Need a Cheap Beater in a Pinch? This 1980 Mazda GLC Beats a Smelly City Bus

Mazda GLC 10 photos
Photo: Auto Trader Private Seller
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There aren't all that many practical ways to save gasoline money these days. At least not without making some sacrifices. But one relatively simple way to save money on fuel is to save a ton of money on the car itself. So, for example, at just $1,000, you could hit the road in this 1980 Mazda GLC and put the rest of your money into gargantuan fuel costs.
The GLC is an all-but-forgotten relic of Mazda's early days in the U.S. domestic market. In spite of its name in the states, it's actually a part of the fifth generation of one of Mazda's earliest flagships, the Familia. You wouldn't know it from looking at this crusty, rusted-out model before us today, but the GLC, under its Japanese name Familia, won the inaugural 1980 Car of the Year Japan award.

Powering this little scamp is one of three naturally-aspirated, four-cylinder engines from Mazda's E-series ranging from 1.1 to 1.5 liters. Unfortunately, none of these engines could manage to crack 90 horsepower from the factory. But with fuel economy ratings of a combined 35 miles per gallon sure does make for tasty prospects in a country with gas prices exceeding $6 or more in some cases.

The two-door hatchback layout is also quite practical as well. It sure beats the heck out of an early 2000's ">Hyundai Elantra with the same door configuration in the looks department ten times out of ten. If nothing else, these trying times of inflation and high fuel prices could get Americans more in tune with their inner tinkerer.

Because unlike almost anything built in 2022, the lack of computers in this old Mazda ensures with enough research and patience, you should be able to fix whatever's broken. You can't say the same about a modern hybrid. Or, heaven forbid, an EV.
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