EDI­TOR’S PICK

1975 MAZDA 12 ARX- 3 COUPÉ

New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents -

If you thought that last month’s barn-find Mazda RX-4 was a rare dis­cov­ery, then you’ll be im­pressed with this pris­tine orig­i­nal sur­vivor. The 1975 Mazda 12A RX-3 coupé is as good as it gets when it comes to an ar­chive record of how they were back in the old days. A New Zealand–new black-plate car, it was de­liv­ered to its orig­i­nal owner in April 1975 re­s­plen­dent in Sun­rise Red with hound­stooth in­te­rior trim, fac­tory Clar­ion ra­dio, and twin tube ae­rial. Hav­ing been well looked af­ter for 29 years, it was then pur­chased by Dunedin Mazda en­thu­si­ast Ge­of­frey An­ngow, whose fam­ily held the Dunedin Mazda fran­chise from 1973 un­til 2007. Ge­of­frey re­calls hav­ing sold a vast range of new and used ver­sions, not only ro­tary mod­els but their pis­ton-en­gine coun­ter­parts as well.

As an un­re­stored car it is a true sur­vivor which drives as if it has just been driven out of a 1970s show­room. It even still has the new Mazda in­te­rior smell from all those years ago. This match­ing num­bers car has been driven only on special oc­ca­sions, and its gen­uine 55,000km in the last 42 years is tes­ta­ment to that. It shares garage space with a rare 1967 Cosmo sport, a 1984 S3 Nz-new RX-7, a 1975 Mazda Chantez and a 1987 Mazda Porter cab pickup.

This car is cur­rently for sale, and like the quote from the orig­i­nal RX-3 sales brochure says, “The car that turns heads. In your di­rec­tion”, which this car still does today.

With most ex­am­ples now hav­ing been re­stored or mod­i­fied, a sur­vivor car is a rare beast in­deed, as they are only orig­i­nal once — and with both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional val­ues of these cars climb­ing sig­nif­i­cantly in the last few years, it is re­al­is­ti­cally priced at $120K.

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