They used to say Mazdas go hmmmm, due to their sweetly smooth Wankel engines. Today's NIce Price or Crack Pipe REPU looks about as sweet as they come, but will its price make you go hmmmm?
Mini trucks rock, and back in the seventies there was a butt-load of them from which to choose. Most of the little haulers were pretty similar, sporting a smaller, and more four cylindery form of what the American full sized trucks had established years prior. Mazda had their own little truck, the B-series, which at the time was also sold by Ford as the Courier. Looking to provide the market with something a little different in a little truck, Mazda dropped the RX-4's 13B into the B-series, making the REPU, or Rotary Engine Pick Up. The truck also stood apart from its piston-powered broheim by sporting a set of boxy fender flares, a more aggressive grille, and an affinity for drinking like a fish.
It was that addiction to suckling at OPEC's greasy teat that made the Mazda's thirsty rotary engines about as desirable as soap retrieval in a prison shower, resulting in the company only selling about 15,000 of the butch but 16-mpg trucks between '74 and '77. Overly consumptive it may have been, but the REPU was also much quicker than its piston-popping competition. Of course, for the era, quick means getting this 2,865-lb pick up from zero to sixty in a cat's fart under eleven seconds, and on to its top speed of 104 miles per hour. Hmmmmm.
This 1974 REPU is claimed to have been owned by a former Mazda employee, who stored it for years like Ted Williams' head. However, unlike that former Red Sox slugger's cabeza, this Mazda presently looks like it just rolled off the boat and into a gas station. The seller alleges only 56,000 miles on the clock, and a fresh rebuild on the 13B. Now, when rebuilding one of Mazda's ‘70s-era Spirographic motors it's a good idea to take advantage of all the modern-day upgrades that make these things more reliable than communist rail travel, and hopefully that's just what has been done here. The seller claims new apex seals and gaskets, as well as a stainless steel fatty exhaust and a Racing Beat muffler, but it otherwise looks pretty stock. And in a humorous bit of coincidence, the Bridgeport CT-located truck has had its engine bridge-ported (half-bridge at least). The 4-port 13B is backed up by Mazda's 4-speed manual, which sends the truck's 110-bhp back to a leaf-sprung live axle in residence under the flare-fendered, and battery-boxed bed.
That bed, as well as the rest of the truck is in arrest-me red, which is said to be new, and if it is they did a damn nice job with the respray, as the dual side stripes must be hard to come by these days. Inside, the dash puts the tach front and center, as the Wankel engine does love to rev. That dial is one of three punched into the burled walnut plastic of the dash, which provides an upscale appearance to a class more accustomed to acres of painted metal, and trucker mudflap girl air fresheners. The steering wheel, a fairly ornate four-spoke affair also from the RX-4, continues the hoity-toity theme completed by the under-dash A/C, nice because nobody likes to sweat. Under the hood however, it looks like the belt to the compressor is missing, so the A/C may be more for looks than lowering your temperature, but still it's nice to have the parts there.
It's hard to imagine coming across another REPU this original and so well preserved and should anyone be in the market for such a hum-dinger of a hummer-powered pick up, they definitely should give this one a long careful look. They'd also want to take some time to consider its price, which is $8,500, or almost a grand more than double the truck's list price in 1974, according to a Road & Track road test from the era.
Since we don't know of too many people presently in the market for a REPU, we'll just have to do that considering for them. So, what do you think of $8,500 for this rocket red REPU? Is that a price that would make picking up this pick up a deal? Or, should the price of this pick up be knocked down?
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.