“Fun Ride” Custom Buggy with Miata bits and GM V6 Power

This little beast was first built in 2000, and the owner supposedly COMPLETELY (his or her caps, not mine) rebuilt it in 2013. Per the seller, the suspension, steering, brakes, differential & axles all came from a Mazda Miata originally, but the seller reworked the suspension; so it’s not clear how much Miata is left. This is claimed to be an adult go-kart and we can see how it could be lots of fun, but we’d sure like to know how it handles, given the unknown suspension. Continue reading “Fun Ride” Custom Buggy with Miata bits and GM V6 Power

Hotbox? 1990 Mazda Bongo 4WD Van

Here was have a delightful JDM van with arguably the best collection of typical late 80s/early 90s factory decals ever applied! If you’ve never seen a Mazda Bong – er – Bongo, yet this seems familar, that could be because it was also sold as the Nissan Vannette (related to the fire-prone, US market C22 “Hibachi” van), the Ford Econovan and the Mitsubishi Delica.

Continue reading Hotbox? 1990 Mazda Bongo 4WD Van

Reader Sighting: 1.5 Festivas!

Reader Steve N. sent us this sighting.  No further explanation was available, but what else do you really need to know?

It seems the owner made a mini-truck out of the Festiva and then missed the cargo space?  Regardless, we love it!

Festivas make great autocross cars, but it’s not clear that this trailer can even haul an extra set of wheels.  Also, we wonder how this handles with weight removed from the rear…

Hatchback + Engine Upgrade + Manual Yields Zoom-Zoom

Many may never have realized that the first generation “GG” Mazda6 offered three body styles at launch: sedan, wagon and hatchback.  Today’s example is the rare hatch with V6 and manual.  The Mazdaspeed 6 will always be the performance leader, but these Duratec V6-powered examples are no slouches and the Speed 6 was only offered as a sedan.

This example has 141K miles and appears to be in good shape.  That’s not a lot of mileage per year, but the seller says the engine was recently replaced.  The biggest question here is WHY?  One would hope a ten-year-old Mazda would have a lot of life left and the Ford-based Duratec engine should go a long time,too. This engine was truly one of Ford’s gems, as Contique enthusiasts (including SVT!) know, and it also powered the much-maligned (not for its engine) Jaguar X-Type.

Will you snap this up, or wait for a V6, manual wagon?  Further, is the price remotely realistic?  KBB.com says it’s about double what it should be, but that doesn’t consider the recent work.

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Corona, CA, USA

Looks like a regular Mazda6 sedan, right?

Still looks like a sedan…hmm.  We here at Oddimotive love this “hidden hatch” body type.  Others have done this, but the Mazda is among the best executed. Look to the first-gen Mondeo for a car that doesn’t wear its hatch so well…

Here’s the hatchback money shot!

We can’t tell much from this pic, but the interior looks nice from a distance.

Ad text:

I am selling my 2005 Mazda 6s. This is a rare car and have not seen one like it on the road. It is a hatchback with a v6 manual transmission with black leather seats!!! It also has a sunroof, led interior lights, tinted windows including the front visor area, aftermarket exhaust with deep tone but not too loud, blacked out reflectors and emblems, keyless entry, bose sound system with an aftermarket chip so you can connect your phone via Bluetooth and play music or make calls. The vehicle also has an aftermarket alarm system. I recently had alot of maintenance done to the vehicle where I had the engine, clutch and battery replaced and have all the paperwork to prove it. The cons about the vehicle are the compartment on the dashboard is broken (was like that when I purchased the vehicle and have never used it) and the body has minor dents and scratches that can be pulled out at a shop but other then that the car runs great!!! I am not in a rush to sell and this is my daily driver so please do not contact me with ridiculous offers, thank you.

The Real GLC was a Mazda, not a Mercedes

Mercedes decided that GLC was such a great name that they are stealing it from Mazda!  It was, after all, a Great Little Car!  Today’s feature car is not just any GLC – it’s a wagon version with manual trans.

