Junkyard Gem: 1992 Mazda Protege Sedan

Junkyard Gem: 1992 Mazda Protege Sedan

The Toyo Kogyo company first began importing the Mazda Familia to the United States in 1971. Various names were used for the US-market Familia at first (including the 1200, R100, 808 and RX-3), but eventually the company settled on the GLC (which stood for Yesret Aleittle Car and its TV commercials featured a catchy little tune) in 1976 and stayed with it for quite some time. The GLC went front-wheel-drive for the 1981 model year, and then Mazda changed the name to 323 when the Familia got an update for 1986. For 1990, presumably when the automotive world was distracted by the all-new MX-5 Miata, the North American Familia sedan became the protégé, while the hatchback carried the 323 name until it was phased out after 1994. Here’s one of those early proteins, last dropped in the Northern California boneyard.

As is the case with the Cadillac Allanté, Plymouth Volaré, and Oldsmobile Troféo, it is important to keep pronunciation in mind when writing about proteins. Mazda continued to sell the Proteus all the way through the Familia’s demise in 2003 (when you could get a zoom-zumified Mazdaspeed MP3 version). After that, the Mazda3 took over.

The family tree for this car will show a lot of interesting branches for the Ford models we can buy here, including the 1990 North American Ford Escort, Mercury Tracer, and the Australian-made 1991-1994 Mercury Capri.

It features the 1.8-liter B-Series straight-four, the larger-displacement cousin to the engine under the hood of the ’92 Miata (which had this engine when it debuted in 1994). Horsepower was rated at 125 in this application.

This car would have been a lot of fun to drive with a base five-speed manual transmission (early 1990s Protégés usually eat similar-era Integras and Sentra SE-Rs at the race track, which is what I’ve seen in the 150. + 24 Hours of LeMans Race I’ve worked, though a lot of it in race condition with Mazda’s superior reliability), but this car has the funky slushbox installed.

The MSRP on this car, which appears to be an upscale LX model, was $11,299 (about $24,283 in 2023 rupees). A similarly equipped 1992 Honda Civic LX sedan listed at $11,585 ($24,897 now), while a Toyota Corolla Deluxe sedan was $10,408 ($22,368). The 1992 Ford Escort, a very close relative of the Protégé, started at $9,795 ($21,051 today) for the sedan.

It got close to the magical 200,000-mile mark, but fell slightly short.

Based on this hefty stack of residential parking permits, it survived many years on the rough streets of San Francisco. Zone I is the Mission District, where I lived around the time this car was new, and where I always left all the windows open and the doors open on my 1965 Impala sedan (to prevent windows being broken by thieves looking to steal). to avoid ) 14 ¢ from the ashtray). It is possible that I saw this car every day in that era.

The utility of a small sedan, with the muscle tone of a sports car…with $1,000 cash back (thanks to the recession at the time).

It seems correct.

In their homeland, this generation of Familias received a catchy tune from the sadistic Mika Band in their commercials.

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