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JamesB

Rare Mazda built, rotary engined Holden for sale

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1976 Mazda Roadpacer

Note, the prices on the web site are in AUD not USD.

The Mazda RoadPacer, was a 1976 Holden Premier model, assembled by Mazda in Japan, and powered by a Mazda 13B rotary engine. Even when they were new, these things were rare (and most of them were sold to the Japanese government), but with Japan's strict vehicle testing regime, the availability of a 30 year old Japanese-market-only vehicle in Japan is nothing short of amazing.

Although Mazda and Ford had a financial tie, back in the mid 70's GM was doing rotary engine research, and had bought some technology from Mazda. As part (possibly full) payment for the technology transfer, GM arranged for a number of engineless and transmissionless CKD (Completely Knocked Down) Holden Premier kits to shipped to Mazda for assembly with a Mazda rotary engine and matching transmission. While it was being produced, the car was Mazda's domestic market, top of the line model.

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Wow... cool post. Interesting footnote in Automotive history.

So James, are you saying the Japanese are very A.R. about safety inspections and therefore a lot of soon to be classics get crushed?

You know this makes me want to do an impersonation of Mike Meyers' Jewish lady from NY character:

"I'm feeling faklemped, I'll give you a topic to discuss amongst yourselves: The Mazda Roadpacer was neither a rebadged AMC Pacer nor a Plymouth Road Runner..."

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So James, are you saying the Japanese are very A.R. about safety inspections and therefore a lot of soon to be classics get crushed?

A.R. Is putting it mildly. Ever wonder why Japanese vehicles have a 3 year warranty. The warranty lasts until the first "Shakensho" is needed on a new car in Japan.

The first "Shakensho" is at the 3 year point, and is expensive (starts at about 100,000 yen/USD$850 just for the inspection), and from then on a new one is needed needed every 2 years. It's a white glove inspection, and as the place that does the inspection will pretty much demand to do the repair work that's needed, they find every little problem.

If you have a modified car, many of the inspection centers will have a supply of stock parts that they will rent to you (plus the cost for removing your illegal parts, installing the legal parts and the reverse process after inspection) so you can pass the "Shakensho".

Many Japanese don't even bother getting their cars inspected, and when the inspection is due, they just drive them to a recycling center, or a company that specializes in exporting used Japanese vehicles.

There are practically no classic cars in Japan. A few years ago, a Japanese team that wanted to compete in car rally for 60's vintage vehicles built a Honda S600/S800 out of parts from Honda's spare parts catalog, because none were available in Japan. A Japanese car collector that had a 1966 Lamborghini Miura lifted by helicopter into his penthouse apartment, has to have it returned to the street every 2 years for inspection.

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Guest YellowJacket894

Yeah, MT Classic had a small feature on that. Thought it was a pretty interesting car, too.

If anybody was wondering, it is legal to import it here. (I wonder what other cars could be besides "classic novelty cars" or whatever.)

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As far as importing it into the US, as the car is more than 25 years old, the importation is a lot simpler, as the compliance requirements for cars of that age are a lot less stringent.

Have a look at the web site of Mad Max Cars. They don't have any stock at the moment, but they specialize in importing 25+ year old Australian muscle cars into the US.

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