Sunday, December 13, 2015

Buzz Killed: 1974 Mazda REPU

Back in the 70's you could pick up a pickup that you didn't need a Master's License to operate.  Datsun, Toyota, Isuzu and Mazda produced small pickups for their own brands along with Mazda and Isuzu rebadging them for the domestics.  Leave it to the Wankel devotees at Mazda to stuff a rotary in their small B-series pickup and sell it as the REPU (Rotary Engine Pick Up). Find this 1974 Mazda REPU for sale in Arlington, WA for $1,300 via craigslist.

The REPU was a second generation Mazda B series mini truck powered by the Mazda 13B AP series rotary.  The 13B AP was a two rotor Wankel displacing 1.3 liters.  The 13B AP was shared with the RX-4 and RX-5 along with the first generation RX-7 in GSL-SE trim.  Producing 110 hp, the 2,900 lb REPU with a 4.625 rear end could not only haul your stuff, it could also haul what you sit on (hey, this is a family website after all).  This one is said to run with a fresh battery, fuel and some coaxing.  He also has a spare 13B that he'll sell you for an additional $750 in case your powers of persuasion aren't enough.

Inside all the pieces appear to be there, although it looks like you might need a bit of Febreeze for the seats and some Lemon Pledge for the dash..  They guy says there are a few extra A/C holes in the floor, but he's run it that way for the last 15 years. Being located on the wet side of Washington State, he must wear a pair of rubber boots 9 months out of the year.

Mazda produced around 15,000 REPU's, almost all of them sold in the U.S. and Canada.  Most of the survivors remain on the west coast of the U.S. where the tin worm hasn't totally eaten them up. There seems to be increasing interest in the REPU with the Japanese Car now being accepted as collectible and worth saving vs. worthless junk.  The REPU was also popular in the SCCA Pro Rally series and famed desert motorcycle racer Malcolm Smith won the 1975 Mohave 24 Hour Rally with a REPU.

See better way to buzz the neighborhood? Email it here:

Gianni is Daily Turismo's Pacific Northwest correspondent.  He loves the sound of rotaries in the forest.


  1. Whats missing in the engine compartment? The battery.... it lives behind a strange little door on the side of the body behind the passenger door. There used to be a red one of these in my neighborhood when I was young. It would always rip by me down the street as I walked to school. (Raaaaaaa, shift/pop/backfire,Raaaaaaa)

    1. When I was researching the REPU, I found a reprint of a 1974 R&T Road Test that had a picture of the secret battery compartment. The photo caption was filled with worry about thieves stealing the battery. The crime rate was higher in the early 70's.

      The article made me miss the old Road Test results page of an R&T Road Test with the cut away silhouette of the subject vehicle.

      1974 Road and Track Mazda Rotary Pickup Road Test

  2. This has really great potential and could be a fun little project.

  3. All I can say is its one heck of a chick magnet. Baby let me show you my air mattress in the back. No? Baby I'm a player, really please?! Damn it maybe I don't have game. Na it's might Lil truck...

  4. Serious resto project, but you can count on having the only one in your town, unless your town is some megalopolis with all kinds of stuff hidden in overstuffed garages.

  5. You might need a Tetanus Booster before you slide in behind the wheel creepy.


  7. I own one of these rascals. I've had it since 1996. It's an awful shade of green, with an automatic, factory air, racing Beat header and intake with a Holley 4bbl.
    Thing still makes me smile when I drive it...the neighborhood kids call it Kermit.

    1. Very cool. We haven't had a Reader Ride post since September - hint, hint.

      Back in the 80's there was a guy that ran a REPU in the local SCCA Pro Rallies. I swear he ran a straight pipe on it, and there wasn't a deer within 10 miles of the special stage when he came through.


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