Super-Mega Oddball Points – 1982 Mazda 626 Convertible

Well, I’m pretty much the biggest oddball car nerd I know, and yet I’ve never heard of this. And I’m sure if you asked any of my oddball car nerd friends, who are, like me, the biggest oddball car nerds they themselves know, they probably won’t have heard of or seen one of these either. That said, with Preludes, Celicas, and CRXs all being available in small batches of convertibles done by Straman or the like, I’m not too surprised this exists. Mazda 626 coupes of this series are themselves pretty rare at this point, and my only memory of them from when I was little is thinking they looked a bit like a 6-series BMW, and that the mother of one of my school friends drove one. Apparently, it performed quite well for the time, although I can’t imagine its 2-liter 4-cylinder, with a strangled 75hp, could have had too much of that zoom zoom (sorry for mentioning that) feeling.

Anyway, let’s have a look at the featured car. With only 80,000 miles and a 5-speed, it should still have a decent amount of life left in it. Being in a snow-belt state, it’s likely it was kept as a summer car – find it in Columbus, OH, apparently at a dealership, for the low, low price of $1950.

1982 Mazda 626 convertible front

Seller claims the car comes with its original mats, window sticker, and books and records. I’d love to see the options list on the sticker – I don’t think “convertible top” was in the brochure or the factory options list. Update: According to this thread, the car was converted by Sunset Coach by dealer/customer request.

1982 Mazda 626 convertible side

Again, for Ohio this car looks remarkably good – not a speck of rust on these low-res pics. But who knows, maybe it’s been whacked on the other side. Still, if this is a well-done conversion (the existence and shape of the top suggest it was professionally done), this could make you the hit at any JDM car show, and for pretty short money compared to, say, a hopped-up Celica.

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4 Responses to “Super-Mega Oddball Points – 1982 Mazda 626 Convertible”

  1. Dave Says:

    Wow. I would be biggest oddball car nerd I know and I never never knew these (“this”? Maybe it’s the only one) existed.

    I’m not crazy about the car, I dated a woman many years ago with a 626 4 door (She bought it before we met. You needed a different key to unlock each door and start the car. The used car dealer told her “that was the way Mazda made them”. She believed him and bought the car.) and it was pretty much a dog. But, as you wrote, this car would make you a hit at any Japanese car show.

    Cool find!

    Dave

  2. Robert Says:

    Sunset Coach did a lot of these. Probably 200 or so on the 626 series. You might want to brush up on your odd-ball convertible knowledge with this article I wrote:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coach_convertible

  3. Rich Says:

    My wife had one of these RWD 626’s. Hers was the “luxury” model and it was a very nice car even though it was a slug. Unfortunately, there was a recall on them for rings or something internal and the dealer screwed up the rod bearings and would not fix it. We sold it for a Scirocco.

  4. Summer Says:

    This was my first car. I didn’t even realize that so many others were made. In fact, the one in this photo is actually the same exact color as my old car. I loved finding this today!

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