1978 Mazda 808 1.6


Reliable, cheap running, cute gem


Faulty alternator, caused many headaches and flat batteries.

Muffler exploded on the way back from auto mechanics who fixed the alternator, arc welded a Camry muffler after removing what was left of the old one.. first time using an arc welder for such a job.

Door light does not work, can't figure that one out!

Slippery clutch.

General Comments:

This car is wonderful. Despite its age (20 odd years old) it performs like a trooper, even when my kiwi friend belts the hell out of it.

Great stereo, not the original, but wowee nevertheless.

Starts 1st go on very cold mornings.

Quite a lot of leg room, in fact the most leg room in a car I have ever seen.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2001

21st Jan 2006, 08:08

It is really great. I've had so many fun with it. I just recently have some trouble with the carburetor. Can anyone help me to know about its carburetor nozzles and their diameters? (hamidfp@gmail.com)

Thanks in advance,


1975 Mazda 808 Wagon 1.4/1.3


Cheap and cheerful car, great for a budget bargain


Ignition would hold the key in the ignition barrel. Easily repaired by pulling out the ignition barrel and cleaning.

Rear drum brake shoes came loose. The pins that hold them to the backing plate had worn through, and no longer locked. Bought new pins from the brake shop, and replaced myself.

Destroyed the old 1400cc engine driving through a creek crossing. The fan caught the water, and sucked into the radiator. This caused the radiator to empty, and I cooked the motor. I have since replaced it with a 1300cc motor.

Original shock absorbers were worn out when I bought the car. I have since replaced them with aftermarket Koni ones.

General Comments:

The car is used for setting up rallies. It is cheap, cheerful, and very capable. It treads where some four wheel drive vehicles (RAV4, Forester, CR-V) fear to go.

I have slowly upgraded it as I have gone. It now has the bare minimum of interior trim (no carpet, sound deadening, centre console, radio, etc).

It does have:

- Upgraded springs and Koni shock absorbers

- RX-7 Series 2 Front disc brakes and calipers

- 626 rear drums

- 323 five speed gearbox

- late model 323 radiator and thermo-fans (to prevent further radiator explosions)

- A seam welded chassis

The car is a barrel of laughs to drive, and has been very reliable for the amount of very hard kilometres that it does.

It is very nervous at high speeds (anything above 140km/h), and I have had difficulty getting the front suspension set-up to my liking.

It needs more power (perhaps a 12A rotary transplant), but makes up for it in low running costs and ease of maintenance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd June, 2001

1974 Mazda 808 Station Wagon 1.3L


My first car


Car would not idle. Tore apart the carburettor about a dozen times. Found out eventually that the PCV valve had fallen out (held on with plumbing tape by the previous owner).

Ran for about 5000km with a dud battery. Had to start it by pushing it.

Went to see how fast it would go. Got to 125 km/h and rear wheels caught alight.

Speedo needle wobbled a lot and then stopped completely.

Lost the key and bashed into the ignition with a screwdriver and hammer. Started with the screwdriver. The whole car would suddenly die at most inopportune moments. Would die at lights. Oil stick was clean (i.e. no oil). Then would condense and I'd drive the car off. Eventually loud noises and then a BANG and clouds of grey smoke. I think the camchain went.

General Comments:

This was my first car.

Same engine as a Laser. Think about that, Ford fans.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd November, 2000

5th Apr 2001, 04:31

Obviously, you never enjoyed the driving pleasure of a well maintained stock standard 808 wagon (1298cc) 1976.

I've had my car for over 10 years and it really goes well in standard form.

The engine sounds sporty, has a wide power band, turns well, brakes quick and is cheap to run (a mechanic in the family helps).

This is a much under-rated and little known car. People who drive this model car always seem to have a smile on their faces and want to drag you off!

I have revved the guts out of this car for so long, nothing will break it.

Mark from Brisbane, Australia.