Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Familia GTX is the 323 - for America at least - that was never meant to be. It’s RHD, AWD, and JDM, but you need to determine if this rare Mazda’s price is Jay-Day-Um.
Mazda, Monza. Monza, Mazda. There, now that the introductions are out of the way, we can get down to brass tacks, which is to say, the vote on yesterday’s 1975 Chevy Monza. That Vega redo is considered to be one of Chevy’s all time great designs, and for 63% of you, the price on that particular blue one was also pretty good looking. No one volunteered to change the plugs in its V8 however, owing to its historically insanely tight confines.
They say the candle that burns twice as brightly only burns half as long. Mazda’s Group A homologation 323 GTX, with its all-wheeling drivetrain and turbocharged twin-cam motor burned very brightly indeed, but only for two years here in the U.S..
A result of Mazda’s desire to go Group A racing and that body’s requirement that racers be homologated from a production car with a minimum of 5,000 units, the 323 hatch-based car failed in the market mostly due to its astronomical price - about 30% more at the time than that of VW’s GTI. In the end, Mazda managed to sell just 1,243 of their hot 323s here over the course of the 1988-1989 model years.
But that’s not to say the model didn’t live on elsewhere after the fact, as this 1991 Familia GTX proves. Offered up on the 6th generation 323 platform which we did receive even in this awkward-looking three-door hatch form, this GTX takes everything good about the old GTX and makes it lots more right-hand drive!
Other than letting you pretend you're a mail man, the 132-horse twin cam turbo four and 5-speed stick ought to still be good for sub-eight second zero to sixty runs, and the all-wheel drive system will help keep those runs on the straight and narrow.
Considering the collective meh response to the factory offered GTX here in the states, it's not all that remarkable that very few of the later model have been brought over here, and in fact the seller lays claim to this bi-wing beast being the only one.
In addition to the two-for-one hatch accoutrement, there's also some snazzy alloy wheels and mud flaps for all four fenders. Racy! Inside, the car looks amazingly clean and backwards owing to its steering wheel being on the wrong side. The heavily bolstered seats look to be in as-new condition and feature an accordion-like snood on the headrests that make their appearance reminiscent of those African ladies that stretch their necks out by progressively adding rings.
The ad states that the car has only 43,000 miles on it, and that it is all original, right down to the wordy feature description just aft of each door. Considering that these were sold here in a more tepid form, a lot of the parts - exclusive of the all-wheel drive bits and left-handed shift knob - shouldn't be too tough to source.
It's also said to come with 'papers to register and transfer.' Seeing as it's under the Fed's blind eye after 25 years of age and is not sporting any sort of U.S. State plate in any of the pictures, I'd like a better idea of how difficult this originally purchased in Japan car would be to make legal.
Still, the ad also notes that 'The Right Buyer will know what it is' and seeing as the seller is so sure of that individual's existence, I guess we can cut him some slack on the whole legality issue.
We can't on price however, and it's now time to weigh in on whether you think this really rare Group A homologation satisfier is equally satisfying at its $9,500 price tag. What do you think, is it worth that to have a rare GTX? Or, that price make this one about as popular as its factory predecessor?
H/T to audigoboom for the hookup! And if this is on Bring a Trailer, thanks all to hell to them as well!
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