurd Member Posts: 1
    I bought a '93 Festiva because it was cheap and bright colored (aqua). I didn't know how to drive standard... but couldn't turn down such a bargain. It was a challenge to get started facing uphill for the first few weeks, but you learn fast, and the clutch miraculously survived. My Festiva weathered a year of San Francisco's hills, and a four-year road trip around the U.S. The car did fine on the open highway (well, a lot of cars passed us in the mountains of Montana), and after four years on an island (Key West), I'm pleased to report she's just fine on a strict diet of short trips too. I replaced the clutch this year -- at 93,000 miles. I hope I never have to replace the car.
  • horrockshorrocks Member Posts: 12
    I have an 89 Festiva L. I tried changing the thermostat twice over the past 7 years, but no change. The car has to go about 5 miles before I feel any heat in the winter. Any ideas?
  • pasdenpasden Member Posts: 1
    I just realized how invisible the Festiva really is to other cars. I was driving this week minding my own business, when this large truck (F150) decided he wanted to be in my lane. Fortunately I was able to swerve and drive up a snow pile to avoid being smooooossshed. I think it would've hurt!! I'm a little nervous now about my little Jelly Bean Car (it's aqua and looks as small as a jelly bean). Have any of my fellow Festiva owners had scary Festiva driving incidents too? Drive Safely....with your hands on the horns!!
This discussion has been closed.