The Truth About Cars » Mazda 323 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 13 Dec 2014 16:45:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Mazda 323 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Badge Engineering Gone Right: The Ford Laser TX3 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/badge-engineering-gone-right-ford-laser-tx3/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/badge-engineering-gone-right-ford-laser-tx3/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 18:43:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=939817 Aside from the Ford Probe/Mazda MX-6, the collaboration between the Blue Oval and the pride of Hiroshima didn’t produce much in the way of performance cars. But a little know rebadge effort did give Ford a 4WD, rally-derived pocket rocket. As an attempt by Ford to break into the Japanese market, Ford leveraged their partnership […]

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Aside from the Ford Probe/Mazda MX-6, the collaboration between the Blue Oval and the pride of Hiroshima didn’t produce much in the way of performance cars. But a little know rebadge effort did give Ford a 4WD, rally-derived pocket rocket.

As an attempt by Ford to break into the Japanese market, Ford leveraged their partnership with Mazda to build cars like the Laser and Telstar, which used Mazda mechanicals in an effort to build right-sized cars that would appeal to Japanese consumers. The Laser was also exported to select markets like Australia and New Zealand.

A performance trim, dubbed the TX3, was offered, featuring the Mazda B6 and BP twincam motors used in the Miata and hot versions of the 323. But the TX3 Turbo and Turbo 4WD were the real stars, offering the same running gear and performace as the Mazda 323 GTX. While they offered the B6T and BPT engines of our 323 GTX (and the JDM-only second generation, which used a 1.8L turbo mill), they also suffered from fragile drivelines and uncaring owners.

The Ford Laser TX3 is but a footnote in the canon of Japanese performance cars. Nevertheless, its an under-appreciated bright spot in an ultimately doomed partnership. The similarity between the two cars echoes the near identical nature of the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 – but pre-dated even Subaru’s own 4WD turbocharged efforts by a good 5-10 years.

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Junkyard Find: 1985 Mazda GLC Hatchback http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1985-mazda-glc-hatchback/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/junkyard-find-1985-mazda-glc-hatchback/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 13:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=927193 When the Mazda Familia first came to North America, it had rear-wheel-drive, its chassis was very similar to that of an RX-7, and it was called the GLC, for “great little car.” By 1981, the GLC had switched to front-wheel-drive, and later in the decade it became known as the 323. In this series, we’ve […]

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07 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhen the Mazda Familia first came to North America, it had rear-wheel-drive, its chassis was very similar to that of an RX-7, and it was called the GLC, for “great little car.” By 1981, the GLC had switched to front-wheel-drive, and later in the decade it became known as the 323. In this series, we’ve seen this ’80 hatch, this ultra-rare ’81 sedan, this ’83 sedan, this ’84 hatchback, and now today’s interestingly decorated ’84. We’ve also seen what’s probably the most original GLC in the country, courtesy of Mazda HQ in California.
13 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe hood is painted with a big star and there are “turbo turtles” on the sides. If this is a popular-culture reference, it’s one I’ve missed.
05 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 1.5 liter E5 engine was standard equipment in the ’85 GLC.
01 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAll in all, a fairly generic mid-80s econo-hatch.

The sedan version was pitched as a high-performance economy car.

In Japan, M. Takanaka did the music for Familia ads.

01 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1985 Mazda GLC Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1988 Mercury Tracer Hatchback http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/junkyard-find-1988-mercury-tracer-hatchback/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/junkyard-find-1988-mercury-tracer-hatchback/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 13:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=905001 Here’s a rare one! We’re familiar with the 1990s Mercury Tracer that was a Mercury-badged Ford Escort (which was itself a Ford-badged Mazda), but the 1987-89 Tracer was a rebadged and left-hand-drive Ford Laser, a crypto-snazzy Australian version of the Mazda 323. They sold in very small quantities in the United States, and so it […]

