Monday, November 1, 2010

1974 Mazda REPU (Rotary Engined Pickup)

The Mazda REPU (not its official name, but what it's commonly called these days) is a really neat, desirable pickup truck.

This is the only rotary engine pickup truck ever manufactured. Between 1974 and 1977, Mazda built around 15,000 of them. The vast majority were sold in North America.

The engine was Mazda's 110HP, 1.3 liter, 13b rotary engine. It was the same engine that came in the RX-4 coupe. With a 0-60 time of 11 seconds, the REPU was by far the fastest small pickup truck available at the time. It was quicker than many passenger cars of the day (and some well known sports cars).

The biggest "issue" with the REPU was fuel economy. It had an EPA rating of 12 MPG. That was the same or worse than many large, American V8 pickups.

There are very few REPUs around today. By nature, the rotary engine doesn't have the durability of piston engines and even though Mazda sold new engines at incredibly reasonable prices, many people junked their REPU when the engine started to fail. Many that weren't junked for mechanical reasons were eaten away by rust. (In the 1970s the Japanese seemed to be copying the Italian method of rustproofing... They just didn't do it.)

The seller of this REPU is a man of few words, but - based on the few photos - this appears to be a nice truck. This truck, like just about every other older Japanese vehicle, has had its original wheels replaced by modern, inappropriate, chrome rims. I'd replace them with some period correct rims and also scrape the big "ROTARY" sticker off the back window.

The seller does not list a price for this truck, but wants to trade it for an "old school Corolla or 1st generation Celica".

Located in Winter Springs, FL, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

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