A Capella – 1982 Mazda 626

Back in the early 1980s, Honda and Toyota were making forgettable family sedans (which are now probably the size of their modern-day compacts). The Accord had not yet been built in the US, and what did Toyota even make before the Camry came out? Cressida? Crown? Corona? Carina? Datsun was also still finding its way with cars like the 610, 710, and 810. Mazda wasn’t much more successful, and in fact, they’re still one of the smaller Japanese manufacturers, but by late 1970s/early 1980s standards, they had one of the best looking offerings, the 626, or Capella as it was known in its home market. The 626 coupe even recalled the BMW 6-series a little, if you really squinted your eyes. Find this 1982 Mazda 626 sedan for sale in Renton, WA for $3600.

1982 Mazda 626 for sale left front

Perhaps it was the vaguely European styling that made these cars attractive. When’s the last time you saw one on the road? This particular car is in beautiful condition, has 97,000 miles, and is running a 2-liter four-cylinder pumping out a wild 80 horsepower and 105 lb.-ft. of torque. Before you laugh too hard, do note the heaviest versions of these cars weighed slightly over 2300 lb.

1982 Mazda 626 for sale right front

Sadly, this one is saddled with an automatic transmission, but it gets an exception for its rarity. They were also offered with 4- and 5-speed manuals, which would allow one to make the most of the meager power. Seeing one of these is pretty unusual, but seeing one that’s been garaged by its original owner for the first 30 years of its life, with its original hubcaps all intact, is like finding a needle in a haystack. In 1978, this was Mazda’s first piston-engined sedan in 6 years.

1982 Mazda 626 for sale interior

The interior is very tidy as well. There must still be some new-car smell – why would you cover that up with a nasty air freshener? And for god’s sake, get rid of that steering wheel cover. Notice the BMW-style parcel tray on the dash, and the absolute lack of cracks. So the interior color is less than exciting – where will you find another of these?

1982 Mazda 626 for sale engine

Who fanatically maintains the engine compartment on a throwaway sedan? There’s no visible trace of oil or dust anywhere, and all the anodized surfaces still have that gold-ish sheen. As you can see by the spinning fan, the car runs, and it looks to have air conditioning, which you’ll want to shut off if you want any acceleration, or a top speed above 70mph. It’s almost worth purchasing just to take it to classic Japanese car shows and share with other fans.


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7 Responses to “A Capella – 1982 Mazda 626”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    I remember when these cars came out and we all thought how nice looking they were (especially the 2 doors) and there seemed to be plenty back then, but they evaporated from the streets rather quickly; i haven’t seen one since the 80’s. I wonder if they had any egregious mechanical flaw that made them extinct so rapidly. I never had any experience with them

  2. Chris Keen Says:

    Glad to see I’m not the only one who thought these were good looking!

  3. Rich G Says:

    My wife’s first new car was a 1982 626 “Luxury” 2 door coupe. It was a slug, but a nice car nontheless. As noted, the coupes were particularly attractive, and she enjoyed the fact that several of her co-workers thought it was a Mercedes!

    They were mechanically robust EXCEPT for a recall for piston rings (symptom was oil burning IIRC). The deal was that if the car had the symptoms, Mazda would replace the rings. Our car didn’t have it, but the dealer went ahead and replaced them anyhow. Two thousand miles later, the car developed a rod knock. Coincidence? I think not.

    I fought with Mazda over this but they would not fix it.which really upset me. We traded the car in for a Scirocco Wolfsburg Edition, and kept the 4 spoke alloys so we could run them on the RX7 we autocrossed.

    It is odd that they seemed to sell well, and then dropped off the face of the planet. You never see used ones.

  4. Rick Says:

    I still have an 82 626 luxury with only 72.xxx kilometres (original) super clean condition, in and out, they were bad for rust, but this as been oil sprayed and still looks great.

  5. Tito Says:

    Do u still have this vehicle for sale

  6. Trudy Says:

    Have one like this for sale. 4 door automatic. Always garaged. About 70k original miles. Contact me if interested.

  7. Sherman Says:

    I have an 82 light blue 2 door 626 luxury, 5 speed, with all power options including head light washers. I have restored the body, just need to finish the interior. I am interested in selling, I have too many cars. Only to the right buyer. Been working on and off for close to 10 years on this car. Drop me an email if interested.

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