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09 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHere’s a rare one! We’re familiar with the 1990s Mercury Tracer that was a Mercury-badged Ford Escort (which was itself a Ford-badged Mazda), but the 1987-89 Tracer was a rebadged and left-hand-drive Ford Laser, a crypto-snazzy Australian version of the Mazda 323. They sold in very small quantities in the United States, and so it took me a moment to identify this example that I spotted last week in a Denver self-service wrecking yard. As an excellent example of “rare ≠ valuable,” it seemed worthy of this series.
19 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNot even 65,000 miles on the clock. Perhaps it sat in a garage for most of its life, barely emerging onto the street.
14 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt was running in 2006, though, because there’s a Colorado State Parks pass from that year on the windshield.
04 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinVaguely sporty-looking yet late-80s generic.
16 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Mazda B engine, used in everything from Kia Rios to Mazda Miatas.

Just the car for a night of wrestling!

01 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1988 Mercury Tracer Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1983 Mazda GLC Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1983-mazda-glc-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1983-mazda-glc-sedan/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=432119 After visiting the lowest-mile early Mazda GLC imaginable, I’ve been looking out for more GLCs in the junkyard. Until the 1981 model year, all the GLCs (known as the Familia or 323 outside of North America) were rear-wheel-drive and had nearly identical chassis to the early RX-7s. Mazda finally got on the front-wheel-drive bandwagon with […]

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After visiting the lowest-mile early Mazda GLC imaginable, I’ve been looking out for more GLCs in the junkyard. Until the 1981 model year, all the GLCs (known as the Familia or 323 outside of North America) were rear-wheel-drive and had nearly identical chassis to the early RX-7s. Mazda finally got on the front-wheel-drive bandwagon with this version, which I found in a Northern California self-serve yard earlier in the month.
These things actually were great little cars, simple, tough, and cheap. I recall most of these being hatchbacks back in the 80s, but I’ve found exactly two front-wheel-drive GLCs in junkyards recently and both were sedans.
The base two-door hatch listed at $5,295, while the base sedan went for $6,245. That explains the popularity of the hatchbacks, though the ’83 Civic sedan listed at a princely $6,849. $5,616 was the price for an ’83 Chevette four-door hatchback, if you were more concerned about number of doors than things like build quality, comfort, interior space, or performance.
Check out this in-dash Clarion AM/FM radio. Can you believe thieves used to steal these things?

10 - 1983 Mazda GLC Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Great Little Catastrophe' Greden 01 - 1983 Mazda GLC Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Great Little Catastrophe' Greden 02 - 1983 Mazda GLC Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Great Little Catastrophe' Greden 03 - 1983 Mazda GLC Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Great Little Catastrophe' Greden 04 - 1983 Mazda GLC Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Great Little Catastrophe' Greden 05 - 1983 Mazda GLC Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Great Little Catastrophe' Greden 06 - 1983 Mazda GLC Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Great Little Catastrophe' Greden 07 - 1983 Mazda GLC Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Great Little Catastrophe' Greden 08 - 1983 Mazda GLC Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Great Little Catastrophe' Greden 09 - 1983 Mazda GLC Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Great Little Catastrophe' Greden glc Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1981 Mazda GLC Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/junkyard-find-1981-mazda-glc-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/junkyard-find-1981-mazda-glc-sedan/#comments Thu, 30 Jun 2011 13:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=401069 The Mazda GLC, aka Familia aka 323 was once a fairly common sight on American roads, but just about all of the GLCs were hatchbacks. Here’s a rare sedan that was able to hang on for 30 years before being discarded. Mazda tried to play up the “driving excitement” angle of the GLC with this […]

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The Mazda GLC, aka Familia aka 323 was once a fairly common sight on American roads, but just about all of the GLCs were hatchbacks. Here’s a rare sedan that was able to hang on for 30 years before being discarded.

Mazda tried to play up the “driving excitement” angle of the GLC with this ad, in an attempt to differentiate the car from all the other sub-ton econoboxes of the era. With 68 horsepower under the hood, however, GLC drivers were wise to avoid hills.

1981 was the first year for front-wheel-drive in the GLC.

Imagine car shopping in 1981 in Great Falls, Montana: Mazdas, Dodges, and Fiats in the same dealership! Would you take a Strada, a GLC, or an Omni?

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