Mazda used to say that their cars go hmmmm. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe REPU may be a humdinger, but though it’s restored, will its price have you humming a different tune?
The Italians are far too expressive a people to merely hum, they instead have to break out in full-blown arias when the mood hits them. Sadly for its seller, nobody wanted to hit yesterday’s one-off custom Bayliff Italia. Not only that, but fully 90% of you felt there to be no point in singing the praises of its price either, and it fell in a Crack Pipe loss.
So far this week we’ve had some pretty expensive rides, and the outcomes haven’t been pretty as a result. Today’s 1975 Mazda Rotary pickup fits that former mold, being up there in asking, but perhaps its mad mix of desirability and condition will compel a different verdict?
You might very well consider that the Bruce to Caitlyn transformation was dramatic - or you might not, who am I to judge? I think however, that an equally noteworthy remaking was the change in Mazda’s second generation B-series pickup into what was known as the Rotary Engined Pickup, or REPU for those with short attention sp…
Anyway, the B-series was more commonly represented here in the States as Ford’s imported trucklet, the Courier. Diminutive and demur, the Courier and its B brother featured styling that, while tidy, was far from what you’d call macho or virile.
The REPU was different however. Given aggressive square-flare fenders, a grille-within-a-grille nose (which was most likely the inspiration for the movie Inception) and, most importantly of all, a twin Wankel under the hood, in place of the standard truck’s four pot, it looked - and acted - a lot more hardcore. That made the REPU the most bad-ass mini truck on the market in its day, and one of the most desirable to own and curate today. It’s also the only factory Wankel pickup around.
Now, here’s the thing about the Wankel. Mazda was the motor’s biggest advocate, and tried for decades to make it live up to its reputation for being the next big thing. But honestly, while it had like two moving parts and hummed rather than putt-putted, there’s not been an instance where a good reciprocating engine wasn’t as, if not more efficient than a Rotary. Sorry Felix, nice try, though.
That doesn’t mean this 1975 Mazda REPU and its 13B aren’t desirable, and in fact this ‘70s throw back is even more notable for the fact that it’s been restored with an interest toward originality rather than rice rocketry or some other folderol.
The ad claims that the truck went through a full frame-off restoration making that orange paint and shiny-shiny chrome all recent work. You might want to ask when exactly that took place as the under-hood shots show what looks to be either dirt or discoloration near the fuse block. The rest of the engine compartment, including the tiny 13B, however looks great.
The interior too is a mix of good and a tiny bit of bad; the dash and other accouterments looking recently refreshed, while the e-brake handle looks like it’s coated in something nasty, like it was used as a sex toy. I’d suggest just leaving the truck in gear when parking.
The orange and white of that interior is obviously an acquired taste and the seat looks like its covered in something other than your stock vinyl. Still, if you own an Orange Julius franchise this is totally your bag.
Perhaps not sharing space in that bag is an interest in paying the price this truck is asking. The ad pegs that at $20,000, which is not chump change, but then again reflects the condition and butch rotary clubbiness of the truck.
What do you think, is this restored REPU worth $20,000? Or, will this old-school truck never pickup that much?
H/T to MeOtter96 for the hookup!
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