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A YouTuber with a knack for DIY vehicles has built a Ford Festiva lawnmower that is truly a testament to American Ingenuity. This exciting hybrid lawn equipment solves some of the oldest complaints of lawn care. The Festiva has been overlooked for decades. Let the attention-grabbing Ron Beer serve as a reminder of what this economical car has to offer.

A green and yellow Ford Festiva compact car modified into a lawnmower
Ron Beer Ford Festiva | Ginger Billy Productions

The Ford Festiva lawnmower offers innovative solutions to old problems

Americans have always had a love/hate relationship with lawn maintenance. Everyone loves the smell of a freshly mowed lawn, but the blood, sweat, and tears that go into it have been the source of complaints for hundreds of years. Technology has made the job easier, but few commercially available lawnmowers offer the innovative and ground-breaking solutions that the Ron Beer brings to the table.

Gas-powered push mowers, zero-turn models, and traditional tractors all have the same shortcoming. Two hands are required for continuous and safe operation. This leaves the operator unable to rehydrate on hot days. The Ron Beer can easily be operated with one hand on the wheel. It also features air conditioning to keep the operator cool. If those features weren’t enough, the option to turn on the car’s radio brings a new level of luxury to landscaping.

How the Ron Beer was built

Home car builders should only undertake serious automotive modifications with careful attention to safety. Comedian and all-things-wheeled enthusiast Ginger Billy has some experience creating lawnmower/vehicle hybrids. The comedian made several changes to the Festiva to create the Ron Beer. Both the rear wheels and the axel had to be removed to accommodate the mower blades in the rear. These are intensive modifications that require care.

The Ron Beer is a powerful machine. A Briggs and Stratton 600 cc motor powers the blades and can generate upwards of 20 hp. Ginger Billy rewired the ignition to a central console between the Festiva’s seats. A killswitch is also built-in, increasing the safety of the mower. Ginger Billy built a small bed to house the mowing apparatus behind the cab.

Ginger Billy obviously for the entertainment factor. This is a great example of the wholesome fun that self-repair and modification can provide as cars are engineered to be less accessible for home enthusiasts to modify. This story is a reminder as to what could be lost if makers continue that trend.

The Ford Festiva is a natural choice

A black and white photo of a Ford Festiva compact car in the snow
1987 Ford Festiva |John Prieto/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Ford Festiva has received its fair share of criticism. The car was never designed to be a flashy crowd-pleaser. The Festiva was designed for economy and efficiency. It’s never been known for creature comforts. Ironically, this makes it the perfect choice for a compact car/lawnmower hybrid.

The Ron Beer is one of the most luxurious lawn mowers ever built. Air conditioning and an AM/FM radio may not turn heads as high-end features on a car, but on a lawnmower, they’re downright opulent. The Festiva has finally found a platform to get the attention it deserves.

A small following of loyal enthusiasts have always seen the Festiva as an easy entry into modified JDMs. The Festiva was developed by Mazda (by request from Ford) and sold as the 121 in select markets. It was sold on the Japanese market as the Ford Festiva. JDM models feature a unique front end that pays homage to the RS200. U.S. models were assembled in South Korea in partnership with Kia. The Festiva is lightweight, easy to modify, and inexpensive, making it the perfect choice for projects like the Ron Beer.


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