Thursday, October 3, 2013

10k: Familia But Different: 1991 Mazda Familia (323) GTX

The Mazda Familia was a little family-oriented compact that was sold variously under the GLC, 323 and Protegé nameplates in North America. Here in the states we officially got the little hot rod GTX version during the 5th generation of the Familia/323, which combined the hatchback body style with all wheel drive, a 5-spd manual trans, and a turbocharged B6T 1.6L four cylinder mounted transversely under the hood. What we didn't get however was the later 6th-gen version, but you can find this JDM import 1991 Mazda Familia GTX here on craigslist (literally, the ad says "Here" for location) in Bangor, Maine for $9500.

The 6th-gen GTX version came with the 1.8L BP engine, which was eventually shared with the Miata/ MX5. But here in turbocharged form it made near 182 hp as opposed to the previous generation's 143 hp. So even if this car is completely stock it should be significantly more lively than the 5th-gen GTX (of which we've featured a few examples on DT). The styling is a bit cleaner, more rounded and refined. Not to mention it's pretty uncommon to see any 323 hatchback on the road these days, let alone one with sweet (if questionably functional) double rear spoilers.

The AWD system featured viscous (i.e. clutch-type) limited slip differentials, so the added power can be put to the gravel in an even manner. This car, although being significantly less powerful than a Subaru WRX or STI, should be even more fun in the dirt based on the lighter weight and shorter wheelbase. Nimbleness is important when you're flying sideways towards a telephone pole or roadside ditch...

Bonus for the JDM fanboys - this Familia is right hand drive and has some very '90s upholstery covering the nicely bolstered seats and door panels. This car would be right at home on a backroad but equally appreciated at your local Japanese car show or cruise night especially with a claimed 43k original miles. The asking price might be a bit steep for a 20 year old hatchback but there's not much market action on 6th-gen JDM GTXs to compare this to. Something similar perhaps...Familia...but different.

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  1. Asking about $6k too much. Good luck to the seller.

  2. Well, a thousand pardons for posting the seller's contact information and location (Bangor, ME). Just trying to save the 4 other readers of this site interested in this car a few minutes of digging.

    1. No apologies necessary and I have no idea what happened to your previous comment (mr Anon). No one associated with DT filtered it or deleted it...but it is gone. Also for future reference you can pick a name/url option when commenting (no login required) and I believe it is less likely to get picked off by google's spam eaters.

      Here is the previous comment in all its me I have no interest in filtering comments for positive stuff only like a certain other site and we at DT love these sort of comments.(editor Vince)

      According to the internets the phone number is registered in or around Bangor, ME and a further search reveals this individual sold an early 90's Volvo 850 sedan last year under a username jhaagen on a Volvo website. Further Craigslisting indicates this guy is a dealer (or car hoarder - I can relate) who buys rare(?) cars and flips them based out of Bangor and his name is Josh H.

      So, location is Bangor.

    2. Pffft picking a name/URL would still require to remember something. Thanks for digging it up. Though I'm on the correct coast, my family lives 30 min south of Bangor and my cousin is heading up this weekend to look at another car this guy is selling (begins with S ends with AAB). I asked him to snap a few shots of the underside if the Mazda is still there. Having grown up wrenching on cars in Maine, some can look deceptively clean on the outside, but be equipped with the Fred Flintstone floorboards I grew up patching with bondo and a $2 can of undercoating from VIP tires and service (New England know what I'm talkin' about) to pass inspection every year.

  3. Um... no plates. My guess is that this can't legally be registered in the US until 2016. Good luck though, these things are great, especially the GTR version (more power, heavier duty running gear, 5-lug hubs, hood vents, etc, etc).

  4. Guy bought this car for $4,300... Put some horrible rims on it, and is trying to flip it for twice as much. "bennett collection 2012"


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