Groovy Baby! 1973 Mazda 808 Coupe

I’ve just acquired a 1973 Mazda 808 Coupe with fantastically 70s yellow paint and black stripes. The look is topped off with a set of slot mag style rims on period looking skinny tires. Taken as a whole it gives a rather mini muscle car vibe. The 808 was a piston powered version of the more famous Rx-3 and was known in other markets as the Mazda Grand Familia or the 818 (because Peugeot was thought to have the copyright to numeric names with a zero in the middle). The 808 was powered by a 70hp 1.6L four cylinder engine but others variants used 1.3L, 1.5L or 1.6L four cylinder engines. Transmission choices where four speed manual or three speed automatic (mine is a four speed). At the rear there was a live axle with leaf springs. Body styles included the sedan, wagon, or coupe. The coupe got a sportier dash and steering wheel.

I saw this one for sale a few months back but the timing wasn’t right but it came up again and I was able to jump on it. My example needs some brake and motor work but the all important chrome, trim and interior pieces are all there and in good shape.

Its home but too cold to do much with it (-24C – that is -11.2F). Will pull it into the garage tomorrow. You can see the one bit of rocker rust. The rest of the car is nice and solid.

1973 Mazda 808

The license plate was just zip tied on to avoid it getting towed away by an over zealous parking official.

1973 Mazda 808

Interior is in remarkable shape.

1973 Mazda 808 interior

1973 Mazda 808 original manual and service book. Sold at Kramer Mazda in Calgary in 1972. The previous owner told me a guy from Magrath, Alberta then bought it followed by his neighbor then the guy I bought it off.

1973 Mazda 808

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9 Responses to Groovy Baby! 1973 Mazda 808 Coupe

  1. Dave D says:

    Good catch! I owned a 1972 Mazda 808 coupe (the rich blue colour). Bought it new from the dealer in Saskatoon, SK. $2895 …really! I had been buying VW bugs for years, and was seriously considering the 72 VW super Beetle, but it was $500 more!
    I have a couple of exterior pics of my 808, but none of the interior …however I’m quite certain it did not have the woodgrain steering wheel and shifter knob.
    Drove this Mazda trouble free for 4 years, then traded it for a 1976 Honda Civic wagon (need more room for my growing family!) Should have kept the Mazda, !! It had only 140,000 miles, and at the time that was considered high. There were a lot of these cars around in the mid 70’s, but they indeed are rare to see these days.

    • oldcarjunkie says:

      Nice. I’m amazed the Beetle was more money. I wonder if my woodgrain wheel and shift knob where aftermarket or factory options. Interesting. I spotted this blue 808 coupe in Lethbridge a few years ago. I wonder if it is your old one?

      Mazda 808 (Piston version of the Rx-3)

      • Dave D says:

        Reading the brochure information on eBay, it appears the woodgrain wheel and shift knob WERE standard on the Coupe models, but I honestly don’t remember!! That pic you posted on Wikipedia is a dead-ringer for my ’72. ..exact same colour. Do you suppose it’s still there? Not sure how to post pics on here, otherwise I’d post a couple.

  2. oldcarjunkie says:

    It certainly could be your old one. A few years ago it went to Lethbridge Pick-A-Part but they put it aside to save it. Not sure where it went after that. I’ll email my address and if you email your photos I’ll post them up for you. Otherwise you could upload them to a site like

  3. Pingback: 1980 Dodge Colt RS on eBay | Old Car Junkie

  4. Thomas says:

    Very cool….When I was 17 I crashed my Kawasaki 500. Almost killed myself. While in the hospital my dad came by and made me a deal. I promise never to ride another motorcycle, he buys me a brand new car…..Deal done…..Two weeks later I was the proud owner of my first car. A 1973 Mazda 808 coupe. My dad negotiated winter tires and an am fm radio in the deal. 4 speed stick. If memory serves me correctly, we paid $2,500.00 for it ..Took me 2 days to learn how to drive it. Owned the car for 5 yrs, put 85,000 miles on it and it gave me more joy than any of the 4 BMW’s I have owned since.

    I think I have a photo of it somewhere. If you’d like to see it in it’s near new state, I’d be happy to scan it for you.

    • oldcarjunkie says:

      Great story! Any photos you have would be fantastic. I can host them here if you’d like as well.

  5. James Dahlke says:

    Looking to purchase a 808. Blue with white interior. Please let me know of any leads. Thnx Jim Dahlke

    • oldcarjunkie says:

      808s rarely come up for sale. You might have to compromise on colour. Last one I saw was a brown sedan. seems to be about the best source.

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