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"WTF did I buy that for" Vol. 875 - Mazda 323 1.5

Noel Edmonds

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#1 OFFLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 12:47 PM

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I was flicking through eBay a couple of weeks back and saw a cheapy Mazda 323 3-door for sale, pretty bland, but not unattractive and reasonably rare I think:

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

I absent-mindedly chucked in a bid of £80, you know the rest.

 

Here it is on my driveway:

 

P1080536.jpg

 

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Yeah, I won it for £78. It was in Wiltshire or Warwick or somewhere starting with W that's 100 miles from my house, I thought about A-framing it but then I got a cheap shiply quote so got it delivered, another £96 or something.

 

After bidding I looked up its MOT history and saw that its had an advisory for 'poor condition underneath' so I expected the worst, (should have looked at that before bidding really).

 

Its a fairly un-messed with old thing, one little bit of welding has been done on one sill, 78,000, no obvious signs of bodgery.

 

At the weekend I finally had time to have a proper looks so I gave it a wash and inspection. Took all the wheels off and washed about 5kg of mud out of each wheelarch and cleaned up the alloys inside and out.

 

 

P1080537.jpg

 

To my surprise it actually is a very nice little thing really. the paint is very faded but I think its all original and I reckon will come up a treat with the mop. Don't be fooled by the artificial gloss of these 'wet' photos!

 

P1080542.jpg

 

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Engine is a 1.5 16v effort, looks a bit like an MX-5 engine? I don't know if it has owt in common with those engines though.

 

P1080539.jpg

 

Also whats going on with this inlet manifold? Looks like someone went a bit overboard with their new pipe bender and tig welder.

 

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Interior is OK if a bit bland, its all there apart from the stereo faceplate though. Its got aircon and electric sunroof as well - LUXURY

 

P1080538.jpg

 

Rust wise it doesn't seem bad at all. This bit needs a tickle on the LH sill but that seems to be about it. The RH has already had a patch in the same spot. Other problems I have found include dead gas struts on the tailgate, and horrible clattery wipers with about 2" of play in the mechanism, they do work but make an awful racket!!! I see it failed its MOT on a balljoint and a CV boot as well so those need sorting. But, all told its much better than I expected and I don't feel too bad about buying it as its quite a nice little thing, can't wait to get the paintwork sorted out as I reckon it will look ace.

 

THATS ALL FOLKS


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#2 OFFLINE   Supernaut

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 12:58 PM

X2Vg1h9.jpg
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#3 OFFLINE   Breadvan72

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:02 PM

POGtabulous!


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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:04 PM

Well boughtificated Sir Reginald


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#5 OFFLINE   Spottedlaurel

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:07 PM

More than reasonably rare I'd say. Only photo I appear to have taken of one was in Germany.

 

Looks like a good buy - I'd rather have one of these than an Almera or Corolla of the same age.

 

Engine doesn't look dissimilar to the 140bhp 1.8 that was in our previous-gen 323F GT. That would make for an amusing transplant.


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#6 OFFLINE   dean36014

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:08 PM

looks good, and far better than the knackered trailer I stupidly brought!


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#7 OFFLINE   Sigmund Fraud

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:12 PM

The engine is closely related to the MX5 unit, but I'm not sure if any bits are interchangeable.

 

Should still be good for around 110HP, which should make the bland little 323 reasonably quick !



#8 OFFLINE   shumarialto

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:58 PM

Nice, would love to polish that. Wheels off and arches cleaned are we on detailing world  :mrgreen:  :mrgreen:


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#9 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 02:01 PM

I don't think I have ever seen one of these, or if I have, I haven't remembered it. I rather like it.


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#10 OFFLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 02:07 PM

Nice, would love to polish that. Wheels off and arches cleaned are we on detailing world  :mrgreen:  :mrgreen:

 

 

Ha!!!! I know. Hopefully I'm not turning into detailing world. The Maz must have lived down a farm track or something though as the mud was proper caked on so I just thought I'd better wash it out so I could have a proper look for rot. I am gonna go to town on the paintwork with the polishing mop though!!!

