Festiva Update!

That’s not gone well...

My plan for the 2012 smart was to wait until temps got down to the low 30s. I could then limp the car to a shop for a new belt without overheating the engine. What I didn’t plan for was yesterday’s surprise heavy snow. The forecasts all called for a dusting up to one inch...we got FAR more than that. Oof.

With the two garage queen smarts having long expired registrations and the two smarts at home immobile, that meant the rally car and my motorcycles were my commuters! Glad I live less than a mile from work.

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Fuel leaks have been temporarily fixed, so that’s not a problem for now. It still needs a new tank.

I’ve never ridden a snowmobile before, but I imagine it’s as fun as driving this car in the snow is.

THAT SAID, as fun as this car is to drive in the snow:

A) Everyone thinks I’m homeless and treats me like I am.

B) Car still isn’t really legal.

C) Snow buildup in the interior is a bit much. Amazingly, everything still works!

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So last night I attempted to put the hatch and the doors back on. The hatch was easy peasy. The doors? Well after two hours of fighting I only managed to get a single bolt on a single door in. It’s not only a two person job, but threading the bolts is stupid hard unless you get it the first time. On top of this, the mud caked to the B-Pillars is literally frozen solid, so I couldn’t close the doors even had I succeeded.

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New plan then.

Hatch stays on.

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Doors will stay off, however I will get them door bars. While cursing over the doors I stumbled upon those Ford Transit roof rack bars I bought. They’re thick 2 or 3 inch diameter steel and the bolt holes line up perfectly with the Festiva’s door hinges. I’ll paint these red then use them as door bars. Don’t care for safety**, I just want to make it appear that I’m trying to be legal.

**Funny thing. When I started telling my mom about the Gambler she actually was really supportive. She said she’s happy I’m doing all my crazy stuff now while my body can take it because when I’m her age I’ll have plenty of silly stories to tell. She doesn’t want me being the kind of old person that regrets not being adventurous while young and it then being too late to start.

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As for a proper snow car, the smart gets fixed this weekend. The Festiva will go under its cover and on the upcoming 50 degree day it should melt out.

I’ve also decided the Festiva will live for only a year. Why? Firstly, rust. I keep discovering rust in places that suggests it’s going to rust out faster than I think. Having no doors isn’t going to help that.

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Secondly? Well, there’s this W116 diesel out there that I’ve been in love with since my first Gambler. The owner is most likely getting rid of it before winter fully kicks in or in the spring. The first person in line in either case? Yours truly. This thing has a bank of toggle switches to start it and a pimped out dash with LEDs everywhere. It’s a beautiful boat that loves the dirt.

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Either way, the Festy is not getting renewed plates.

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