Piston Slap: I Love The 80's. Or Not.
Is it nuts to buy an original, low mileage ‘88 Mazda 323GTX that has not been rallied to death, even if I don’t need another car and have no place to park it?
As you probably know these cars are usually spoken about with a hushed reverence from the rally car crowd, they’re quite rare, and I’ve wanted one for years. It’s over 20 years old so it will need paint and other assorted repairs, and parts are getting scarce as well, but it may be worth it.
I thinking more of a long term investment while understanding it’ll never have a return like a 69 Super Bee, GTO, or what have you.
I grew up with cars of this era, so I absolutely love the 323 GTX on principle alone. But don’t talk about investments and cars in the same sentence, that’s a terrible idea unless you sport a fatter wallet and higher tastes: so slap yourself on the wrist for that. Damn near any car from the 1980s is a terrible investment for years to come, but you got far bigger problems here.
An investment-grade (so to speak) car needs a fully enclosed garage. Original tires (if equipped) are but one thing that builds up a car’s value if they are in good shape, and that’s not gonna happen sitting outside. More to the point, if you have “no place to park it” then you have no business looking at a clean 323 GTX.
It’s one thing to erode the value of a GTO, Talbot-Lago, etc with outside storage. Those rides always have a buyer ready to capitalize on your mistake. But a Mazda 323 GTX?
Not so much. Let the quality slip due to outdoor storage or a financial bind (or anything else personally unpleasant) puts the car at risk of being sold to someone with less-than-archival intentions. And three owners from now, it might be in the scrapper. Or in a 24 Hours of LeMons race: I saw one particularly spectacular Taurus SHO meet that fate after its previous owner sold it to the LeMons racers for pennies on the dollar. The (supposed) aftermarket differential alone was worth as much as the car’s asking price.
Take a page from my book; do the car a favor and admire from a distance. Wannabe classics like the 323 GTX need a more entrenched collector to take advantage of Mazda’s future collectability potential.
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