Great Little Car: 1980 Mazda GLC Wagon

031616 Barn Finds - 1980 Mazda GLC 1

Get the swim fins and shark repellent, this 1980 Mazda GLC wagon is found in Kapolei, Hawaii and is listed here on craigslist for a mere $2,700. Yes, it’s in Hawaii, but I know that there are a lot of people looking for a car like this. And, there’s an airport only a few blocks away so you can make a vacation out of it!

031616 Barn Finds - 1980 Mazda GLC 2

GLC stands for Great Little Car, but that was just what it was known as in North America. The rest of the world knew these cars as the Familia or 323, and “323” eventually became the name of this car in North America prior to the Protegé and the current Mazda3. I prefer the 1978 and prior GLC models that were a bit rounder, especially in the headlights. This one is in great shape overall, except for:

031616 Barn Finds - 1980 Mazda GLC 3

This. A runaway pineapple delivery truck must have knocked into the RF bumper here. You should be able to pick a bumper up on a Mazda forum or in a junk yard. 1980 was the last year for the rear-drive configuration so that makes this one a fun choice, especially in snow-less Hawaii. This car has 120,xxx miles on it and has “NO leaks, runs absolutely cherry!!!”, according to the current owner.

031616 Barn Finds - 1980 Mazda GLC 4

If this wacky car doesn’t define the early-80s I don’t know what does. There isn’t a lot of overt-design going on here, at least from this angle. I mean, I guess the contour lines on the hood match up with the edge of the headlight surrounds, and, then there’s… um.. er.. Still, I like it, but you knew that already. In 1981 the front end was changed a bit and it looks too much like a Ford Escort to me. Not that it’s bad to look like a Ford Escort, and we all know that Ford has owned a chunk of Mazda since 1979.

031616 Barn Finds - 1980 Mazda GLC 6

A 5-speed is a bonus here with only 60hp or so and 1,964 pounds to drag around; even more if you fill the back with coconuts. It could use some replacement pedal pads and I don’t know if that’s sand on the carpet or if it’s worn there, but either way it shouldn’t be a huge deal.

031616 Barn Finds - 1980 Mazda GLC 5

The rear hatch looks like it’s been painted to me, and not the best color match. Maybe they just replaced it at one time with a blue one. But, other than that and the missing RF bumper end and related dent, this car looks like it’s in great shape. The seller says that it has “NO RUST” and it’s written in all-caps so he must really mean it! Sure, the shipping would be $1,000-$1,200, but for those folks looking for a cheap, vintage Japanese car to tinker with and take to shows, this would draw a crowd. I would hold out for a ’78 or earlier one, but if I lived in Hawaii I would seriously think about this one. Are there any vintage Mazda fans out there?

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Comments

  1. grant

    Lol I don’t understand how this is “wacky”, it’s your pretty standard 80’s econobox. It is in decent shape but these are nothing to get too excited about, there’s a lot of them. I’ve had a couple, as well as a first Gen 323 and they were truly good little cars. Made good commuters and didn’t attract attention. From theives, police or girls lol. Mine were 2 door hatches, this wagon is a little different. Being in Hawaii, watch for rust.

    Like 1
    • MountainMan

      There’s a lot of these? I’m not sure where you live but I haven’t seen one in years.

      • grant

        I’m in portland oregon, and I see them often. There’s still a lot of people who drive old beater cars, especially in the smaller outlying suburbs.

  2. Phoenix R. Cavalier

    Haha! Wow! This was actually my 3rd car. It had a ton of rust since I was in Indiana. I was so naive I told the guy if it drove to the house I’d buy it… and I did. Then I tried rebuilding the carb with my coffee-shop money. No luck. It eventually got towed away from a parking lot, along with my $332 bucks and my youthful pride. Sweet memories. LOL!

  3. David Frank David Member

    I don’t understand what this has to do with barn finds, sorry.

  4. Howard A Member

    I remember the ad campaign for these. “Great Little Car”, and the announcer would say, “No, Great Lotta Car”. I had friends that had GLC’s and they were good cars. Pretty basic transportation, but hauled the mail, day after day. Sadly, the reason you don’t see these, as like any Asian car of the period, they withered away to bits. A shame too, as the motors were great, and I remember going to junkyards in the ’90’s and seeing row after row of these. 120 grand on a “Hawaii” car, is a lot of driving over there, kind of like Cuba, I’d think. Still, great example of a good car, just how do you get it to the N. woods of Wis? ( probably cost more than the car to ship) Just try and find one here, impossible. Stuff like this killed these cars. http://i22.tinypic.com/5nq0si.jpg
    @ David^, again, not to be redundant, but BF’s seems to have morphed into “Cool Vehicle Find’s” or “Remember This Finds” and I’m sure the staff is getting weary trying to explain that. Being a friend of Scotty’s, I’m a little partial, but I enjoy his finds and the witty text. It takes a lot of time to prepare a submission for us to enjoy. And it’s voluntary, for now, so that means a lot too. These cars invoke a lot of memories, whether we actually want another one or not. So sit back, and enjoy the show.

    Like 1
  5. Jeff Staff

    Nice find, Scotty – the father of a good buddy of mine growing up had one and it always seemed to take copious amounts of abuse from him. It also brings back fond memories of the trip my wife and I took to Maui, as there were lots of these fun, extinct Japanese econoboxes running around.

  6. JIm

    My dad had a 76 and an 80 Mazda wagon, both manual trans. Had my first date in the 76, which was tough because these were not “babe magnets” by any stretch. Thanks for posting!

    • Jeff Staff

      If you got a date while driving a GLC, I’d say she was quite fond of you. ;-)

  7. JIm

    Yes Sir! For two weeks, I was the man;-)

  8. AMC STEVE

    I’m looking for a clean 1982 626 manual. Not in Hawaii though

  9. Mike

    We had a U.K.-spec version of this car when my dad was stationed in England in the mid-1980s. Other than being right-hand drive and badged as a 323, ours was pretty much exactly the same as this one, including the color. I see the choke on the dash, which I thought was really strange. Great little car–practical, reliable, tough, low-maintenance.

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