Before it was called the 323 and then the Protegé, the North American version of the Mazda Familia was known as the GLC, aka “Great Little Car.” The really early GLCs (for example, the 7000-mile 1976 model living beneath Mazda USA’s California HQ) shared a lot of chassis components with the first-gen RX-7s, but this ’84 that I spotted in a Denver self-service yard is a more modern front-wheel-drive econobox.
I’ve driven a couple of these, and they really were good— maybe not great, but close— little cars. The list price on the base 2-door hatch was $4,995, which was $250 cheaper than the cheapest ’84 Civic. The Civic was slightly more fun to drive and (arguably) better-built, but the GLC was quite a bang-for-buck deal.
This one made it to nearly 140,000 miles during its 28 years on the planet. It probably has more miles left in it, but battered 1980s econoboxes aren’t worth fixing up for daily-driving use these days.
I haven’t seen many of these cars in wrecking yards lately; most of them got scrapped a decade or so back. There was this rear-drive ’80, and this super-rare ’81 sedan, and this even rarer ’83 sedan, and that’s been about all my junkyard GLC sightings for the last couple of years. All right, let’s watch some old TV commercials!
Includes radial tires!
As always, the JDM ad for the same car has better/cheesier 1980s music.