Mazda 323,Mazda 626 & Mazda 929 Whether the compact 323, the mid sized 626, or the full sized 929, these vehicles remain very popular even though production has stopped.

1988 Mazda 323 - Thinking of buying!

  #1  
Old 10-20-2014, 01:20 PM
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Default 1988 Mazda 323 - Thinking of buying!

Hey guys. I found a 323 for sale on Craigslist. I believe it's around my area because it popped up in the local listings, but the poster didn't specify. I emailed him asking for some info.. stilll waiting for a reply.

Any way, is there anything I should specifically look for in a 1988 323? Specific problems? Common problems with them?

He also posted it as a GTX. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe GTX models have a sun roof. Kinda hard to tell from the pictures. Is there any other way to tell if it's a GTX? Aren't GTX models also turbo'ed?

Thanks for reading

1988 Mazda 323 GTX
What would you say this car is worth just from the pictures?

PS. once he emails me back I'll update with new info
 
  #2  
Old 10-20-2014, 02:30 PM
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Best all wheel drive car ever built. It dominated races for years. Well worth a restoration imo.
 
  #3  
Old 10-20-2014, 02:36 PM
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Thanks for the reply!

Is it hard to find parts? Considering these cars are hard to come by.
 
  #4  
Old 10-20-2014, 02:50 PM
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i had one. bought it new, off the showroom floor. mazda couldnt sell them, iirc, only like 1000 units brought over in 88, and like 350 in 89. 1.6 dohc(132hp??), turbocharged, awd. tiny intercooler. electronically controlled center diff, you can lock up the rear diff 100%. if it needs brake rotors, they will cost a fortune. it did have a manual sunroof. mazda used to have a ton of rally support parts for this car, but it was not cheap. in rally trim, the car is underpowered. the later 1.8 gtr had a lot more power, but they were not brought over. i also bought an 88 323gt, same exact engine, but fwd sdn. i gave the gt to my son, who drove the wheels off it. i had the gtx for a long time, sold it with 130k. one day i tried to race a mitsubishi gsx. the mitsu took off so quick, i thought i was going backwards. i later bought a mitsubishi galant vr4, and it was everything the gtx was not. i also got a mitsubishi gsx. if the right deal came up on another vr4, i would take it. i dont think there is a right deal for me to take another gtx, i would pass on this car.
 
  #5  
Old 10-20-2014, 03:11 PM
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This is not a street car, this is a dirt car. It gets more power to the wheels than any other, that's why it dominated. I worked for Mazda over 20 years and we could not keep these cars. They were sold before they hit the lot. I rarely ever had to effect a repair on one. You want fast on pavement? Don't buy it for that. You want offroad speed and handling? This is the car for you.
 
  #6  
Old 10-20-2014, 04:12 PM
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the car i bought had been on the showroom floor for 515 days. they finally moved it to the back lot. it stickered for like 15k, when a loaded 323 sold for like 8k. i got it for like 9500, and they were really happy to get rid of it. the dealers could not sell them. i later spoke to another dealer in i think it was baton rouge, he had 2 or 3 of them. they had even offered other dealers if they would take the gtx, they would also send an mx5 with it. at that time, the mx5 was a really hot seller. like the gtx, the vr4 also didnt sell, but was a way better car. however, mazda had a helluva lot of support for the gtx. i actually joined mazda motorsports, and i got a list of rally parts for the gtx. mazda was giving contingency money depending on the race, and the finish. there was no way i could afford to go rallying, but they had complete engines, transmissions, diffs, all kinds of stuff. lotsa rx7 stuff, too. rod millen was driving a gtx in rally, and doing quite well, but he had the 1.8 engine in it. hks also had a little support, but their stuff was even more expensive. i remember when driving the car, the doors would rattle, and i always thought that if i were to rally this car, the doors would be welded shut. also, it ran open diffs, so even tho it was 4wd, one could still get wheelspin. when the center diff was locked, it was like driving a car with a detroit locker. i can see how in rally this was good, but on the street it was only good for driving in a straight line. and to answer your question about parts, less than 1400 units were sold in 88 and 89, then it was discontinued in the us. so the only source is the dealer, and lots of the parts have gone nla.
 
  #7  
Old 10-21-2014, 03:56 PM
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I wasn't planning to rally it in anyway. The aesthetics of this car appealed to me as well as the AWD and turbo and it being a hatch. It would be a side project for me over the course of time.

Thanks for your opinions guys. I appreciate it.
 

Last edited by spinnnerrr91; 10-21-2014 at 03:59 PM.
  #8  
Old 10-22-2014, 08:55 AM
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A little tweaking and you can get 50hp more out of it. They only imported 1000 or so of those. Most hit the offroad track in Europe. I would love to have one personally.
 
  #9  
Old 10-27-2014, 11:27 AM
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bought a (regular? not gtx, not awd, not turbo) one of these 2 years ago.
It's been a great car!
It had 66,000 original miles, and the engine/trans are fine,
but 25 years of rust mandated quite a lot of repairs-- broken springs, rusty brake lines, fuel tank, fuel lines, a control arm. Needed shocks, tires, a bunch of gaskets, all new coolant hoses, spark plugs, etc. It hadn't been kept up with.


Just , be sure to take it to a shop put it on a lift and make a list of what it needs before you put down the cash for it, and be prepared for a couple thousand more in parts if you want to do it right.
 
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