Junkyard Find: 1980 Mazda B2000 Sundowner Pickup

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Back in the Middle Malaise Era, most of the B-series Mazda pickups you saw in North America were badged as Ford Couriers, and of course we’ve found the occasional junkyard-dwelling Courier. Still, some Mazda-badged pickups were released into the wild, and the longbed version was known as the Sundowner. Here’s a very-much-of-its-time Sundowner in yellow with beige-and-brown tape stripes and red-and-brown rust, spotted at a Colorado self-serve yard earlier this week.


Sakes alive, that’s a cheap pickup!

This one appears to have spent at least some part of its life in the Midwest, or maybe it just sat with a bed full of melting snow for a couple dozen Colorado winters.

The interior isn’t so bad, but the 5-digit odometer can’t tell us whether it’s an 84,942-mile truck or a 484,942-mile truck.

Just 77 horsepower from the 1,970cc SOHC F engine.

These trucks didn’t have quite the rep for reliability earned by their Toyota Hilux competitors, but they were pretty solid machines for their era.

The 26-year-old Colorado State Parks pass is a nice vintage touch.

Tip: if you’re swapping build tags, use rivets instead of screws. Oh, and mount the tag right-side-up.







Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Pishta Pishta on Mar 28, 2023

    Those 80 B2000's were very Ford Courier like but the 81's had a completely new for Mazda dash. Less pods, more integration in one window. These didn't get the F motor until 84(?) only with the B2200 option. Single wall beds had lost of rust through issues. The 80 Quad headlamp grill was very rare, I dont rememeer seeing but one growing up.

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