The Ford Fiesta is a hot little car that has so far received stellar reviews from a number of different sources. It isn’t Ford’s first foray into the small car market though. There was of course the Focus, and before that, the Escort. Some of us can even still remember the Ford Festiva, which wasn’t much more than a shoebox on wheels.
The idea was conceived of by Rick Titus, and brought to life by Check Beck. Beck, who was known for creating some wild cars, took Titus’s idea and ran with it. He built a special subframe to mount the SHO motor in the middle of the Festiva, and reversed the drive system so it powered the rear wheels. It even still had air conditioning, and the interior was upgraded with leather racing seats and a Momo steering wheel.
Tipping the scales at about a ton, the 220 horsepower SHO motor really motivated the tiny shoebox. It goes from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, runs the ¼ mile in just 12.9 seconds, and had a top speed of 145 mph. Just a handful of these were ever made, and Leno made his extra special by adding a nitrous system. The result is a one-ton car with over 300 horsepower and what some might call “unique” looks. With a $40,000 price tag though (mostly because you had to find a donor SHO), only 7 of these SHOguns were ever built. We’re glad Leno is keeping #003 safe for future generations.
We just wonder if Ford might do something similar for the new Taurus SHO and Fiesta. Hmm…