Basically, this is a 33-year-old Mazda with 140K miles, which means it may only barely be broken in.  In case you’re worried about the miles, the seller claims lots of recent maintenance work, including timing chain, water pump, etc.  The paint and body aren’t perfect, per the seller, but they look nice for the age.  If you want/need a cool little hauler with excellent fuel efficiency, this could be just the ticket!

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Federal Way, WA, USA
$1,400 with ZERO bids and 6.3 days to go

The seller failed to get the whole car in any one picture, so this is what we get.  Styling-wise…it’s a wagon.  We like wagons.

Apparently, these wheels are not included in the sale, but stock wheels are.  The body looks straight enough from what we can see.

Nothing too exciting with the rear styling – classic wagon.

The wheel apparently came from an RX-5.  It works nicely in this little wagon.

Yep, there’s the manual shifter.

Like This wagon has plenty of cargo space for any family.

Here’s the 1.5-liter, four-cylinder monster.

Ad text:

 Here is my 1982 mazda glc wagon. 5 speed manual transmission. Nice car with original motor, clean interior, runs great. Gets about 37 miles per gallon on freeway. Just replaced timing chain with entire kit, gears and all, replaced water pump, fuel pump, all at the same time. New rear load handler gas shocks, new old stock fuel tank. Nice rx5 rosewood steering wheel. Exhaust is about 3 years old. New wiper blades. This car steers quick and will turn on a dime. Paint is decent but has its share of little rock chips, dings and left over glue from rubber molding that ran down each side that has since been removed. Bumpers tucked in. New tabs. Clutch is good, brakes are decent. The black rx3 wheels with beauty rims will not come with the car. I will install stock rims shown in last picture. No reserve.

Rarely Seen First-Gen RX-7 Project

The first generation RX-7 was a fairly common sight in the 80s and early 90s, but we confess we have not seen one in a very long time except perhaps at Cars and Coffee.  Today’s feature car is a project, but the price is low enough that it might make sense.  The end result would be a true purist’s sports car in a great color combo.

The seller states that this car need a battery and smog equipment, as well as to have an oil leak in the oil cooler addressed.  What’s not clear is whether the seller has had it running at all.  At 174K miles,  however, it’s likely the rotary the rotary has been rebuilt at least once, but when?  The seller says the car needs an interior, but no images are included, so it’s not clear exactly what it needs.

Parts for these are available and this could be snapped up for a low enough price to justify the work, as the asking price is already below $1,000.  With Japanese classics going up, we think these will follow; but it’s worth pointing out that these are still sub-$10K cars, even in great shape.

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Anaheim Hills, CA

This car looks honest and original, down the the wheels.  The Daytona Blue color suits it well – it’s much better than the popular gold we remember seeing so often.

Again, it looks like this car is all there.

Even the period-correct (dealer options?) rear louvers are in place.

Ad text:

For Sale: 1979 Mazda RX-7 ($900 OBO) – Daytona Blue – Perfect Project Car

I’m selling this car for my brother who has enrolled himself in the Air Force. He was going to work on this as a Project but had a change of heart and has been deployed elsewhere.

Brief Info:
174,400 miles
Manual Transmission 5 Speed – Rotary engine
Clean Title
Currently filed as Non-Op with the DMV 
OEM 14″ Rims

– Replacement Battery
– Oil leak in the oil cooler
– Needs replacement interior
– Needs replacement tires
– Needs “smog equipment”
– Has been resting in a carport-covered for a year

If you have any questions feel free to email/text the number above.

Back to the Future in a Ford Courier?

Here we have a Ford Courier with a partially-complete 2.3L turbo swap.  For some reason, it’s also been made up to look like Biff’s truck at the end of the original Back to the Future.  This could be handy if you want to start a mobile detailing service.

The Ford Courier was built in Japan by Mazda in the days before the Chicken Tax and long before Mazda would sell rebadged Ford Rangers (notably after the Chicken Tax).  The turbo swap is incomplete in that the seller says it needs engine mounts, compatible oil pan and a drive shaft.  So, it’s possible that nothing significant has been done.  Regardless, if the right buyer comes along with the skills and guts to finish, this will be a cool little truck.  Given it’s older than 1976 model year, registering in California is no problem.

