A Capella: 1982 Mazda 626 Coupe


Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

This is a 1982 Mazda 626 Coupe and it’s located in Lancaster, California, about seventy-miles north of Los Angle-eze, as they say. Living there for three decades has definitely helped to preserve this brown beauty. This 626 Coupe can be found on eBay with a very strong Buy It Now price of $7,750, or make an offer.


This second-generation Mazda Capella was known as the 626 in some markets, including the US. This car looks great but there are a couple of small dings visible and the right-front bumper end is goofed up (technical term) a little; hopefully that could be straightened out. For being a 34-year old car it sure looks great, though. This was a one-owner car until this past March when the current owner/seller bought it.


51,319 miles isn’t a lot, I drive almost that many miles every year, so if I owned this car it would have 1,744,846 miles on it! But, even that’s probably less than half of what Irv’s Volvo has on it now.. The seller says to fly out and drive this car home, I would love to do that someday. Have any of you ever done that? It’s nice that this car has new tires, you won’t have to worry about old tires on the drive home.


This interior looks fantastic. This is, I believe, the Luxury model with power windows, locks, sunroof, brakes, etc. But, oddly enough, especially for a California car, there is no AC! And, you can see the biggest drawback for a small car: an automatic transmission. As you already know, cars with automatic transmissions were more likely to be owned by people who didn’t hot rod them which helped to preserve them. And, even though Mazda was, and still is, known for being the “Zoom Zoom” company with a sporty attitude and fun to drive vehicles, this was a “luxury” model and shifting for yourself isn’t exactly found in too many luxury cars (or, in any cars these days, unfortunately).


The current owner has done a fair amount of maintenance on this car. The cooling system was gone through, with new hoses, including heater hoses, thermostat, radiator cap, water pump, etc., as were the rear brakes with new shoes, drums, wheel cylinders, and fluid flush. This 2.0L inline-four has around 70-75 hp but I’m sure the automatic transmission makes it seem like it isn’t as zoom-zoomy as if you were shifting it for yourself. This car was priced at around $9,600 when new and I think that the asking price on this one is a little steep, especially with the automatic. Have any of you ever owned this generation Mazda 626? What do you think is a realistic price for this car?

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  1. Glen

    Overall it looks really nice, I just don’t think it’s worth that much. Their’s no fun factor, or collectability to this car, just an everyday car that happens to be in really good condition. It would make an excellent daily driver, though.

  2. Joe

    A well-preserved car but very overpriced. I’m sure the price will drop over time. Look for a 626 with a manual instead and don’t pay more than $1 or 2 grand.

  3. grant

    This is in great shape and would make a nice commuter, but it’s a garden variety used car. $1500, tops.

  4. Another Bob

    Like the basic design of the 626. Would be better with a manual though.


    Mazda 626 in this vintage are very hard to find. My uncle had a light blue metallic 5-spd that he bought brand new. I have wanted one ever since but can’t find one. I would buy this one but its auto.

    I’ve been looking for yrs.

  6. Brian Birkner Brian Staff

    Nice find Scotty! I love these interesting early 626’s. They share the same engine as the Mazda B2000 pick up truck which is stone reliable. Very cool car, there can’t be that many left in that condition!

  7. audifan

    The biggest drawback is the lack of A/C which makes it worthless for me in the L. A. area.
    Automatic is actually a good thing on SoCal’s freeways.

  8. Dick

    I bought a 626 in 1980. Pretty much the same car as this, albeit with 5-sp transmission and A/C. I should put A/C in quotes because it was the sorriest excuse for air conditioning I ever experienced in a car. Not fun driving up the San Jauquin Valley in California in the summer with that hint of conditioned air unable to blow out a candle coming out of the vents.

    Other than that (and the 75 HP engine) it was a pretty nice driving car.

  9. charlie

    Having spent a day recently driving my son’s 12 year old WRX on the freeways in LA, I can attest that a manual transmission is a real pain in that environment, and you use a lot of clutch up doing it.

  10. rustylink

    always had a affinity for these – sporty clean lines – nice wheel package. My pal in hs had one but it was a 5 spd. it wasn’t that quick but it was spirited enough to row through the gears to give you some fun. This one’s slusher makes it a deal breaker – it’s a 5k car at best.

  11. ROTAG999

    I bought a 626 from a Guy @ work the motor had locked up and when i tore it down number 3 rod was in many pieces. My car was this same color and there hard on head gaskets you can not find a good 626 for less then 2k there just not out the later motor is much better then this one.

    • tugdoc

      I also had a ’81 nice driver nice interior but hard on head gaskets. Not nearly as reliable as a Datsun or Toyoda.

  12. Robert

    I live in Northern CA (Chico) and once flew to Los Angeles to buy a pristine low mileage 1986 Toyota Camry for $1200. Airfare was low..I think less then $100. The guy picked me up at the airport in his Jag. (I’m an English car guy) A short drive to his house, Test drive, money exchanged and driving home an hour later.

  13. jackthemailman

    I do not believe I’ve EVER seen a Mazda of that vintage (1970s-80s) with an interior in such good condition. It’s like nobody’s butt ever touched the seats! That, gentle readers, is a creampuff! Probably too pricey, but, hey, make an offer.

  14. Jeff

    I owned one of these brand new and it was a great car! Sold it with over 150k miles and it never needed anything but regular maintenance. Although bringing another car home is out of the question, I would certainly make them an offer.


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