Friday, January 6, 2017

Brick House: 1980 Mazda 626 Capella

Do you remember when Mazda built econoboxes that were fun to drive?  Wait...they still build some of the most fun poor people haulers on the planet, but why is the MX-5 the only car that gets right-wheel-drive?  How much of the BMW 3-series would be converted by a rear-drive Mazda 6...not that you'll see it in the showrooms today, but there was a time when you could get a Mazda sedan capable of doing donuts after church on a Sunday with the entire family.  Find this 1980 Mazda 626 Capella offered for $3,900 in Vinings, GA via craigslist.  Tip from Matt C.

Mazda didn't use their rotary in the 626 (similar to most of their other offering in the late 70s), instead they used the MA-series inline-4, which made about 80 horsepower from its 2 liters when new.

Thankfully, this coppertoned classic has a 5-speed manual gearbox sitting between the buns-over-mustard seats, because this car with the 3-speed slushbox would be worst than going cold turkey after coming off a heavy dose of SSRIs. 

See another brownish/orangish/copperish/tanish car?


  1. Except for the dreaded Reagan Era browness/ochre interior would be a fun beater

  2. Handsome on the outside, horrific on the inside.

  3. I had a 1980 626 that I bought new. It was a "special 10th Year Anniversary" model" that came with whatever bells and whistles Mazda could put on it. Had it until 1989, mostly as a second car for the last 4 years. Pretty much always reliable - except for one inopportune blown head gasket. Nice driver, fairly comfortable, very under powered. What I remember the most was the woefully weak air conditioner. Nothing wrong with it - it was just designed to work best on a cloudy day in late winter.

  4. I was looking at the interior thinking of how to describe it, maybe "brown over yellow-brown"? but buns over mustard nails it.

    I remember the next gen with some fondness, especially the 5-door turbo. They may have been FWD by then, I can't remember.


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