Cars 4 Sale: 1993 Mazda 323 GT-R 4WD
Believe it or not, Mazda was a major rally racing competitor in the late eighties and early nineties. This 1993 323 GT-R 4WD is up for auction.
Think of World Rally Cars of the late eighties and the early nineties and you might think of brands like Lancia, Ford, Subaru and Mitsubishi. While they took home most of the trophies, many other brands competed for those same victories. One such brand was Mazda who chose to homologate/create a version of their 323-hatchback eligible for rally racing. This 1993 Mazda 323 GTR 4WD, one such racing version, is currently in Poland and being auctioned by Auctomobile.com, with no reserve, until the Fourth of May. It is expected to receive a winning bid between 20,000-25,000 Euros ($24,050-$30,062.)
Mazda had already been running a rally team in the eighties when the new Group A regulations were announced in the lead up to the 1987 season. First racing the 323 in 1987, they had some early success winning their second race with the car driven by Timo Salonen: the 1987 Swedish Rally. Two more rally wins followed in 1989 but Mazda decided to end their rally program at the end of 1991.
Mazda had prepared to race the following year just in case with the Homologation 323 GTR 4WD. This 323 is one of 2,500 produced. It has been kept in mostly original condition with the only exception being a repaired engine. When released, the 323 GTR was said to have 182 HP and a limited top speed of 112 MPH. Other updated features over the standard 323 include: new front and rear bumpers, wheel flares and stiffer suspension. Interior features include leather/suede seats and an interesting “speed” function.
Even though the top speed was limited to 112 MPH, or 180 km/h, there was a way to get around this. If you removed a screw behind the instrument panel marked “180 km/h,” you could remove the limiter and reach the car’s ultimate top speed of 135 MPH (218 km/h.)
Perhaps because of this performance there are signs the car has been well-used (as shown in some of the seller’s photos.) The car has 172,400 km (107,124 mi) on the odometer, spending is nearly thirty-year existence in Germany, Sweden and Poland.
Being over 25 years old, it is currently eligible to be legally imported into the United States. For potentially around $30,000, it is your chance to own your own fully-fledged, homologated rally car. A Mazda rally car. Zoom, zoom!
Edit: As of this posting, the 323 has a current high bid of around 10,250 Euros ($12,000) with two days remaining.