DT Flash: 1988 Mazda 323 GTX for $1500

We at Daily Turismo are fans of the little Mazda 323 GTX; it was an all wheel drive rally-bred homologated turbo car introduced in the US a full 13 years before Subaru’s WRX made it to our shores. Perhaps the little Mazda was too good for its time, since only 1,243 of them were sold in the two years it was available here. Regardless, this is a cheap, entertaining pocket rocket that should put a smile on any gearhead’s face and we’ve found one for only $1500, here on craigslist in Valencia, CA.

The 323 GTX looks almost identical to a normal 323 hatchback.

The dual rear spoilers and 7-spoke alloy wheels are the only visible giveaways of its true identity.

Under the hood lurks the 132hp 1.6L B6 engine – basically an early Miata motor with a turbo and intercooler, mated to the 5-spd manual transaxle. This is a highly tunable engine and makes for a quick car given the 2600 lb curb weight. Lightening the car would make an even better performer. 
The seller didn’t include any overall front shots of the car, but light damage to the hood is visible in this picture.

Not a big issue, since it should be interchangeable with any standard 323 hood if desired.

The awesome instrument cluster in these cars can be seen here in an earlier DT writeup – another cool feature of the GTX. The seller of this car claims a decent amount of recent maintenance, upgrades to larger anti-roll bars, 168k miles, and reliable operation. At only $1500 it does have some issues that the new owner should address, but it would be hard to resist at this price. Check out Dave Coleman’s Sport Compact Car buyer’s guide for the GTX, which explains some of the common issues and tuning tricks to get to 180hp. With the locking center diff, that much power in a small package would make for a mean little amateur rallycrosser and a fun Daily Turismo.

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