Car Stuff

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Currently, I have an '88 Ford Festiva, and a '91 Mazda Miata. I've spent some time autocrossing these and other cars, so I'm providing this page to share my impressions.

Ford Festiva

My first new car, and still going strong after 10 years with little maintenance effort, moderate miles and hard driving.

I'm on a Festiva mailing list, where we share technical info. This is a car with a cult following, believe it or not. On the list, we share advice and tips on everything from doing maintenance such as valve lash adjustment, to upgrading to 13" or 14" tires, to engine swaps, racing suspension upgrades.

I don't have a lot of pretty pictures here. Just a summary of my machine and my advice for other Festiva owners and wannabes.

If you are interested in subscribing, go to

Trying to find performance parts for your Festie? Maybe has the answers you need!!!

This site is a member of FestivaRing .
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Mazda Miata

Bought after I discovered the Festiva was not competitive in autocross. The Miatas have been dominating C-stock and more recently B-stock SCCA Solo II events.

For me, it is still a weekend or nice weather car, and the Festiva is my daily driver, as it is more economical and provides better perspective in rush hour traffic.


Autocross, or SCCA Solo II, is a timed racing event typically conducted in a large parking lot, such as at a stadium, with a course marked in chalk with traffic cones marking the course every 8-10 feet, each of which has a chalk marked box around it.

You get three to five runs (depending on particular event rules), and are penalized in time for knocking a cone out of it's box (though you are allowed to 'nick the cone' without penalty if it remains completely in the box afterward). I believe it is a 2 sec penalty, though some specific cones may be designated as being worth more.

For more information on the SCCA and SCCA events, see

To find an Autocross club in your area, check out

To find more information on the physics of racing, check out The Physics of Racing.

Electric Land Speed Record

I was thinking it would be interesting to try and set an LSR record for electric cars, and that perhaps 200+ would be a nice hurdle to go for. According to the Physics of Racing, above, this would take around 650 HP, but that's for a Corvette with 20 square feet of frontal area, or similar full size sports car.

I took a look around on the net, and found that in 1996, one of the last things that Frank Healey did before he died of cancer was run 206 in an electric speed record car. The amazing thing is that it did it with only 150 horsepower. Which was possible because his car only had about 4.5 sq ft of frontal area. That's probably less frontal area than you have. Take a look at their site for more info...

The Spirit of San Antonio II

Maps/Travel info

To find your way to any address/event location in the country, check out