We continue the Loony Labor Day celebrations with this next car that’ll be perfect to cruise around in the blistering heat…uggg, it is so hot right now. But you won’t worry about the heat when you’ve got a paint job like this, because you’ll be more concerned that wild animals will want to take up residence in your MX-5 or city graffiti cleanup work crews will try and remove the paint. Find this 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata offered for $10,000 in Long Beach, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
Living in southern California has its pluses and minuses as car lover. One of the positives is that cars do not rust away. The big negative is the smog rules making imported vehicles nearly impossible to legally drive. So this Japanese import with a clean California title is a unicorn. Find this 1986 Mazda Bongo Brawny offered for $14,500 in Santa Barbara, CA via Craigslist.
This next car is a Mazda Protegé5 . Not a Mazda Protegé..space..5 or a Protege 5. It is actually the Protegé5 and this predates Mazda’s current obsession with everything having a numeric name..but this pedantic nomenclature hides a very capable eighth generation BJ Familia/323 wagon. This next car isn’t the Mazdaspeed version, it does look to be in remarkable condition and is offered by a dealer who (despite an exhaustive application of ArmorAll) claims it is a 1-owner vehicle and it does have a manual gearbox. Find this 2002 Mazda Protegé5 offered for $5000 in Shingle Springs (yes, that is a real place, and no it isn’t a good name for a retirement home) CA via craigslist.
It seems that a car auction site is popping up every time I turn my head or cough…sometimes when I turn my head AND cough, but that is a discussion for another time. This next car comes from Doug DeMuro’s carsandbids.com, which combines Doug’s infectious optimism with nifty late model cars. What we are talking about today is this bearded Spock universe Mazda MX-5 that has a Jaguar S-Type AJ30 V6 (which is actually a specialized version of the Ford Duratec V6) that puts 220 horsepower into the stock Miata 5-speed manual gearbox. The company that sells conversion kits (Rocketworks in Eugene, OR) claims twice the power and torque of the stock MX-5 and twice the fun. Find this 2002 Mazda MX-5 Miata V6 Swap bidding for $4,567 with less than a day to go, located in Broomfield, CO via carsandbids.com
This next car will need some kind of introduction, because unless you are the curator of a Mazda museum…you probably don’t know what this next car is…because I was totally completely unaware of the existence of the kei-sized, JDM only, ’72-’76 Chantez…wait…we’ve featured one of these Chantezes (Chantee?? Chanteux?) before…and here it is. The exact…identical, same Chantez offered for $6000 in PA back in 2016. Yup, and four years later and it still has the same skuzzy mummy skin steering wheel wrap…find this 1974 Mazda Chantez offered for $5,900 in Tampa Bay, FL via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
If I learned anything from the entire PE coaching staff of my high school, it is that everything is a competition. There is no such thing as fun sport and everything ends in a collection of losers and one winner. Today we’ve got a simple face-off for you — pick the pile of parts that you’d rather restore from these two abandoned classics. Do you want a rat chewed 1977 Mazda Cosmo for $4200 or a moldy 1966 Chevrolet Impala Coupe for $3900? Tip from Evan and Dascpcu.
I know that the RX-7 rotary purists (Wankers as they call themselves) will cringe at the average pushrod V8 swapped RX-7, but they’ll be decidedly appalled that the builder used a GSL-SE to turn into a piston pumping pavement pounder. However, despite the vintage Cali sunset plate, the car itself is pretty ragged — rust appears in bubbles all over the paint and the seller reported having a blown engine…so this wasn’t some cherry collectors item, this was an RX-7 that needed some love…which it got in the form of a Ford V8 swap. Find this 1985 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE offered for $3100 in Palo Alto, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
This next car comes as a tip from Kester who writes: Why do I like this so much? Is it because it’s so wrong and makes no sense whatsoever? I even struggled to send this in, though I know if I bought it, my wife would have me sleeping in it for the next month (and I don’t think the seats recline far enough…) She banished me to the garage once after buying a rusty old 914, but promised to never do it again as apparently I enjoyed it too much. The answer is easy — you like the idea of a reliable MGB GT with Mazda power and the patina of a WWII era battleship for next to nothing. Find this 1970 MG B GT offered for $5000 in Boone, IA via craigslist.
I’m really not a big fan of flipping cars for instant profit…but with the amount of money people are shelling out for low mile MX-5s over at BringATrailer, I think that this next car is easy money. There was a 24k 1991 MX-5 that sold for $20,250 (+5% buyers fee) back in Nov 2019, and then more recently a 1991 MX-5 Special Edition with 13k miles sold for $22,899 (+5% buyers fee). Today’s car isn’t a “special edition” but those “special” editions didn’t add much other than a wooden shift known and headrest speakers and a few other accoutrements of specialness. Here is what I’m thinking, buy this 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata offered for $16,000 in Staunton, VA via craigslist (Tip from Rock On!) and then sell it for $20k over at that other site…and then send me a 2% tip that I will split with Rock On! Seems like a win-win-win.
The first generation RX-7 (SA/FB built in Japan from 1978 to 1985) was a interesting highlight in the sports car world of the early 80s. The RX-7’s light weight frame was engineered for handling and propelled by a unique engine – the Mazda rotary. Today, you don’t see many around, but this next example looks […]