I you want to build a limousine, chances are you’ll want to start with something big, seeing as the aim is to maximise interior volume. What a normal limousine-builder would definitely not want to start with is a tiny 1993 Ford Festiva. That would make no sense, but then, here we are.
In an attempt to figure out what the heck is going on with this elongated econobox, I reached out to the Missouri-based seller, who has listed this “93 Festiva Limo and spare parts” on Facebook Marketplace for a seemingly reasonable $2,982. Sadly, I have yet to receive a response, so we’re just going to have to use our imaginations, and maybe some clues, to attempt to understand why something this absurd exists.
In the listing’s description, the seller admits that the Festiva Limo is a “project” that’s about 90 per cent done. It apparently has air conditioning, a clean title, and it’s legal to drive on the road. That last point is amazing considering that this is clearly a home-brew contraption made by hacking one Festiva’s nose off, and welding it to a Festiva that has had its rear chopped off.
The best part of the build is the short black triangular prism bridging the C-pillar of the front Festiva to the A-pillar of the rear Festiva to yield a perfectly flat roof. Sure, you could argue that this awkward patch further highlights the fact that maybe the Festiva isn’t the optimal base for a limousine, but I think it gives the cute black and red stretched compact car tons of character.
Also worth mentioning is the Ford Ranchero in the background of the picture above, but it’s not just any Ranchero, it’s one with a camper. And it’s not just any Ranchero with a camper, it’s a one with a short camper.
And it’s not just any Ranchero with a short camper, I think — despite a lack of stacks, a different colour hood, and a missing side skirt — it’s one that was featured last year on Barnfinds.com. The site wrote about a wacky 1970 Ford Ranchero for sale in Nebraska, and referred to the car as a “side-show freak” before describing some of its oddball features, writing:
The lower tail lights are stock 1970 Ranchero, with 1970 Torino tail lights and a fog light re-purposed as a loading light above the sliding rear window.
Vertical stacks exhaust the engine’s spent gasses, and a Lincoln Continental trunk serves as a bed cover. The combination of the crude fender skirts and front and rear rubber “spoilers” impart Hovercraft-inspired aerodynamics.
From the “WTH” department… this, folks, is the fifth-wheel goose-neck ball and safety chain loops, though I’d rather not find out what happens when your giant fifth-wheel camper pops loose while descending Fancy Gap.
The weirdo Ranchero is, I think, one of two clues that have me convinced that there’s some sort of strange mutant automobile operation going on in Missouri. The second clue is the sheer number of spare parts this seller has for this (these?) Festiva(s). Seriously, look at this:
I’m seeing doors, hatches, a wheel, seats, and what is that on the bottom? A transmission?
Then there are more seats, and what looks like at least four radiators.
What’s with the four gauge clusters?
And there appear to be more gauge clusters, and a bunch of taillights. Plus, whatever all this crap is:
I don’t know what the heck is going on in Kearney, Missouri, but between the wacky Ford Festiva limo, the Ford Ranchero with the short cab, and the absurd number of spare parts, I’m thinking that perhaps an ambitious Festiva-lover with lots of zany car ideas got a hold of a welder, and set about living their best life.
I’m all for it.
This article was originally published 3/10/19.