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Camarillo, CA

Don’t worry, the hood is included in the sale.

There it is!

Interior looks complete.  One must hope it contains useful parts for finishing this project.

Made in Japan!

The 2.3 is in place, though I’m not sure what it rests on when the seller specifies mounts on the ‘needs’ list.

Ad text:

Selling my 1972 Ford Courier turbo project. It has a 2.3 Turbo engine out of a T-Bird turbo coupe. Clean title and in good condition. Don’t have time to finish it since I went back to school, but it comes with pretty much everything you need to get it running. Will make a really awesome PRE-SMOG mini truck when it’s done – and it should be really quick too! It’s a little quirky, but the truck is identical to the one used by Biff in the Back To The Future movies, so it’s rocking some distressed “Biff’s Detailing Service” livery straight from the movie as well. With that turbo this thing will definitely keep up with an DeLorean to 88 mph!


Clean title
2.3 Turbo engine in good condition
5-speed trans in good shape
Disk brake conversion up front
Mazda B2200 rear end 
New shocks 
All interior and exterior parts 


Front-sump oil pan from 2.3 Pinto or from Esslinger 
Drive shaft made (have front and rear yokes, Coast Driveline in Ventura quoted me $150)
Engine mounts 
Registration out – but no smog! so it won’t be very expensive.

Asking $1800 or best offer. 

Rear-Wheel Drive Mazda 626

The Mazda 626 is best known as a front-wheel drive, mid-sized sedan offering with a couple sporty variants and coupes through the years.  What many forget is that the first generation offered in the US offered rear-wheel drive.  Today’s feature is a first-generation coupe from the last year of production.

First-gen 626s are rare these days, and coupes are all but unheard-of.  Mileage isn’t listed here, but the seller claims a lot of recent work on the mechanical bits and some suspension upgrades.  If this is as good as it looks and as it is described, this is a cool, original find and the buyer won’t see him- or herself coming and going.  The $4,800 asking price might leave some room for negotiation.

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Los Angeles, CA

These two-door 626s have some cool lines.

Interior looks clean enough from this angle.  The driver’s seat has a cheapo cover on it, which likely means the original upholstery is toast.

Here’s the longitudinally-mounted, 2-liter four cylinder.

Ad text:

1982 mazda 626 hardtop lx, 5 speed manual transmission, second owner rear wheel drive. It holds a clean title and passes smog without issues. The car has been rebuilt from top to bottom, engine has been rebuilt with new rings, bearings, timing chain and guides, head has been sent out and pressure tested and valve guides replaced and resurfaced. The carb has been rebuilt engine runs perfect starts no problem and idles at 700 Rpms. The transmission also rebuilt with new bearings syncrose and shifter bushings, a new clutch was added since the trans was being done, rear differential bearings replaced. Transmission shifts perfect and precise. Vehicle has working A/C, rare power steering option most first gen 626s didn’t have power steering. Has power windows all 4 windows roll down, power mirrors, rear seats fold down for added trunk space. Has brand new falken tires all original wheels with original wheel locks still present in perfect condition and also a matching full size spare in the trunk was a dealer upgrade option at the time. Has upgraded front and rear sway bars from addco, energy suspension sway bar end links and front bushings, rear kyb gas a just shocks. Very clean car top to bottom no rust and drives perfect and reliable drive it everyday without issues. Must see in person. Zero rust

Contact show contact info 
Asking $4800 Obo make me an offer
Open to trades let me know what you have

Chicken Tax Cab-Chassis Loophole Truck!

The compact/mid-sized pickup market has seen an interesting 180-degree shift over  the years.  In the and early 80s, the US domestic automakers did not make their own small trucks.  Each had an import at some point. The Chevy Luv was an Isuzu, the Dodge D50 (later Ram D50) was a Mitsubishi and our subject truck, the Ford Courier, was a Mazda.