 

The interior is pretty grubby too, Will have to see about that as our hoover is bloody shite, and if you can't even hoover it out you're not gonna get very far with an interior valet are you.


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#11 ONLINE   Braddon81

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 02:19 PM

Top purchase! Mechanically identical to the 5 door 323f of the same vintage. Engine is closely related to the Mx5 and is also non interference so you can safely play cambelt roulette.
Originally for the 3 door Mazda imported this version...Mazda_323C_rear_20080226.jpg
After about 3 years and selling about 10 examples....they bottled out and quietly started bringing the slightly more sobre suited looking 3 door type like you've just bought. These old school 90s Mazdas are pretty much unburstable and yours is going to clean up a treat!
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#12 OFFLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 02:23 PM

I like those weird ugly 3-door ones, haven't seen one for years. The only reason I have an eBay search set up for 323's is on the offchance that one of those pops up! WANT.


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#13 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 02:26 PM

1990s Mazda 323s are entirely baffling. I think there must have been about eleventry twelve different types. Can't complain at that price though! It'll be a snazzy thing to drive I reckon.


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#14 OFFLINE   shumarialto

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 02:27 PM

Ha!!!! I know. Hopefully I'm not turning into detailing world. The Maz must have lived down a farm track or something though as the mud was proper caked on so I just thought I'd better wash it out so I could have a proper look for rot. I am gonna go to town on the paintwork with the polishing mop though!!!

 

The interior is pretty grubby too, Will have to see about that as our hoover is bloody shite, and if you can't even hoover it out you're not gonna get very far with an interior valet are you.

Beko will have a decent hoover i would think. I have seen 51 plate 323 with rear arches hanging off so yours has done will. Looking forward to the polishing photos.

Off topic how is your 75?



#15 OFFLINE   Breadvan72

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 02:51 PM

How come that when I go shopping for a cheapo, lightweight, 2/3 door small engined hoonbox, I can only find gopping shitehounds that are at least 1K, but Sir Danglyparts gets this HELLZYEAHmobile for 10p?


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#16 ONLINE   Braddon81

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 02:51 PM

I have seen 51 plate 323 with rear arches hanging off so yours has done well.

.
These were the last real Mazdas before Ford took a further controlling stake in the company in the late 90s...but there was still was a noticeable dive in the quality of the late F series 323s after the Ford takeover..but nothing in comparison to the drop in quality of the following 323s which rotted out at the drop of a hat. Mazda worldwide were struggling at the tail end of the 90s and Ford demanded cost cutting and a cul of various body styles. It's also one of the reasons the more avant-garde 3 door was dropped from the UK as it wasn't appealing to Mazdas traditional slightly older customer base, hence the 323 that followed these was a 5 door only and noticeably less durable and rot prone.
It does make though these little nuggets of Japanese obscurity far more appealing!
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#17 OFFLINE   Mr Laurence

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 03:07 PM

Woah... Can't remember the last time I saw one of these - doesn't help that Mazda replaced the 323 every 10 minutes during the 90s. I much prefer these to the more common offerings of the time.

Can't think of a better car for £78 though, that's for sure

#18 OFFLINE   shumarialto

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 03:51 PM

.
These were the last real Mazdas before Ford took a further controlling stake in the company in the late 90s...but there was still was a noticeable dive in the quality of the late F series 323s after the Ford takeover..but nothing in comparison to the drop in quality of the following 323s which rotted out at the drop of a hat. Mazda worldwide were struggling at the tail end of the 90s and Ford demanded cost cutting and a cul of various body styles. It's also one of the reasons the more avant-garde 3 door was dropped from the UK as it wasn't appealing to Mazdas traditional slightly older customer base, hence the 323 that followed these was a 5 door only and noticeably less durable and rot prone.
It does make though these little nuggets of Japanese obscurity far more appealing!

Cheers for the info. I like them, my late grandfather had a F plate 323, it was the run out Javelin model of that shape. In champagne. Lovely old thing it was.


