The Colorado Wildfire Just Destroyed One of the Rarest Ford Models in Existence

Have you ever heard of a Ford Festiva Shogun? It’s ok if you haven’t. There’s a perfectly good reason for this rare Ford model’s obscurity; Ford only ever made seven of them. After the latest in what feels like a never-ending string of wildfires, there are now only six Ford Festiva Shoguns left after this most recent Colorado wildfire.

1990 Ford Festiva Shogun lost to the Colorado forest fire
1990 Ford Festiva Shogun | ABC 7

What is the rarest Ford model? 

The Ford Festiva Shogun is so impossibly rare that one of the seven ever made lives in Jay Leno’s car collection. That should tell you all you need to know about this rare Ford model’s legendary status. 

The Shogun was the brainchild of former racing drivers Rick Titus and Chuck Beck of Special Editions. According to Ford Authority, this little monster ripper was created by cramming a Taurus Sho’s 3.0-liter Yamaha V6 into the chunky little hatchback. This heart transplant gave the Festiva 220 hp sent to the rear wheels, paired with a five-speed manual transmission

The two racers planned on building 250 examples, but the price tag of $42,000 in 1990 was apparently a bit too steep. This high price for a strange little car led to a total production of only seven examples. 

How did the Colorado wildfires start? 

Jay Leno's 1989 Ford Festiva SHOGun is one of the rarest Ford models on Earth
Jay Leno’s 1989 Ford Festiva Shogun | YouTube: Jay Leno’s Garage

The wildfires that claimed over 1,000 homes and at least three lives still have a mysterious origin. However they started, these fires are now the most destructive wildfires in the state’s history. Between the drought conditions and winds of up to 100 mph, it’s no surprise that these fires got so bad. 

How did the Ford Festiva Shogun get caught up in all the madness? The blaze incinerated the home it was in. What’s worse is the fact that the house that burned wasn’t the owner’s home. The Shogun’s owner kept it at their friend’s house for safekeeping.

 “Twenty years I lived here. It was a three-story house in the open space. It was beautiful, and everything was fixed up just the way I wanted it,” Louisville, Colorado resident Linda Jackson told ABC 7 News in Denver. However, inside her garage, Jackson was also storing a Ford Festiva Shogun owned by her neighbor. “I think it’s a Ford Shogun,” Jackson said. “And there were only six of them in the world, and that was his Shogun car right there.”

This isn’t the first time fires have burned irreplaceable pieces of automotive history lately

If you recall, last year (2021), one of the most important motorcycle museums burnt up. The Top Point Motorcycle Museum held hundreds of vintage motorcycles from over 100 makers. When it burned, motorcycle lovers mourned for weeks. 

This lost Ford Festiva Shogun isn’t quite the same caliber and scope of loss as was the Top Point Motorcycle museum, but it was a significant loss nonetheless. As the world’s population of Ford Festiva Shoguns is reduced by one, Jay Leno’s and the other five have become all that much more rare and valuable. Although, I’m sure none of the owners feel good about their newfound fortune.

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