1968 Mazda 1500 SS 1.5 Twin Carb
A torrid love affair on wheels
Complete and sudden brake failure.
Clutch master cylinder.
Gear shift boot.
Complete engine rebuild (lost compression). Cost $3,000, then sold!
Bought for $1,800 and sold for $7,500. Spent the difference in repair costs. In effect, a "free" car (no depreciation) over 7 years, which is pretty good.
Worst aspect of the 1500's is their weight (about 1000 kgs). The engine would be good in a car weighing 800 kgs, so it's very, very slow. A Mazda 1200/1300 is much, much faster. Feels as if the handbrake is on. Maximum torque in standard 1500 at only 2,500 RPM, and in an SS, 3,000 RPM, so very narrow torque band, and revving is useless. Noisy above 90km/h. A Mazda 1800 is smoother with better performance, but downmarket badging and interior. Why no 1800SS Mr Mazda?
Very difficult to drive. Accelerator either on or off.
Good points is that it looks amazing. Designed by Nuncio Bertone, so people never thought it was a Mazda (Triumph???).
Very high standard equipment... black interior roof lining, wood rim steering wheel, lockable glovebox with light, centre rear arm rest, electric aerial, carpets.
Unbelievable all round visibility. Like a BMW 2002. Very narrow A, B and C pillars. A real fish tank or lounge room on wheels.
Heavy weight and 14 inch wheels means good dirt round comfort.
Although a headache, regret selling and sorely missed.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th August, 2012