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#19 OFFLINE   5speedracer

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 04:16 PM

If that was 10 years younger it'd be lucky to be in that condition!
Chop the coils, space the wheels and some yoof will love that. Either that or sell it to Supernaut who appears rather stricken with it, collection!!

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#20 OFFLINE   Supernaut

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 04:59 PM

If that was 10 years younger it'd be lucky to be in that condition!
Chop the coils, space the wheels and some yoof will love that. Either that or sell it to Supernaut who appears rather stricken with it, collection!!

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I'm still amazed at the difference between the before and after shots. Also, a 1.5 16v in a little tin can like that must be quite fun!

#21 OFFLINE   5speedracer

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 05:52 PM

Aye, an' at £78 an' all !

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#22 OFFLINE   5speedracer

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 05:54 PM

^
Yes, and at a reasonable £78, gosh!

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#23 OFFLINE   garethj

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 06:02 PM

When my friends and family say I should sort myself out and get a nice new car, that would probably do the trick.  What kind of cock-eyed society do we live where something like that isn't even worth the cost of a second hand phone?  Rare too, which is nice.

 

Our Suzuki Baleno GSR is doing the daily commute without a problem, that's got a 1.8 litre 16 valve engine from the 323GT.  Drive it like a normal car and it behaves like a slightly dull Micra but if you change up at 6500rpm it goes like hell.


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#24 OFFLINE   trigger

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 06:07 PM

Thats a lovely little thing, it's amazing how much better it looks when wet! I'd love to go all mop crazy on it!
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#25 OFFLINE   PiperCub

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 06:09 PM

Nice buy. The motor is related to the 1.6 unit in the MX5 (mounted transversely) but the inlet manifold is different - yours is well wierd, I agree, almost looks home-made! V.strong motor because they used this or similar in the turbo version I believe. Cambelt will prob be non-interference as per the 1.6 on the 5 so can fail safely. 

Amazed as to how the paint came back, I thought it'd be like a 90's Vauxhall or Ford  - the infamous colour 'Radiant Pink'. 



#26 OFFLINE   Cavcraft

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 06:12 PM

If you raffle this WilsonWilson will buy 58 tickets then re-raffle it a week later. FACT.


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#27 OFFLINE   dieselassist

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 10:40 PM

parts for these mazda 323'a can be a bit spendy; compared to other cars... a mate of mine bought a sloon one the same colour off an Eastern European lad In Galway, one very wet weeknight, at a shopping centre on the outskirts of the city... itd failed its test on rear springs n shocks, n was already very cheap 'PRICE FIRM' in the ad, but my mate managed to convince him to knock another €50, n the eastern European lad relented, on condition we drop him home, as it was lashing down....

Longstory short, my mate, being a bit of a partime knob drove off on him, without telling me... I was driving the car we travelled up in - 3 or 4 cars back n the foreign lad ran in front of me waving his hands, mega irate - swerved around him, exited the car park n left for home, as I didn't know WTF the craic was, and I had made, nor broken no agreement with him...

 

...anyhow, Karma's a bitch as it needed a few other bits like bushings, links etc to eventually achieve its test... my mate later punted it on, as it said it was a tad thirsty...

 

anyhow, best of luck with the wee hatch...



#28 ONLINE   phil_lihp

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 10:54 PM

Nicely bought as usual, I was wondering what had become of this one.  Should look tidy when the paint's been depogged.

 

If it's the same as the 323f underneath it should be a decent steer, I was most impressed with the ex-Cavcraft one, that was a 1.5 too and drove very well - nice handling and a decent turn of speed.



#29 OFFLINE   anonymous user

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 11:34 PM

Thats a lovely little thing, it's amazing how much better it looks when wet! I'd love to go all mop crazy on it!


Or just move to Wales, it will be rained on most days to keep it shiny
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#30 ONLINE   WilsonWilson

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 09:00 AM

There are worse places to put a couple of hundred quid. I have a feeling the b4 and afta shots of mopping would probably sell ten thousand mops if used for advertising purposes. Do not delay. Mop today.
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