Stored Since 1985! 1972 Mazda 1800 Wagon

Why does it seem like so many of the great, unusual finds have the worst photos? This car won’t be loved by every Barn Finds reader but for those of us who would love to have a 1972 Mazda 1800 Wagon, this looks like a winner. It’s listed on eBay with a current bid of $5,600 and the reserve isn’t met. It’s located right where you thought it might be – in Kent, Washington. Our own Nathan showed us a green example back in November that was in fairy rugged condition. Let’s check out what may be the nicest Mazda 1800 wagon in the US.

The seller comments that they “found this in a barn and it was last licensed in 1985.” No wonder it’s in such nice condition. Speaking of comments, please remember that this is a family website. Just because someone may not like a particular vehicle doesn’t mean that it’s ok to use off-color or abusive language in the comments section. It’s easier to just not say anything than to cuss out a car or an entire culture or country of origin. Opinions are fantastic, we all have them, but let’s keep it clean. We rarely and I mean rarely cut comments but it has happened over the years and we would rather not go down that rabbit hole. We’re all car guys and gals here and we don’t all like the same things. This site is for everyone – young, old, male, female, and for American cars and cars from other countries. Thanks for understanding, now back to this Mazda 1800 wagon..

As you can see from the first two photos, this car appears to be in great condition. And, as you can see from this photo, the seller is a Mazda fanatic. There’s always a screeching stop when I see a 1972 1800 wagon, or Luce as they were known in Japan. From our research and on previous postings of 1972 Luce/1800 wagons, exactly zero of them were produced in 1972. So, either this is yet another 1971 that was sold in 1972 or something else is going on. Whatever year it is, the seller says that it “is perhaps the cleanest stock example of an 1800 estate wagon in the usa.” I would agree. They mention that the glass is all good but that ideally the rubber seals should be changed.

That is one beautiful interior. The driver’s seat bottom is one of two or three parts of this interior that isn’t in time warp-like condition. There is a rip in the headliner above the driver’s seat and the steering wheel is showing wear. The interior overall is in amazing condition. The back seat looks new and the rear door panels basically are new as they still have the factory plastic on them, or most of it is still there. The seats were taken out and the carpet was either deep-cleaned or they were replaced, I can’t quite tell and there’s no mention of it in the listing. In either case, they look brand new. The rear cargo area also looks like a 9 out of 10. The seller even shows us under the mat which, again, almost couldn’t look any nicer than it does, especially for a 46-year old car.

This isn’t a rotary engine, unfortunately, but Mazda did put their 13A 1.3L rotary in around 1,000 of these cars, or in the sedans. I haven’t heard of any wagons ending up with a rotary but there very well may have been. This surgically clean-looking engine is Mazda’s 1.8L inline-four that would have had around 100 hp and this car really needed a bit more power. At least this one has a manual transmission which is always cool to see in a wagon. The hood scoops were added to the 1.8L cars to help with the cooling, the 1.5L cars had a smooth hood without scoops. The seller says that this car “has a new battery, plugs, wires, cap and rotor” and that it “runs great and is a lot of fun to drive.” Believe it or not, this is a unicorn find. Cars like this, especially rare ones that are well over four decades old and are in great original condition are rarely found. Have you ever found a mind-blowing original car that was over four decades old? If so, what was it?


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  1. Rx7turboII

    Scotty, I like how you phrased it about keeping the comments here clean even if you don’t like a particular vehicle because it seems like every time a foreign car comes across the site, the potty mouth garbage scowls seem to tear it up just because it’s not a American-made muscle car.
    I always say that I come to this site because you welcome all different makes, all different models in all different types of people here and I’m glad that you made that comment because I was literally looking at this listing and waiting for someone to rip all over it because it’s a foreign car. I’m the first commenter so I definitely won’t be doing that! Love it !great Survivor!

    • Mike

      Couldn’t agree more. My dad had the 1.5 ltr with column 3speed that as a kid I used to play shift in the driveway. His next car was an rx2 Capella 4speed that I learnt to drive in. My wife now has an rx8 40th anniversary model that I get to enjoy occasionally!!!! I’ve grown up with Mazda, but enjoy all the GMH and Ford products in Australia. I myself drive a Statesman with the ls1. I enjoy all cars!!!

