My daughter "inherited" her grandfather's '72' Mazda Capella which he owned from new, and had done less than 100,000kms when he stopped driving at 83. It was still in "mint" condition. Unfortunately after 3 years, she was hit in the rear end when parked and the body shell was bent beyond repair. Luckily we found another body shell and swapped all the good bits into it. But this '74' body is rusting around the front and rear screens. I wish I could find a better body shell, as she loves driving this reliable, cheap car. Its running gear and interior has been in the family for 33 trouble free years.
My experience is with the Capella station wagon first registered in Japan in 1997, with the 1.8L motor & 4 stage auto. It has done only 53500km. It is like new in bottle green and the last of the 'old' shape, 92 - 97. I endorse the enthusiasm for the no-nonsense plain qualities, strong performance with good economy, cheap 10k servicing and long-life reputation. Getting 32mpg (8.8L/100km). what more could you want?
My very first car was a 1975 Mazda Capella way back in 1984. Of all the V8 Holdens I've owned, one Fairlane, and a few fancy 4wds, I remember that little white Capella with the fondest of memories.
It was cheap to run, easy to fix on the rare moments it did go wrong, and had a no nonsense integrity about it, and character.
OK, I love my current Mitsubishi 380, and wouldn't swap it for anything, but would love to own a Capella again for old time's sake.
Don't suppose there's many left; most would have been raced rallied or rolled by now.
My Dad had a 1971 Capella 1600 from that year until 1990. They are extremely reliable - it had 500,000MILES on the odometer and was still going. Unfortunately parts were hard to find and were getting expensive, so he had to sell.
Do you people find parts difficult to source?
If they were not I would love one of these cars, as I liked dad's one and wished that I would have inherited it (I was only 9 at the time of its departure tho). These old Japanese cars are SO much better than the new plastic and front wheel drive things - they were cheap, practical and reliable, but they also 'kept it real' with RWD and old school minimalism. And I did a Wikipedia search and the 1.6 put out 77kw!! This was no mean feat in 1971, considering that my Dad's 1990 Mazda 626 with a 2.2L only put out 85kw!! (and that a mid-80s BMW 318i produced the same)
Take care of your Capellas!!!
I too have fond memories of a Mazda Capella. I learnt how to drive in one. It was my mum's car from brand new in 1975 to about 1986. She actually offered it to me as a first car, but NO, as a know all teenager, I had to have a big V8 Holden as my first car (big mistake).
They came from a time when Japanese cars were cheap, simple, and very well built. It's easy to see now why the japanese are the world leaders in automotive production, when they were that good in the 60s and 70s.
If anyone out there still has an original unmolested example, take good care of it; they command respect.
I have a 1971 Capella 1600, but unfortunately I do not want to sell. It is my first car and is a great little thing. I have spent over $5000 on it, including re-conditioning the motor and re-doing the interior. Looks a million bucks, now with mags on the way and a recent respray, she will turn a few eyes.
Inherited my Dad's Mazda Capella 1973 1.6, currently undergoing restoration in a workshop. I figure it may be impossible to find spares? But it's a car I love dearly, my Dad bought it the year I was born '74. It's one hardy car.
My family went everywhere with it & NEVER failed. Been in 9 collisions I recall in the last 35 years, it's built like a tank. Damage is superficial. Restoration is quick and it's a really, really reliable car.
Changed the air intake & it actually outran a Honda CRV16 on a quarter mile sprint. I moved out of town & Dad suffered a stroke so couldn't drive the car anymore, so it's been sitting 7 years undriven, that's why its back in the workshop now. I intend to get the beauty up & running again, and I'm gonna make it metallic (lemon) yellow. It was originally yellow, but after the last collision it was changed to soft blue & the color faded badly. Body's been rusting away, need to maybe do a complete carbon fiber rebuild of the shell & replace it.
Can it outrun a Honda Civic 1.6l next, since her weight would have dropped drastically? Heh we'll see when she's ready.