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Magnificent 1982 Mazda 626 Coupe Luxury Edition

I’ll be the first to admit – I absolutely love older Japanese vehicles, even though many enthusiasts tend to disregard them. While I’ve never owned a Mazda, I’ve always adored the vehicles the company produces, especially old school models like this 1982 Mazda 626 Coupe Luxury Edition that’s available here on eBay.

This lovely brown Mazda is available in Tampa, Florida, though the seller claims that it spent most of its life in California, resulting in a rust free body.

The seller is upfront about the handful of imperfections this car has, such as a scuff on the front bumper and a few other minor blemishes. Otherwise, the car seems very solid, and you’ll be hard pressed to find another 2nd-gen 626 in this condition.

If you don’t like brown, that’s too bad – the theme continues into the coupe’s interior, which uses a combination of brown and beige elements. Being a luxury edition, this example has power windows and a power sunroof, both of which are in working condition.

On a somewhat unfortunate note, the seller mentions that this example does not have air conditioning, which is a somewhat odd exclusion from a “Luxury Edition” model.

Being a second generation 626, this is the last time the model used a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Just over 51,000 miles are on the drivetrain, which consists of a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission.

On another note, I was surprised to learn that this Mazda has a forward-opening hood.

At the time of this article being written, there are no bids, but there is a Buy it Now price of $5,900. Do you think this 626 would make an excellent cruiser, or is this Mazda too malaise for you?


  1. nycbjr Member

    Shame it’s a slushbox but I dig it!

    I’m with you I love 80’s Japanese cars!

    Like 8
    • local_sheriff

      Couldn’t agree more; 15 years back I’d simply advise owner to crush it. Though I’d never buy a 70s/80s Jap car myself, I enjoy more and more to stumble upon such examples at mixed car shows, and that they’re maintained and kept just like ‘proper’ vintage vehicles.

      Simply love that beaugly brown/beige color combo, once again it proves intestine colored cars have best chances of survival

      Like 1
  2. Rube Goldberg Member

    If I had a favorite Asian car of this time period, it would be a Mazda. They just seemed more upscale than the other offerings, and RWD seals the deal. Southern states are the only place you’d find something like this, as the salt took care of these in short order. Nice to see one like this again.

    Like 8
  3. David

    These cars had really nice lines. Good to see one again today. The look appears timeless.

    Like 5
  4. Tom Justice

    I worked on one of these back in the day. It had powered louvers on the vents and would go back and forth to keep the cold air moving in the car. Never seen that on any other car but it must have made an appearance in other places. I also like these cars, they were a pretty big deal back in the day.

    Like 4
    • RITON

      Lexus LS430 has these powered vents. Don’t know of others. And that’s a lot of years in between this Mazda and the Lexus!

      Like 1
      • mike

        think ive seen them in a mazda 626 or millenia?

  5. Bella Gabroni

    Worked my way through college selling Mazda’s and everything Honda made except cars in a small N. Florida dealership. Lots of customers would see the Honda sign and come in looking for an Accord, was my job to show them a 626 or GLC. This was a good looking car in coupe form, the sedan was very frumpy. For ’82 Mazda intro’d an all-new 626, front-wheel drive with very European styling. The 5-door hatchback was particularly good looking, evoking Audi and VW cues but with much better equipment and assembly. I really enjoyed demonstrating a 626 to the Accord shopper, most all were very surprised by the quality and room of the Mazda and given the short-supply of Accord’s at that time, we made more than a few conquest sales from intended Honda purchaser’s.

  6. Poppapork

    My first car was a 1982 mazda 929 (euro model) 5speed with a gorgeous green lit instrumentation going sll the way over to.the passenger side… gray velour seats with brown plastics, outside was green metalic… too bad it was such a gas hog I coundt affort to drive it much…

  7. MarveH

    I worked for a company in the late 80’s that had one as a fleet vehicle. Loved the driving position and the smooth shifting 5-speed.
    I’d be interested but the slush box is a deal-breaker.

    Like 1
  8. John

    I’m not generally big on Japanese cars but this one is a very nice looking car, very nicely styled. The slushbox would certainly not be a problem, my deal breaker is the lack of AC.

    Like 2
  9. 1974 Rx-4

    Perfect for a rotary engine conversion!

  10. HarleyDave

    I sold these new in Kansas City. Great cars. If you wanted AC it was either installed at the port or it was dealer installed.

  11. CJM

    No A/C? Who cares? No clutch pedal? Major bummer! Nice lines either way.

    Like 2
  12. Miguel

    I had a blue one of these just like this one. I thought it was an OK driving car even with the auto.

  13. Stevieg Member

    Back in the late 1980’s & early 1990’s I had 2 of these, a rusted red 4 door that ran great & a solid light blue 2 door with the luxury package & a rod knock. My brilliant idea was to put the engine from the rusty sedan into the solid coupe. Never even got started though. A friend offered to trade me for a 1971 Econoline 100 with a 302, 3 on the tree, platform bed & a whole lotta shag carpet. The rolling bordello seemed more appealing to me lol. Never saw any “action” in that tacky bedroom on wheels. I shoulda kept the Mazdas lol.

  14. Lance

    My Mom drove one of these – I think she had to be one of the first people in Milwaukee to buy one. I called it the Japanese Buick. No guts, but quite pleasant to drive. As I recall, top-notch quality all the way around. Great seeing a survivor identical to my Mom’s.

  15. Thomas Cook

    I bought a new 1980 626 and drove the wheels off of it for 10 years and over 300,000 miles with very few problems. The biggest complaint journalists’ had with these cars was that they were somewhat underpowered compared to Celica’s and 320i’s and the engine was not the smoothest. Otherwise they were excellent cars with good handling from a 48/52 weight distribution. Very sporty (mine was red with black interior and a nice set of gauges). For the money -mine was $6700- they were a tremendous value with luxurious looks and features found on more expensive cars. Nice sound system, remote control mirrors, center arm rests front and rear, very comfortable seating front and rear and intermittent wipers . Reclining seats, Driver’s seat had lumbar and cushion height adjustments. 60/40 split rear seat port into the trunk. Electric trunk lid and gas lid releases. Rear defrost, bi-level heat and a good air conditioner. Alloy wheels were avaiable. At the time the noisy interior was blamed on the thought that the car was originally intended to have the quieter rotary engine only to switch to the pick up truck engine and drive line at the eleventh hour in a nod to better gas mileage but no additional sound deadening material. I’m amused that now some people think the lack of power steering was an oversite or mistake on Mazda’s part, it wasn’t necessary. The steering was excellently engineered, light and responsive. I think for some reason (marketing perhaps?) power steering was offered in 81 and/or 82.
    The car had a very good aerodynamic rating as well, 32 (34?) I think. As mentioned, not a very powerful car, about 80 hp IIRC, but very few cars had much power to speak of then. A 320i was about 90 (Trans-Am’s and Corvettes had about 190 and 200 respectively.). But it was torquey and often carried myself and two or three friends and luggage and skies on trips often climbing long hills with no down shifts and running 80 or 90 mph. It was very economical, my car got 34 mpg consistently. I think the styling has held up well over the years and the coupes with the wrap around rear glass are particularly pretty. Now I kick myself for letting mine go.

    Like 2
  16. Rob

    My first new car was a 1981 626 sedan with a manual transmission, brown with tan interior and full wheel covers. Looking back (40 years!), I do remember that it was very dependable, never had any issues in 120,000+ miles, and then I sold it to the son of a coworker who put another 60k miles on it. Like many cars in the northeast, it started to rust, but mechanically still ran strong. After that I don’t know what ever happened to it, but it was a great car and I miss it.

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