  2. Nathan Avots-Smith Member

    Absolutely stunning find! I wish I had the money and space for this—good luck ever finding another this nice 😍

  3. Blueprint

    Stunning little wagon! IMHO, Mazda USA should pick this one up.

  4. Dick Johnson

    Uh oh. What’s in the shed? Is this a matched pair? Kool.

    WARNING: Machines of this era do not have a parking knob to park your car/truck in the parallel spots. You need to know how to drive. Fun stuff.

    • SAM61

      Very cool. The new owner will have years of enjoyment. Spend a few 💲 on interior repairs. Dig the floor mats.

      IMHO…see styling ques from gen1&2 Corvair, a little VW, Mercedes wagon from rear and Jaguar wrap around rear bumper.

      Everyday is an education on BF.

  5. Fred w.

    Agreed on not trashing the cars other people like. I’m a boomer and should be a 60’s muscle guy, but of the 100+ cars I owned before age 25 , only a ’69 Olds 4-4-2 qualified. The rest ranged from a ’57 Chevy and Ford Skyliner to a ’72 Mazda 626, ’73 Corona MkII wagon, and ’75 Celica fastback. My first car at 14 was a ’59 Mercedes 180A. So I won’t be found on here dissing anyone else’s favorite ride. But my Dad, a WWII veteran, wasn’t so charitable towards those “Jap jobs” and “Kraut buckets”. He would gladly help me work on the American cars, but had some choice words for rusted bolts on the foreign ones.

  6. Beatnik Bedouin

    One of the Mazdas that went ‘boing, boing’, unlike the the R100 in the background that went, ‘Mmmmmmm…’

    Cool find, Scotty! Thanks for posting.

  7. Fred H

    I owned one of these once. Bought from original owner out of Montana. Taught my son how to drive with it. Sold it my neighbor then bought back from him and sold it again. Great car

  8. James M

    The back view could double as a Mercedes wagon of the same vintage.

  9. Adam T45 Staff

    Many years ago I had the 1500 sedan version of this (I’m in Australia, did you get the 1500 in the US?) that I bought for the princely sum of $50 (and it was registered and had four good tyres)! It had been hit on the left side, but the damage was limited to bolt on parts only. I landed all the parts needed for a further $30, and eventually gave it a new paint job, upgraded the brakes and fitted a 13B and 5-speed. The only criticism that I ever had was that the steering could be quite heavy. Apart from that it was a sweet little car.

  10. Mark Radtke

    You don’t see many old Japanese cars from the 70s anymore. Like fiat’s of the day they all seem to rust out. I love wagons especially stick shift. I have a Volvo 245 I wish it was a stick shift. These vehicles were so reliable and easy to work on. My father had an RX4. it looks like an RX 2 or 3 in this man’s garage.

  11. RicK

    Used to do car repair for friends for a side job on weekends, anyhow back around ’85-86 one of my customers bought the identical twin to this for $200, really clean but barely ran, he thought he was gonna flip it and double his money ($200 was a lot of money back then, heck it still is to me now) I looked at and it needed a carb (shaft bushings were super loose) new replacement cost almost twice what he paid for the car didn’t want to screw around rebuilding (my labor was around $25/hr I think) or buying a rebuilt, he didn’t want to throw down that kind of money, long story short he gave up and sold it although it sat around for sale for months, finally sold for $150 I think. This all happened in NW Wash state, noticed this car has Wash plates, could almost be the same one, although that letter series was issued on the other side of the Cascades (and I dont recall the plates on his) so probably not

  12. U R Awesome

    Cool ride. I’d love to have it. Sadly, I have to use the excuse of: too far away, no room to work on it out of the elements, etc, etc…

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Not sure where you are located U R Awesome, but I’m betting I am probably marginally further away from this than you are. Somebody has stuck the entire Pacific Ocean between me and this little gem. The worst part? My workshop is currently totally empty!

  13. normadesmond

    This car is utterly groovy.

