Thursday, August 29, 2013

1k: Great Little Car: 1977 Mazda GLC

The 3rd generation Mazda Familia AP was released around the world as the 323, but in North America as the GLC...short for Great Little Car.  It was a subcompact living on a rear-wheel-drive platform and unfortunately short lived as the deluge of front-drive ecrapoboxes took the place of proper right-wheel-drive vehicles.  By 1980 the Familia had a front-drive chassis, but a few of the 1977-1980 rear-drive classics are still available for your drifting pleasure.  Find this 1977 Mazda GLC for sale in Omaha, NE for $1,350 via craigslist.  Tip from Andy L.

The GLC is powered by a 1.3 liter inline-4 cylinder engine putting out 49 horsepower and 63 ft-lbs of torque.  It won't be particularly fast or thrilling, but with a sub 1800 lb curb weight and 4 inch wide 70-series tires, the little hatchback should be good for something...

The seller mentions something about a Rotary engine, but we assume he is recommending that the next owner swap in a rotary engine.  The seller also mentions that the white 77 GLC is also for sale, but for $2k with 44k original miles.  Maybe buy both so that you'll more likely have one running for your commute.

pic from
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  1. this thing gives beaters a bad name.

  2. Gawd, that's not really what GLC stands for, is it?

    1. "glc" is the sound you make when you see this car and a little bit of vomit passes up your esophagus and a small amount manages to breach the vestibular fold in your trachea.

    2. Gotta remember the context of the times that the GLC comes from. Yes, it was advertised as a Great Little Car. While some of us might like the early RXs, they were not a prescription for fun with the American public as the hmmmers left a very bad taste in the mouths of many buyers which Mazda needed to rinse out. As I recall, the GLC actually helped rehabilitate Mazda's reputation as they held together, which was more than the RXs did. IMO

    3. Having said that, plumb a rotary in there and hoon-away! :)

    4. Carroll Shelby was better at providing acronyms for hatchbacks. Too bad his were FWD. How about putting a 2.2 intercooled turbo in the Mazda. I bet the finished product would GLH.

    5. The 77 GLC was my first car. I paid $200 for it and drove it for 6 years of problem free, exceptional gas mileage fun. I LOVED that car. No, it wasn't sexy but I've never heard of a $200 car going the distance and it was still running like new when I passed it on to my brother. Mine was a lime/pea green lol. Ugly as heck. No power anything, no a/c but it had cruise control lol. I have never had more fun with any other car.

  3. The later FWD GLCs were really pretty decent for their time, and really stands for Great Little Car. My parents had one for years, an '82, 5-spd manual. It was kind of the slower, shittier, less reliable version of the Mazda3. But compared to all the other early '80s Malaise economy cars it was a wise purchase.

    Murilee Martin was enamored of GLCs about a year ago:

    And according to Dave Coleman, the early RWD GLC like the two featured here on DT was basically a piston-engined FA RX7 under the skin.

  4. Ooohh, a rotary-swapped GLC Sport!

    Would you like terrible durability and fuel economy with your ugly hatchback styling? HELL YES. Oh wait, not for $7k.

  5. I sold Mazdas in 1977, and the GLC was the bread and butter car. The rotary engine cars in their line up were gas hogs, and lots of folks came back complaining when their small cars got about 16 mpg. The Glick was basic, reliable and economical transportation.

  6. After all the hate / I don't own 1 talk is said and done, people whom don't have a clue that if one was to search for a Mazda RX pre 77 that's nice rust free running solid platform it will cost you a lot . Just think like American Classic Cars that didn't have great sales back then are now the most valuable cars to have ;) The same goes for Japanese Classic Cars fetching anywhere from 5K-100k yes Rotary cars just like the last Generation RX7...Just a super car in disguise. Who's Mazda glc's are pictured, is it still for sale? It sure looks like the Legend Mazda Guru Hawaiian Dan's Cars??

  7. I had a 1977 GLC 4door in high school.

    Put 70 series tires on it, KYB shocks and struts, removed the EGR, Matched the intake & exhaust ports, re-jetted the carb, and opened up the exhaust, and it ran rings around a smartass peer's BMW 2002.

    Most folks don't realize it had the same steering geometry as the original RX7.

    The GLC was SO MUCH BETTER than the chevette...its closest match.

    And with the back seats flipping down flat, it was great for the ladies! Try that in your RX-7.

    If I could find a good one yoday, I'd drop a modern motor in it...maybe an RX-8, heck, maybe a little 2.3l ecoboost...stiffen things up, lower it a bit, and it would be a whole lot of fun!

  8. This really was a great little car. I bought a 1977 Mazda GLC in 1988. It was my first car and yes it was a beater but this was a beater of a different feather. I lived in the rust belt so it had it's share of rust but it is the best $125.00 car investment I ever made. It looked like hell but it ran great. It never once failed to start for me. Not one time in over 6 years of ownership. It never broke down. It never failed me. The only repairs were routine maintenance.....Brakes, Tires, Tune-up, Oil Changes. The only other repair required were new U-Joints, no big deal. $20.00 and 2 hours. Not only was it the most reliable car I have ever owned and ran like a top, it was also by far the most fuel efficient car I have ever owned. I'd buy a brand new one tomorrow if they started producing them again.

  9. Glad anonymous is sticking to his principals. Can't wait to see 2018's comment on this GLC


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