1969 Mazda 1500 – $1700

“Moving, must sell! Any reasonable offers accepted, cash sale. Vintage Mazda 1969 model 1500. The car was originally designed by Italian design-house Bertone. It is a very gorgeous little car, in excellent original condition. All lights original in working order. White with black interior , one small tear in back seat at windshield. 4 cylinder, New Voltage regulator, new rebuilt water pump–well maintained DAILY DRIVER. Minor body rust on front hood. As with all vintage vehicles, will need ongoing work.”

It’s always a little odd when you stumble across old Japanese cars. I mean, when it comes to cars from the summer of love, you always expect to find a Blue Oval or Bowtie on the hood… not a Mazda emblem. Subsequently, they make for intriguing and interesting collector cars that, to be honest, aren’t without their own challenges. And so it is with the Mazda 1500. One of the largest sedans Japan produced during the period, the 1500 served as a good stop gap measure between the smaller import cars like the Mini, and the bigger American-made six-cylinder sedans like the Falcon and Nova. Available in two trim levels, the 1500 could be had in standard and deluxe trims, with the deluxe models receiving folding armrests, a power antennae, and a clock in the dashboard. Performance was middling from the 82 horsepower four cylinder, but the car curried favour with drivers looking for a true mid-size sedan with reasonable fuel economy and good safety features.

Being a very uncommon car, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect when walking up to one such as this. Undoubtedly, being made of Japanese steel circa Creedence Clearwater Revival, there’s going to be some concerns of rust, as evidenced by the ad’s admission that the hood is apparently rusty… although that’s a pretty weird place for rust to appear. However, if the car is indeed used as a daily driver, there shouldn’t be all that much wrong with it… but my concern would be fixing what is wrong with it. Like so many other little known Japanese classics, parts and support will prove the largest hurdle for any potential owner, and all that one can really hope for is to find at least a couple good suppliers. Then again, if the running gear or suspension is one its last legs, perhaps it would be a great vehicle with which to experiment with Miata/rotary parts swaps?


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