Wayward: An Origin Story


Last week, my husband and I decided to purchase a white 1988 Ford Festiva. Why? For glory, of course! More specifically, we bought it because it was a fully functional vehicle for $500, and it was a perfect blank slate we could turn into a Cyberpunk getaway vehicle from a dystopian future! Out of love for Kansas’ “Carry On Wayward Son” the husband elected to name the vehicle “Wayward”, which I think is a marvelous fit for a car with a shady past and a bright future.

Our journey begins with picking up the car from Crescent Valley, a mining town of about 100 people in Northeastern Nevada. It definitely doesn’t look like much yet, but it’s got some potential…

The Festiva in its Natural Habitat

The Festiva in its Natural Habitat


The ever-popular ford seat covers of the 70's and 80's.

The ever-popular ford seat covers of the 70’s and 80’s.



After getting it the 80+ miles home and boning up on some cyberpunk and post-apocalyptic classics like the Road Warrior trilogy, Tank Girl, Ghost in the Shell and Cowboy Bebop, we hashed out some rough ideas for an aesthetic.

For the exterior, we settled on something reminiscent of the police interceptor from Mad Max:

Back when Mel made mad look good...

Back when Mel made mad look good…

I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way we could make a Festiva look that sexy. Well, you’re probably right, but I blame less-crazy young Mel Gibson for that.


A stripped bolt meant we needed to hulk the back seat out.

A stripped bolt meant we needed to hulk the back seat out.

Once we had it, we couldn’t wait to get started. We decided to remove the back seats and carpeting to make way for grates, survival cargo and a weapon’s bay suitable for fending off a zombie apocalypse OR cyborg takeover.

Most of the bolts securing the back seat were already missing (Glad we decided not to use it!) but the one that remained was thoroughly stripped and bore the marks of a previous unsuccessful attempt to drill it out.

Fortunately for us, the bolt securing the seat was not especially strong, and we were able to remove it by force. With only a few quick removals, we are already well on our way to something good.

Did I say fully functional? Well I spoke too soon. Three days into this project (and on the way to the store to buy paint for the exterior), the clutch gave out on the highway. Check back in next week to see us repair it, as well as some design concepts for the interior.

We will be documenting the progress of this project as it grows, with photos, parts and pricing for all our mods. You can also check Instagram for more pictures via @waywardcarmod.