The first generation Mazda Demio was also sold in Japan as the Ford Festiva Mini Wagon.
In 1986, the subcompact Festiva was introduced in Japan, and it was introduced to North America and Europe (as the Mazda 121) in 1988. This Festiva sold well, and it fit into Ford's new marketing agenda of selling better built cars. Early in its life, it faced tough competition from the Yugo, which was slightly larger, and only cost $3,990 USD, but the Yugo quickly fell due to reported reliability problems. Initial sales were good, but by the 1990s, Festiva sales started to fall.
Festiva models sold in Japan and Mazda 121 models exported to Europe were built by Mazda in Japan. North American models were built under license by Kia Motors in Korea. After the original 121 model was discontinued in Europe, Kia started selling the Festiva as the Kia Pride — the first Kia model to be sold in this market.
In 1990, Chuck Beck of Special Editions and Rick Titus took seven Festivas, gutted the interiors, and mounted Ford SHO 3.0L V6s behind the front seats to make the car mid-engined. There were substantial cosmetic and mechanical changes, including relocating the gas tank to the front of the car, structural bracing and improvements to the chassis, adding wider wheel arches to accommodate a wider stance and larger tires, and a complete redesign of the suspension. These changes resulted in a car that could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, travel the ¼ mile (0.4km) in 12.9 seconds at 100.9mph (162km/h), and could achieve a lateral acceleration figure ranging from .95 to 1.04g. Of the seven, Jay Leno owns the silver one, which is number 3.
Special Editions SHOgun #001 - Ron Gallo
Special Editions SHOgun #002 - location unknown
Special Editions SHOgun #003 - Jay Leno
Special Editions SHOgun #004 - Rob Cook
Special Editions SHOgun #005 - KJ Byrnes
Special Editions SHOgun #006 - location unknown
Special Editions SHOgun #007 - Chico "RangerPowerSports member"