Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2k: Adorable Snow Monster: 1991 Ford Festiva, BP-powered

Of the three Festivas taking up space in the Daily Turismo archives (next to budget Corvettes and a Miata with an insufferable identity crisis), all have had engine swaps. This is because the stock 1.3-liter Mazda-sourced engine was worth only 58 horsepower. That's torture even Dick Cheney wouldn't approve of. Once you double that output and add supporting modifications, though, you have our attention. Find this 1991 Ford Festiva with BP 1.8-liter swap in Spokane, WA for $2,000 here on craigslist.

Modern micro cars like the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, and Mazda 2 are designed with at least some modicum of thought to the fun quotient. Not so much with the Festiva. Lower trim levels had a four-speed manual and took longer than 13 seconds to reach 60. Six seconds later, you reach 70, and finally complete a quarter-mile. Despite a 1,700-pound curb weight, handling was poor due to the torsion beam rear suspension, Matchbox-sized puny wheels, and body roll. Now with at least 120 horsepower and suspension upgrades, this particular Festiva has become an entertaining little snot, although starting with an early Golf or Starlet would have yielded more performance out of the box. Hehe, box.

The swapped engine is another Mazda unit, the DOHC, 4-valve BP, from a Ford Escort GT. All told, it's a pretty similar creation to the BP-swapped Festiva we featured in July, built by an enterprising high school chap. Except this one has free-flowing exhaust, a Spec Stage 2 clutch, racing seats, and fender flares, all working to convince your senses that your daily commute is a qualifying stage in a snow rally.

Instead of an adequate amount of pictures, we get a detailed and entertaining write-up that reveals just how strange one needs to be to own a car like this (answer: quite). The car comes without rust or major body issues, but includes a set of Enkeis with fresh tires. For just twenty Benjamins, it's begging to be beat upon all winter long.

See a faster econobox? Email us at tips@dailyturismo.com

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


  1. Fleetwood T. BroughamDecember 16, 2014 at 7:06 AM

    At the risk of sounding stupid (actually that's well established, so no risk at all,really), what's "BP"...I've never heard it used before. Is it an engine code, like S52 on a BMW?

  2. Correct, it's a line of Mazda engines in the 1980s and 1990s. The 323 GTX had the BPT (for turbo), 1.8-liter Miatas had the BPE8, and so on. It's a shame they only run on BP gas though.

  3. You mean it's not "Bullit Proof" waah !

  4. This is cute. Never get it registered in CA with the open-element air filter and header, but it's cute.

    I'm guessing that it's got an open diff and manages a good dose of one-wheel peel, though.

  5. Love the picture of Kankunnen Sorinen on an evening special stage of the Spokanistan International Winter Rally.

  6. Yep, great CL ad. Let's preserve key parts of it for posteriority, shall we then? Last line is the clincher, right? Like maybe he actually persuaded a female of some kind.

    This is not your regular Festiva. Oh no no no. This is a 'Beastiva'. What is a 'Beastiva' you might ask? Well let me break it down for you.

    Normally this car has a 1.3L 8 valve wonder-bar that pushes out 50 small ponies on a good day. But that wasn't good enough so, a 1.8L DOHC Mazda 'BP' was taken from a Ford Escort GT, given new life through a full rebuild by Cylinder Head Service and HnG Machine, Felpro, King, Sealed Power and my hands. It now has 120 of those rampaging ponies under the hood and at 1500 lbs, this pertinacious little bulldog has the legs of a supermodel. Oh yeah.

    ... bla bla aftermarket parts bla ...

    OBX-R Micro Fart can 'to keep wilderness life off the road as you pronounce your presence.'
    Small box with moving parts and rotating shafts that make 120-130 rampaging mustangs.

    ... bla parts bla ...

    This is in fact. A car. But would be better used as a fun project to attract the female persuasion from other cars of much higher cost after humiliation through the gauntlet.

    Look at the pictures

    Pure ladies magnet.


    ... bla ...

    Selling because interests changed.

  7. Everything about this is wonderful and insane. It doesn't matter that there were much better platforms, if anything it only makes this beautiful crapbox even more unique. Now how would one get a Cummins in there?

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I am now the owner of this Beastiva and will be racing it in Autocross Northwest events in Deer Park north of Spokane!


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