1977 Mazda 323 Review

1977 Mazda 323 5 door 1.3 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired580000 kilometres
Most recent distance615000 kilometres

Summary:

Perfect first low cost rally car

Faults:

I needed a new clutch and a few little things done to it - seal oil leaks, clean carby etc.

However, generally in good condition. The major problems with this version of the 323 is the head gasket dying if the car is not kept cool.

General Comments:

This car is an excellent buy, they can be picked up quite cheap.

If a few no cost modifications are made, like chopping the front springs and lifting the bonnet an inch and a half, this car becomes an ideal amauter rally car. A little weak in the horsepower department however.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th September, 2000

13th Aug 2001, 02:06

I have done almost exactly the same thing with my 1977 Mazda 323 when I slid it into a tree at 80km/h. After pulling out the dent I did a quick bog job on it. I also picked up a set of rims off a 1982 Mazda 626 which are 5 1/2 inches instead of the standard 4 1/2 inches. With these rims I could increase the tyre size on the back of the car to 235's instead of 185's, this made a big difference and I have 185's on the front.

The best way I had found to increase horsepower in these engines is to pick a device called a Hi-clone worth $80, this goes on top of the carby and increases the power by about 10-15% which is a very noticeable difference. I also added a scoop to the bonnet so I could run a pipe straight from the bonnet into the carby to force air down the throat of it.

The only other mod I did was to chop the gear stick in half to give a closer gearing. But my 323 now performs to the standards of all the 2 litres I race against.

24th Dec 2007, 02:31

I'm also a 323 fanatic I now own 4 of them :)

I have 2 1980 models, a 1979 and my pride and joy a 1977 5 door hatch. it originally had the stock 1.3 litre 4 speed manual, but after a few years and the lack of power inspired me to make a few changes.

I purchased a fuel injected v6 commodore engine and gearbox. After making a few slight modifications :p the engine was installed and my first run at the local drag strip went well. I managed to run a 9.4 1/8th mile beating a 5.0lt XR8 and a vy SS 5.7lt.

I'm still running the stock diff just shortened and welded. It took 12 months to build and still going.

Great car to learn to drag race and very cheap fun!!

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 1 review