Mazda Shows Off a GLC hatch and Rotary-Engined Truck (UPDATED)

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 4/26/16 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.


A blast from the past can be a lot of fun.


For Mazda, innovation has always been par for the course.


And we’ve come a long way since these vehicles were the kings of the road.


Take a look back at where Mazda gets its inspiration for today’s hits.

1978 Mazda GLC (Great Little Car)


1978-Mazda-GLC-front-three-quarters

1978 Mazda GLC (Great Little Car)


What the 1978 Mazda GLC lacks in power and performance, it makes up in charm.


The diminutive hatchback is powered by a 1.3-liter I-4 engine making a whopping 59 hp. A three-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels.


On a flat section of road, the GLC could eventually get up to the 65-mph speed limit. With the pedal to the floor, the GLC can climb most hills at speed (accelerate to speed before the incline).


Despite the lack of modern luxuries such as air-conditioning and power steering, the GLC is easy to toss around on back roads thanks to its narrow P155/80R13 tires (the same size used under most traditional lowriders).


Winding sections are easily attacked by briefly lifting off the throttle just before the corner to give the front tires more bite. Next, quickly floor it into and all the way through the corner to maintain forward momentum. No brakes needed – a good thing considering their lack of stopping power.


Although the steering wheel has lots of play and is numb just off center, it is direct and predictable.


And how can anyone not like the GLC’s cheery bright yellow paint and matching plaid seats?


Its main mission was to provide simple transportation during a time of frequent oil crises, but the Mazda GLC hatchback’s fun-to-drive nature was a precursor to the small Japanese automaker’s ZoomZoom tagline.


We got out of the GLC with grins on our faces. Great Little Car indeed.


Mazda’s REPU


1975-Mazda-Rotary-Engine-Pickup-front-three-quarters

1975 Mazda Rotary-Engine Pickup (REPU)


We were excited to hop into our first rotary-powered vehicle: the 1975 Mazda Rotary-Engine Pickup, aka the REPU.


Power for the compact pickup comes from Mazda’s naturally aspirated, 1.3-liter four-port 13B two-rotor engine making 110 hp at 6,000 rpm and 117 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm. Other REPU-specific bits not found on the piston-powered Mazda B-Series pickup include a unique front grille, flared fenders, round taillights, a revised dashboard, and the battery mounted under the bed.


Our particular Mazda REPU also had some custom touches, including a five-speed manual transmission (the four-speed from the 1974-1976 model years was replaced by a five-speed in 1977), a custom dual-exhaust from the engine to the center-mounted exhaust tips, and different script for the “Rotary Power” tailgate decal.

Mazda is still innovating

From the improved Mazda 3 to the MX-5 Miata, Mazda is making strides to provide vehicles that are technologically advanced, more comfortable than ever, and just plain fun to drive.


Ready to take one for a spin?


Come and see us at Serra Mazda today!


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