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Breaking Awesomeness Alert: REPU, Just for U

Alex Kierstein October 9, 2010 Too Cheap to Pass Up 16 Comments

There are more living mastodons extant than there are dry, unmolested REPUs. So when you come across something like , residing in pinch-me-I’m-dreaming-that-it-isn’t-in-the-Rust-Belt location of El Paso, Texas, you gotta do something. Like put out an APB to teh internetz.


OK, so the owner claims the 13B runs well but needs an overhaul – we’ll take that with a pinch of the road salt it has been spared exposure to. But it looks deliciously dry and complete. The desert sun has given the harvest gold paint a wonderful patina. May I humbly suggest a total overhaul of everything – powdercoating the frame, a spotless interior (but maybe with artfully placed Navajo-style seatcovers), a blueprinted engine – but leaving the body exactly as is? RX2s and RX3s may be growing ever more collectible, but the REPU was possibly the most unique vehicle Mazda ever built. This needs to find its way into the hands of a sympathetic enthusiast. The auction is over in two days, the buy-it-now seems reasonable, and there’s a lot of bidding action as of this writing. Pass the word along!

  • tonyola

    Perhaps the silliest idea for a pickup ever made and I love it. I wonder what the box-like thing on the passenger side is – just ahead of the rear wheel. Looks like a small hatch of some sort.

    • Han_Solex

      I'm pretty sure that's where the battery went. IIRC there wasn't enough room for it under the hood.

      • Feds_II

        Exactly right, and it's not so much that there wasn't room under the hood, that's just a pretty standard location for JDM trucks

        • DeadinSideInc

          Tucked neatly away from water, snow, salt, and road debris?

  • Paul_y

    The 6-lug hubs are hilarious, if they're original. Clearly, BOTH pound-feet of torque were being utilized by these trucks.

    The REPU is about the worst idea ever, and yet transcends it's own faults to loop right back around and be awesome.

    • It can haul… a toolbox! Maybe!

      My gut reaction, and one that would fix the torque problem, was "Turbo 20B," but this is so awesome as is that I don't think I could bring myself to execute the swap.

    • Feds_II

      Many millions of Hilux's, B2000's, and Nissan/datsun pickups beg to differ… 6-lugs are standard japanese truck fare.

      • Paul_y

        True, my former 89 4Runner was 6-lug, but at least it was a V6.

        …and on further investigation (i.e., digging through pictures), a mid-80s 2WD Hilux a buddy of mine used to have had 5-lug hubs.

        Either way, it's probably not a weirdo pattern on the REPU (e.g., the wacky old Subaru/Peugeot 4-lugs), so I suppose it's a moot point.

        • Feds_II

          I bought a set of wheels from an Isuzu rodeo to go on my '84 B2000, and they are currently bolted up to my '98 Pathfinder. Japanese 6-lug matches GM 6-lug as well.

    • "BOTH pound-feet of torque" had me laughing. I'm sure they'd be fun to drift, though.

  • dculberson

    I think I am in love. It's either a very good thing or a very sad thing that it is fully 1,636 miles from my house. Not that I mapped it or anything.

    @Han_Solex: Hehe! It's hard to believe that the engine bay was full when it only held a 1.3 liter rotary. This thing must be even smaller than it looks!!

    • zaddikim

      A buddy's got one – they're not big, that's for sure. It held me (6'2". 200lbs) and my luggage (~50lbs) for a trip to Duncan from Victoria. He really had to wind it up going up the Malahat Highway, but the sound was quite the reward.

      Awesomely quirky trucks. =)

  • Feds_II

    You say "Unmolested", I say "twin choke Weber". This has been beat on, and the pre-'86 4-port 13B is going to be hard to find parts for, but that's nothing that a TII swap won't take care of.

    $2k for a nice-shape REPU is a STEAL in these here parts.

  • DeadinSideInc

    Does anyone else think that the front end looks like a JDM kei-car grille with two extra headlights on either side??

  • fisheater

    A buddy of mine had one of these in high school. Blue with the graphics package similar to this one.
    <img src="; width="600">
    It was a hoot to drive around in. As long as you kept the revs in the red and didn't mind sounding like go cart.

  • Rotarydave

    This were actually pretty quick when they first came out, some of them even came with 4.66 rear end gearing. Several were asking about the odd things like 6 lug suspension and the battery box location. It should be noted that this is actually a 3/4 ton truck and the frame is fully boxed although they share some steel body parts with the early ford couriers and mazda b1600 series they are distinctly different in mechanicals. Suspension, brakes, axles etc are all heavy duty. For anyone that doubts the abilities of these trucks I have driven them across country, through the rocky mountains pulling trailers with Rx7s on them. Not bad for a truck built in the mid 70s that is definately a mini truck.

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