Thursday 27 June 2013


Not my favourite example, but nonetheless an example of a chassis I love.

It's a 1989 WA(DA) Ford Festiva, built by Mazda in Japan since 1986, and sold in Australia (and most markets outside Japan) as the first generation Mazda 121. It was later produced and exported from Korea as the Kia Pride, and again (in export markets) as the Festiva.

This Ford Festiva version isn't the most flattering example of this chassis; with the large bumpers, tail-lights, orange indicators and different grille making the Mazda 121 equivalent look comparatively stunning!
Seriously, the 121 version is just so damn cute..

I can ignore easily look past these details, as this particular car has one of my favourite features available on the Festiva/121: The Fun-top!
As the pictures show, the 'Fun-top' (or 'Canvas-top' in this case!) is a large slide-back canvas sunroof. Reminds me of an old Fiat 500 or Citroen 2CV - the open roof just adds so much more.

For Australia, this roof option was genuinely known/badged/sold as the Fun-top, and was fitted to the top spec of 121 - originally based on the Super-Deluxe, and later the 'Shades'.
Although the Festiva version survived until 1993; by 1991 the little 3-door Mazda 121 Fun-top was gone, Mazda having replaced with by the second generation 121 - the Bubble.

Nowadays these cars are cheap as chips; but this lack of value makes finding a good one somewhat uncommon - you just have to keep an eye open..

..and that I do.
I'd jump on a clean, light blue, Fun-top Shades..!


  1. My younger brother had a light blue shades in high school. Such was the embarrassment that he had his mates believe that I was the owner haha. That was back in 2003, and then it was not uncommon to see the occasional up-spec funtop. But not until reading this did I realise I can't remember the last time I've seen one on the road. Bit of a shame really.
    That aside, I have a rather large softspot for the small cars, and Kei models. Conspicuous by its absence on your blog, it was probably in the mid 2000's that I bought a granny spec Mightyboy. Can't get a lot smaller than that!

    1. awwgh.. I love the light-blue shades! I'm guessing like most that it didn't meet a particularly great end?

      I haven't posted any pics of mightboys either eh! Coincidentally a guy at my work drives a matte black one, but that particular car happens to be the only one I see regularly driven! Smallest 'ute' ever? compressed-awesome? Yes.

  2. Actually, it ended up with our old lady after my brother decided a dirty old 4AC powered AE82 was a less embarrassing proposition. The shades dropped a cylinder eventually but then was lovingly fixed before being sold to a local guy who just wanted a reliable commuter. It was seen around the traps now and then, but like all things, gradually disappeared.

    I'll be waiting for those 19.2kW / 543cc pizza delivery trucks to make an appearance!