Driving an RHD car in an LHD world can really mess with your mind. That’s the ask of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mazda, and not only will we have to consider that, we’ll also have to choose which side to land on this JDM truck’s asking price.
It’s a popular pastime these days to shout ‘fake news!’ when faced with anything that doesn’t jive with one’s own personal optics. That’s typically just a cop-out, but there are objectively fake things—body enhancements, crab meat, diamonds, etc.—that seem to get a pass in our society. That’s a primary reason for the existence of yesterday’s Saturn Sky doing time as a sort of Lamborghini Gallardo. It was a full-on fake but at $32,000 few of you believed it. That ended up with a massive 94 percent Crack Pipe loss and the many a pouring of a 40 at the curb for the loss of the original Sky.
With COVID-19 spreading globally, many people are choosing to hunker down and stay at home rather than go out and risk interactions with others who might be infected. That’s led to shortages of two-ply at even the warehouse stores and hand sanitizer suddenly being priced like it’s Russian caviar.
Staying in seems to make sense. At least until there’s a better grasp of what the virus wants and how we can defeat it. Of course, that doesn’t mean everybody is staying local, and this 1994 Mazda Proceed Marvie is about as far away from its Japanese home as you could imagine.
Before we get to how and why it is, let’s just address the pachyderm on the premises—just what the hell exactly is a Mazda Proceed Marvie? I knew you might be asking that, so I prepared the following paragraph.
The Mazda Proceed is the home market edition of the small pickup truck we Americans know as the B2000/B2600. In Japan, as well as in some of Southeast Asia, that was transformed into a four-door, three-row SUV. It was called the Marvie in the home market and the Ford Raider in Australia and New Zealand. These were all RHD and none were ever officially sent to America. That makes this one a unique bit of kit.
Okay, so it’s rare and RHD, but is it interesting enough to buy and deal with the issues inherent to a private import that steers from the wrong side? That’s a definite maybe.
Apparently, these were never terribly popular back in the day and were somewhat overshadowed by Toyota’s similar Hilux Surf/4Runner. That makes the Mazda appreciably rare no matter where you are, and this one looks to be a pretty solid example. The black on grey color scheme is as elegant as you could get and there’s no apparent rust or body damage on the truck.
This is a pretty long truck with a 118-inch wheelbase affording large door openings and both a third-row of seats and appreciable boot space. The interior is clean, showing only minor wear and tear on the upholstery which also has a somewhat hypnotic striped pattern. There’s a moonroof up top and an aftermarket Clarion radio in the dash with an alarming number of tiny buttons.
Not only will it need to be steered from the right-hand seat but you’ll also need to learn how to shift with your left hand since this truck—like most Marvies—sports a five-speed stick. That’s mated to a 2.6-litre fuel injected four that made about 118 horsepower when it as new. A part-time 4-wheel drive system gets those ponies to the pavement.
This Marvie is described as being fully functional with working A/C and as-new Bridgestone tires on its factory alloy wheels. It sports a meager 118,000 miles (186,000 kilometers) on the clock and should be fairly easy to maintain since, as noted in the ad, it shares quite a few parts with the B2600 pickup.
The seller claims to have all the truck’s import documentation on hand and as it is over 25-years old the Feds won’t care if it sticks around. It presently carries Maryland historic plates and current registration.
Why would you want something like this? Well, to be different. After all, isn’t that something we all strive to be—different enough to stand out but not so different that people think you’re a freak? This truck isn’t freaky different, it’s Cars & Coffee “what’s that?” different. Plus, aside from the whole driving on the wrong side of the car aspect, it should be fairly easy to live with on the day-to-day.
The question for us is whether that may all be worth this truck’s $7,750 asking. What do you think, could this JDM SUV ask that much C.O.D.? Or, is this a Proceed that’s really not all that marvie?
H/T to Cash Rewards for the hookup!
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