A Capella: 1982 Mazda 626 Coupe

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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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Comments

  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.

  5. AMCSTEVE

    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 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 Member

    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.

    Like 1
  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.

  15. Kristin

    I’m a bit late to the discussion but just wanted to say thanks for posting these pictures. This was my very first car, bought used in Portland, OR when I graduated from college in 1986. I believe it had more miles on it then than this one had in 2016!. My 17-year-old son was asking me about my first car the other day so of course, we Googled it. Loved seeing the pictures of the interior. This was my exact model: automatic, no A/C, and brown. Talk about deja vu… It was a great car, and certainly nicer than anything I’d expected to find on my budget. The only issue I ever had with it was when the alternator died in the middle of the night, in the middle of Arizona, while my husband and I were driving cross-country in July. (No A/C so we drove at night and slept during the day.) The other thing I remember was buying new tires for it and being charged extra to remove and replace those sporty wheels. Who knew…? It was the lack of A/C that finally forced us to sell it. Showing up for work sweaty just wasn’t working… Thanks, again!

    Like 1
  16. Pete Montero

    Even later, here…

    My parents would buy us a new car to go away to college then and, in my case, I was choosing between one of these and a Dodge Challenger (er,… a Mitsubishi 2.6L 4-cyl. Celica competitor).

    One thing that was really, in retrospect, cool about both this 626 Coupe and the Challenger was that they were both true hardtops. I don’t remember if it was possible with this 626, but the Challenger windows could all be wound down for a wide open (but loud at speed) interior, something that felt really kind of great at 10pm in mid-summer San Joaquin Valley.

    Ended up going with the Challenger (really good deals on a non-Mopar pretender to the Challenger throne in those days) and enjoyed having another 30-ish horsepower, but these always made me kind of wish that I’d circled back, found one and bought an abandoned 1.6L DOHC from Monster Motorsports (ripped out of an NA Miata, as it would have been, to make room for a Mustang 5.0L)… I’m not sure how it would have turned out but this always seemed to want to hue closer to an Alfa coupe, especially with the pre-facelift alloys, which made a case for Campagnolo genetics.

  17. Ali

    My Father had this car from 1983 to 1994 in Saudi Arabia. Same color and interior but of course it was manual. I remember the AC being alright otherwise it would be worthless in Saudia’s 100F Summer!

    Perhaps versions in Asia had a good AC.

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