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Old 12-17-2015, 03:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Was I a fool to turn down this free maybe future classic? 80's Mazda 626





Source: Daily Turismo: 5k: Endangered Species: 1982 Mazda 626 ....

(Not the actual car. The one I was offered was white.)

An engineer friend offered me a free '81 Mazda 626. He was the first or 2nd owner, and it was a top of the line model with sunroof, power accessories etc. 5-speed, RWD. Reasonably well maintained, not horribly rusty (relative to other 35 year old cars around here). Ran when parked, about 10 years ago.

Considering the pile of unfinished projects I already have, I turned it down. I think the car went to the crusher as a result (will confirm this weekend).

Now, after watching the latest videos from Cold War Motors, I'm having second thoughts, or rather, guilt pangs (along the lines of: you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone).

I mean the Mazda will probably never exactly be a desireable classic, but was it worth saving?

It ticked many of the "worth saving" collectible boxes:
  • coupe
  • b-pillarless hardtop
  • RWD
  • manual trans
  • top spec (factory RX-7 wheels!)
  • relatively rare
  • etc
But there's little else in the car to ignite passion for preserving it. It's a plain 3-box car in the truest sense of that description. Probably the same reason I didn't want it and neither did the owner. There are shades of Peugeot 505 in there, and maybe even BMW if you squint hard enough. But the truth is you have to look long & hard to find any notable styling elements worth lingering over.

What about sheer driving enjoyment? The modern 74 hp Mitsu Mirage has a better power:weight ratio. It would probably have been somewhat efficient... but if I'd taken it and fixed it up, I wouldn't have driven it enough for that to matter anyway.

So I gave it a pass.

But part of me wonders if I should have put it in inventory. Though I'm sure my neighbours would be glad I did not.

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Old 12-17-2015, 03:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think it would be worth saving, but I can understand not wanting to be the one to save it!

Reminds me of my neighbor's 6-Series BMW Alpina that hasn't moved in years.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, the vote would surely go to your neighbour's car.

(I can see the similarity!)

But I probably would have turned that down too.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The dying era of carburetion cars of the late 70s to early 90s can be exercises in frustration trying to get them to run perfect. I would pass on that one. I just don't see anything interesting around here now that the state just got a little too greedy on registration and all the other fees.

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Old 12-17-2015, 04:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, that occurred to me too. My carb'd '89 Accord had a nightmare rat's nest of vacuum lines under the hood. Fortunately it never gave me any problems, but I shuddered at the thought of ever having to troubleshoot it.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The hoarder in me says grab it; worst case scenario you get to drag it to the crusher and get the $. Maybe you pull the nice rims and other bits first, for later use or sale or barter or maybe even just to keep the hoard full and interesting. Also (perhaps just me) if something as simple and innocuous as a car sitting around drives people up the wall, that is another bonus!
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you weren't passionate about the project you absolutely made the right decision.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Was I a fool to turn down this free maybe future classic?

Yes...




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Old 12-21-2015, 12:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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moot

Well, it's a moot point now.

I saw my friend this weekend, and the car met its fate.

AKA:

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Old 12-21-2015, 12:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Or it could have been the beginnings of a new EV conversion. The price is right. Danged 349 other projects to do first.
JJ

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