    I know this will get me in trouble, but…..the next time someone leaves bad language, ask them to “write in” who they voted for in the last election. I’m just curious.

  14. Mountainwoodiegi

    Damn Furriners

  15. Curt k

    Im a blue oval man but i had to admit this little wagon is so kool .it looks like u took atime machine back to 1972 and walked aon the lot.i lwould love to have this one.

  16. Rube Goldberg Member

    Hmm, that’s quite a disclaimer. I didn’t think that was necessary, it’s the
    “innernet” for heavens sake, not the coffee shop, where we could actually see who said something stupid. I think we’re all pretty cool here, couple bad apples maybe, but certainly nothing to discredit all the cool, knowledgeable people.
    Pretty clear what Mazda engineers were going for, kind of a cross between a Mercedes and a Volvo. It actually has some style, and a nice dash, unlike today’s cars. Been sitting a long time, again, I always fear parts. If it doesn’t need anything, after sitting that long, it would truly be a testament to how well these cars were made,,,,but it’s gonna need something, rest assured. Neat find, tho. RX2 in the garage.

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      And another thing, it bothers me that Scotty had to go on the defensive. We have great writers here, and they shouldn’t have to waste their time saying stuff like that, the vehicle descriptions are time consuming enough. We are privileged to have writers that are passionate about what they are writing about. For Scotty, it’s Asian cars. I could take them or leave them, but can’t deny what a profound impact they made on our car scene, and it’s never going to change, and these were the cars that did started it off. Great cars, kicked our butt, they did. Guess some people still hold a grudge against them. Shame, we cut our own throats on that deal.

    • On and On On and On Member

      I agree. On a forum, it’s the knowledge and mixture of opinion and experience that’s important to the content. With freedom of speech comes the socially unacceptable and rude behavior humans are so capable of. But also with that freedom comes the ability to ignore or react. To me that’s what makes it interesting and moreover thought provoking. Just saying.

  17. rob

    I think it would be a fun yard sailing car this summer. I really like it !

  18. Metoo

    I think this is a very boring little station wagon. That said, I have never seen a better looking 40+ years old boring little station wagon. It’s been very well maintained and the seller sure took the time to clean it up well. Even the engine compartment got the business, which, for some reason, is often overlooked with some cars I have seen here. Someone will be getting just what they are looking for in this.

  19. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Cool little rig. Love the hood, unbelievable condition! I know it is a two or three owner car but I just have to laugh that the rear panels still have the factory plastic on them. Unreal.

  20. yes300ed

    R-100 in the garage?

  21. Alan Brand

    As I may have mentioned before, I had one of these back in the day and loved it – until Ontario road salt rotted it.
    I’d be bidding on this one if my bum knees didn’t mean that driving standard is a thing of the past.

  22. David McHenry

    They did put rotory in wagons my grandfathers neighbor was the first 1 in the southeast in magnolia springs ala. Herb Anderson I think his name was

  23. Adam T45 Staff

    I don’t know whether you received it in the US, but here in Australia there was also an SS version of this available. It featured increased compression, a more aggressive cam grind, twin dual throat down-draft carbs and exhaust headers as standard. They went noticeably better than the standard 1800.

    • Mike

      I’m located in South Australia and have learnt something new today. I had no idea of the sportier version of the Mazda 1500 wagon. Thanks for the information I’ll look into it!

      • Adam T45 Staff

        No worries Mike. I only found out about them by accident myself. My 1500 dropped a bearing one day and I was searching for another engine for it. I found an SS engine and was going to buy it when a mate convinced me to fit a rotary instead. I also found out that the 5 speed out of the 1980 626 (last of the rwd) will bolt straight into these. From memory I think that you need to use the 626 clutch plate, but the 1500 pressure plate. I’m not certain, but I seem to remember that you don’t even need to shorten the tailshaft.

    • Mike

      Just curious how your Rotary performed. I got hold of Dad’s RX2 when it was nine years old. Managed to blow the seals within a year!!! My wife’s Rx8 is on it’s second motor since 08!

  24. jonnyA

    Damn, thats a great looking wagon! Almost makes the 510 look frumpy by comparison. Too bad there are so few left.

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