One of the odd patterns I’ve noticed on craigslist the last few years is that the are precious few Mazda 626’s on the market that are older than 1989. 96, 99, 02? Not a problem. 88, 87, 86? No dice. Take a look for yourself to see what I mean. That’s what makes today’s craigslist find so unique, and frankly, exciting. Let me explain why.
From the ad:
1986 Mazda 626, blue, does not currently run but a lot of money has already been invested into the car. Parts that have already been replaced are: Starter, ignition coil, battery, full-tune up and oil change, distributor, and more. Firestone has done the majority of the work and we can get a history if needed. The body is in good condition, the interior is fair. $800 obo.
Not my car, but very close.
In 1999, the year before I graduated, my parents picked up a silver 1986 Mazda 626. It had belonged to a friend of the family, and was a daily driver. I was smitten immediately, and I couldn’t explain why. I suppose it was sporty, small, and fun, words we couldn’t use to describe the cars we were driving at the time. It was also the first 5-speed car we had owned in many years, so I got to cut my teeth on it. When they gave it to me for college, I put thousands of miles on it, enjoying every minute of it. In the years I owned it, I replaced the water pump, the radiator, and perfected the fine art of aiming headlights. At some point, Dad put a set of alloys from an 87 on it, ditching the cracked and broken hub cap & steelies. It had well over 200,000 miles by the time I got rid of it, something I wish I hadn’t done.
This interior brings back a lot of good memories. I took many road trips in this car, and though small, it’s much more comfortable than you might think. The bolsters on these seats appear to be supportive, and much bigger than the ones I had. The seats are low and wide, great for tall guys like me. The back seat is small but accommodating, and they fold (almost) flat to make for a pretty cargo space. My biggest complaint was the steering wheel, which I felt was about an inch too large in diameter. Other nice features are the door pulls – this car has them. On my 626, time took its toll on the fragile plastic, leaving them in several pieces in my hands. Happened to me twice. Regardless, the interior of this car, which the seller considers “fair”, is really not bad.
I’m not really sure what’s going on with the hood – is it unlatched? Is it a poorly installed replacement? Either way, the body looks good, and not missing trim or anything like that. (Aside – that giant front bumper makes a handy place to hold tools and a drink while you’re under the hood.)
For just $800, I could put $500 into getting it running again, and be well on my way to another 200,000 miles.
So help me, I want this car. Somebody stop me.
[Source: Seattle craigslist]