Tuesday, March 17, 2015

5k: Turbo Hatch: 1988 Mazda 323 GTX

 This next hot hatch comes to us from Brian P, who writes: Hot hatches are awesome.  This one is ratty enough that it will be cheap but not so bad that you'll have to shower after every drive.  It could be the dog hair covering the seats or that this car is literally a hot hatch, but it does seem like a interesting ride.  The US badged Mazda 323 was based on 5th generation (internal designation BF) Mazda Familia - a basic economy car for the family, but the GTX version was a rally bred fun machine. Find this 1988 Mazda 323 GTX here on eBay currently bidding for $200 reserve-not-met with buy-it-now of $4,500 located in Mountain View, CA.


The simple and economical hatchback is the Model T of the modern era -- sold by the millions, easy for the everyman to use, but also a blank canvass for thrill seeking madmen to modify.  Unfortunately most pre-Subaru WRX hatches use the fun-killing front wheel drive setup, but leave it to Mazda to lets us get our zoom-zoom on in a family car with a turbocharged all-wheel-drive hatch from the late 1980s.


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 (the seller has already added a few go fast goodies) and makes for a quick car given the 2600 lb curb weight. 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.


See another multi-element winged hot hatch? Send it here: tips@dailyturismo.com


15 comments:

  1. You bastard! No! No! I don't need more cars! No! And it's barely ten miles from me, and a color I can live with!

    Stop it now! Delete this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do it and report back with pics.

      Delete
    2. I feel your pain.

      Interesting how much these have relatively maintained their value over the years. This one is a bit cheap to me at $4,500 but I haven't really been following them lately. Maybe that's the going rate these days. The claim that it's the only one (in ALL CAPS) in all of mainland USA is pure hooey, unless I missed some detail in the description and all the rest suddenly vanished in a cloud of rally-induced rust overnight.

      Delete
    3. This one is cheap because if you look at the autocheck on ebay, it has multiple owners, is from car-destroying (yes, they use salt there) Alaska, and has odometer rollback problems.

      Delete
    4. Not to mention, now reading the description, the car has been "vandalized" and the motor drinks oil. No bueno for me. (Note: I also dislike Mazda's)

      Delete
    5. So in other words, in a 27-year-old car we should expect trailer-trash history.

      I guess my assumption on anything of that age is that you take the mechanicals for what they are and bring a floorjack and some poky-things, and if you can't poke a hole in the floorpan it's worth at least something.

      Delete
    6. I think that pretty much sums it up with a car like this.

      Delete
    7. "Only on *available* in the US now" I think means that it is the only one that he can find on CL or Ebay that is *for sale* right now at this very moment.

      Delete
    8. Maybe the seller meant the other mainland US.

      Delete
  2. Remember the 323 GT? Same motor as the GTX, but in a 4 door sedan with front wheel drive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember! I was a bit shocked at the $11,499 MSRP in 1988, to tell you the truth.

      Delete
    2. I worked as a lot rat at a Mazda dealer back then and one of the salespeople had one as a demo. I've never ever seen one since. I've seen GTX's - one just a month ago on 405 - but never a GT again.

      I got to do a dealer trade on a 323 GTX back then. It was fun driving it back and nailing the throttle and seeing the little turbo light go on.

      It would be fun to have one, but most of them were used up in SCCA Pro Rally.

      Delete
    3. I'll bet you're correct in that there aren't many GTs left.

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    4. Found some on Club Protege, but they're all sold. Which means they still exist, but you'd have to be really patient to find one, much less the right one. Not that you're in the market, I'm sure. But they do still exist, which is interesting.

      Delete

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