The Toyo Kogyo Business initial started importing the Mazda Familia to the United States in 1971. Many names for the US-marketplace Familia ended up made use of at initial (which includes 1200, R100, 808 and RX-3), but ultimately the corporation settled on GLC (which stood for Great Little Car and featured a catchy small tune in its Tv commercials) in 1976 and stuck with it for pretty a even though. The GLC went to entrance-wheel-drive for the 1981 design 12 months, and then Mazda switched the title to 323 when the Familia got an update for 1986. For 1990, presumably when the automotive world was distracted by the brand-new MX-5 Miata, the North American Familia sedan grew to become the Protegé, while the hatchback retained the 323 name till acquiring axed right after 1994. This is one particular of people early Protegés, uncovered final drop in a Northern California boneyard.
As with the Cadillac Allanté, Plymouth Volaré and Oldsmobile Troféo, it is vital to preserve the accent when creating about the Protegé. Mazda continued marketing the Protegé all the way by way of the demise of the Familia itself, in 2003 (when you could get a Zoom-Zoomified Mazdaspeed MP3 model). Right after that, the Mazda3 took in excess of.
The family members tree for this vehicle would exhibit a great deal of intriguing branches primary to Ford versions we could acquire below, including the post-1990 North American Ford Escort, the Mercury Tracer and the Australian-built 1991-1994 Mercury Capri.
This a single has a 1.8-liter B-sequence straight-four, bigger-displacement cousin to the motor under the hood of the ’92 Miata (which bought this engine starting up in 1994). Horsepower was rated at 125 in this application.
This motor vehicle would have been heaps of fun to generate with the foundation five-velocity guide transmission (early-1990s Protegés usually try to eat up same-era Integras and Sentra SE-Rs on the race observe, based on what I have seen at the 150+ 24 Several hours of Lemons races I have worked, though a lot of that has to do with Mazda’s superior reliability beneath race circumstances), but this vehicle has the enjoyment-sapping slushbox set up.
The MSRP on this auto, which appears to be an upscale LX product, was $11,299 (about $24,283 in 2023 bucks). The in the same way-outfitted 1992 Honda Civic LX sedan outlined at $11,585 ($24,897 now), whilst the Toyota Corolla Deluxe sedan was $10,408 ($22,368). The 1992 Ford Escort, a quite near relative of the Protegé, began at $9,795 ($21,051 right now) for the sedan.
This one received tantalizingly near to the magical 200,000-mile mark, but fell a bit short.
It survived on the rough-on-automobiles streets of San Francisco for a lot of decades, primarily based on this thick stack of household parking permits. Zone I is the Mission District, where by I lived all over the time this auto was new, and exactly where I generally still left all the windows open up and doors unlocked on my primered-out 1965 Impala sedan (to avoid getting the home windows smashed by robbers hunting to steal 14¢ from the ashtray). It truly is achievable that I saw this automobile just about every working day, again in that period.
The utility of a little sedan, inbred with the muscle mass tone of a sports activities car… with $1,000 cash back again (thanks to the recession that was on at the time).
It just feels right.
In its homeland, this era of Familia received a catchy tune from the Sadistic Mika Band in its adverts.