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Brandon Seiler's Blog on Cars

Fiesta Movement: Test drive with State of the Artist


Parker’s driving, Nate’s riding shotgun, I’m in the back with a voice recorder that isn’t recording anything. We’re on a tour of the Capitol Hill neighborhood in State of the Artist’s Ford Fiesta. Soon it’s obvious we’re really just cruising around the guys’ neighborhood listening to their music and conversing loosely about what we’re supposed to be. This is business after all… sort of. 


It doesn’t take long for Nate to start talking about the smell of various things in the area while Parker navigates the streets and toggles through choice cuts on the car’s USB drive. As we pass a sports field Nate points to it and mentions his school gym class used to travel there in a van to play ultimate Frisbee. Vans are fun but he goes on to explain that the smells of a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken and crematorium would combine to create a terrible aroma of fried food and burnt human bodies that drifted onto the field during class time. 

Weird. Gross. 

Parker decides we should take the Fiesta to a tight winding section of road in a nearby park where I’ll be able to experience the handling I’ve heard the automotive press ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ about. 


There’s an art to driving a car too fast without going over the speed limit, especially on a tight snaking park road in Seattle where there’s nearly as many bikers and pedestrians around as there are ways to run them over. 

Parker was an ace at keeping it safe, never getting much higher than the bottom of third gear. The turbocharger would boost us up to a speed before a quick downshift to second set us up for the next turn. The repeat maneuver placed a lot of confidence in the Fiesta’s capability to hug the turns; if we broke it loose in such close quarters this blog would have been about the quality of Ford’s complimentary insurance.

But the Fiesta proved to be an astonishingly tight little thing in the curvies, much tighter than I first expected. During the first turn it took several moments for the apple slices to climb back up into my stomach after realizing Parker wasn’t driving over the car’s limits. Even more impressive was Parker’s multi-tasking behind the wheel. 

Somehow he managed to steer with his left hand, shift with his right and intermittently adjust the volume knob according to the speed of the car in conjunction with how stimulating the current topic of discussion was. 

With the Fiesta’s impressive handling established and no trace of applesauce on the upholstery, we headed back towards the coffee shop. But the fun wasn’t over. 

Nate dialed up one of their contacts with Ford on the car’s blue tooth speaker-phone dealy and the guys hashed out plans for an upcoming State of the Artist show. Nate half-jokingly tried to get Ford guy to tap out a beat with his finger on his end of the connection for the guys to freestyle over. It almost happened. 

Back at the coffee shop I was thoroughly impressed with the Fiesta and invited to SOTA’s album listening party for Seattlecalifragilisticextrahelladopeness. The event just happens to be a cleverly planned Fiesta Movement mission: 

Showcase a local artist. That’s the next chapter. Stay tuned.


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About this blog

Brandon Seiler is a bonafide car guy, member of the Northwest Auto Press Association and proud Washingtonian. He covers the latest auto news, technology, and pretty much anything having to do with car culture. You don't have to like cars to read his blogs, you just have to be able to read.

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