Some time after the domestics ramped up production of their own trucks, each would be sold back to the Japanese partner companies and marketed under their names.  The Isuzu Hombre/I-series was the GM S-10 and Colorado/Canyon, the Mitsubishi Raider was the Dodge Dakota and the Mazda B-Series was the Ranger.

What many forget is that the 1963 “Chicken Tax” imposed a 25% tariff on imported light trucks.  This Courier and the Luv were “loophole trucks”, in that they were as chassis cabs and had beds added in the US.

Condition is claimed as very good and the pictures seem to agree.  The seller admits the seats aren’t original – I figured there was no way this vehicle had cupholders in the 70s.

So, is $6,500 for a cool little truck with a great story and in very good condition a good deal, these days?  With inflation and rising interest in Japanese classics, maybe it’s not completely crazy, though something closer to 5K sounds a bit more palatable.  It’s just hard to imagine, given trucks like this were swapped in the $2,500 range and under for a very long time.

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Burbank, CA

Here’s a full-sized Ford, for scale.

Yep, this pretty much looks like a 70s compact pickup.

Color-keyed steel wheels with mini moons look very cool.

The interior looks great here, though a purist might want original-style seats.

Sorry, there’s no rotary under the hood of this Mazda truck!  Just a 1.8-liter I4.  The drive is not likely to be sporty, but it probably moves well enough, given light weight.

Ad text:

1974 ford courier. 1.8 4 cylinder engine. (Built by Mazda ). 4 speed . It was painted a couple of years ago and has held up well. 
You will not find another in this shape for this money. Quite frankly you won’t find anything available in this condition for this cost. No Smog in California ever.
This truck is all original. The only up grades are the seat. This has been my daily driver for the almost 2years. Very reliable. Has the original tool kit and owners manual.
This truck gets more attention then any car I have owned. I am ready for a more modern car and I am sorry to let this go. I know I will never find one this clean. 

Here’s a little info on the history of the Ford Courier
In the early 1970s, the Ford Courier name was applied to a compact pickup, manufactured by Mazda. It had greater fuel economy than the full-size pickups of the time. The Courier was manufactured by Toyo Kogyo (Mazda), and imported and sold by Ford Motor Company as a response to the unforeseen popularity of the small Toyota and Nissan/Datsun pickups among young buyers in the West.Like the other mini-pickups of the time, it featured a sub-2 liter four cylinder engine, a four speed manual transmission, rear wheel drive, an impressive load capability of 1,400 lb (635 kg) considering its size, and a fairly small price tag compared to full size pickups of the time. To circumvent the 25% “Chicken tax” on light trucks, Couriers (as with Chevrolet LUVs) were imported in “cab chassis” configurations, which included the entire light truck, less the cargo box or truck bed and were only subject to a 4% tariff.Subsequently, a truck bed would be attached to the chassis and the vehicle could be sold as a light truck.

The 1st generation Ford Courier sold for a little over US$3,000 when introduced–close to the price of the larger F-100.

The body styling was effectively that of the related Mazda B-series; however, its frontal styling was unique, with a grille designed to emulate the larger Ford F-series, and large single headlights instead of the B-series’ smaller twin units.

When the Courier was introduced it came standard with a 1.8 liter overhead cam engine, which produced 74 hp (55 kW) at 5,070 rpm, and 92 lbf·ft (125 N·m) at 3,500 rpm. A 4-speed manual transmission was standard, and there was also a 3-speed automatic option (a 5-speed manual option came in 1976).

The Courier’s badging changed a few times in the first-generation. In 1972 and 1973, the tailgate read “COURIER” in large raised letters, with a small “FORD” badge on the upper left. The 1972s have a small “COURIER” badge on the front of the hood (from ’73 on through ’76 the hood badging read “FORD”). From the 1974 model year the tailgate read “FORD” in large letters, with a small “COURIER” badge on the lower right. In 1976 the cab was lengthened 3 inches (76 mm), and the grille received added trim.

Check out the link to view a original sales ad.