Ray Hull gets the BangShift high five for tipping us off to this really cool creation that is currently for sale on eBay. Like we said in the title, a dude in Florida took a 1989 Ford Festiva and loaded a 1300cc Hyabusa engine into the back of it, fabricated a drive system to provide power through an IRS style rear suspension, added a roof duct, installed a cage, and prettied up the outside. This little car is flipping cool because it weighs 1,600lbs! The handling has to be literally insane and the exhaust note must make people fall out of chairs, perform comedic spit takes, and generally mutter disbelieving swear words as it drives by, especially at full throttle.
I have weird respect for Ford Festiva of this era because during my time running around with an SCCA ITC road racing cars, the little Festiva were some of the strongest running pieces in the class. We often battled with (and lost to!) Festiva on road courses all over New England and the east coast. As road cars they were little tin cans that you probably wouldn’t survive even a low speed wreck in, but gutted and braced up by a roll cage, they became stiff little handling monsters. Our mights 1.6L VW could run them down on the straights but the Festiva were far better handlers. Those were the days.
Back to the crazy contraption in this eBay ad. The builder did a nice job in our estimation. The layout if technically “mid engine” as the ‘Busa mill is dead nuts in the center of the car. There’s a metal and lexan firewall between the driver/passenger area and the engine which is cool and there’s a roof mounted scoop with air ducts coming down to feed fresh air into the 1.3L engine. As the builder kept the stock sending unit from the motorcycle and stuck it in the front mounted fuel cell in the car, the fuel gauge reads accurately and all of the other gauges work, too. If you notice, he stuck the Hyabusa gauges into the factory holes of the Festiva dash. Nice touch!
The real piece of hot rodding genius here is the hand made rear drive setup. The differential is a custom, one off piece built for this car. Chain driven, it obviously has the ability to allow one tire to move faster or slower than the other for cornering purposes. While there is not a direct close up of the diff, you can see that there’s a big hunk of machined metal under the chain. We’re not sure where the half shafts came from but the IRS looks cool and the car sits at the factory stock height. Tires are little 195/45/15s which is probably plenty for a car that weighs less than 2,000lbs with two smallish people in it. The roll cage is cool and we’d drive it in a heartbeat. Autocross is calling this one home!
The only thing it doesn’t have? Reverse. That may actually make it cooler.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE PHOTOS AND THEN HIT THE EBAY LINK AT THE BOTTOM!
eBay Link: 1989 Ford Festiva with Hyabusa Engine….Mid mounted!
No reverse? That’s useful. I quess you could put a hatch in the floor and make like Fred Flintstone.
That was exactly my first thought. What about reverse? It wouldn’t be hard to put a starter motor on for reverse, or just turn the wheel, hammer the gas and drop the clutch. It will probably turn around inside a lane.
I’ve never seen an autocross track where no reverse would be an issue. And if don’t have friends to push you back in the pits, you need to work on your social skills.
looks like a Datsun 510 rear trailing arm setup. About the right width stock and the same bolt pattern on the hubs.
We figured out an easy solution to reverse on a car my buddy is building with a ZX14 motor mid engine and a 5 series BMW LSD. He has a small electric motor with a wheel mounted on a lever and is engaged with an emergency brake handle. Pull up the handle it drops the motor and wheel, push the button and it backs up. It is a little slow but it works. No more pushing.
What’s with the 5 gallon fuel cell? I know these things are supposed to be economical, but I still wouldn’t want to have to fill up everyday.
That’s not a differential, that’s a brake caliper. This thing is completely locked unless there’s something I can’t see.
Which makes it even cooler.
This guy is dreaming at $19,500. Basically 4 times the price of the original car? Sheez, for $20k you could buy a cool car… He’s lucky if he gets $5k for that thing, if even that.