So I don't have to go into all the details all over again: The story so far.
In pursuit of a winter beater, I've been perusing Craig's List with the search phrase "4x4 manual" of late, to fulfill the need for a winter beater and a rallycross . I was interested in 1st gen Isuzu Amigos, as they're small, body on frame trucks, full of '90s-tastic looks, and generally cheap... when you can find them, which is why I said I was past tense "interested" as all of the Amigos dried up a month or so back. So I kept searching, even pondered on some Subies for a bit,
and then ran across a gem - a 1994 Mazda B3000, 3.0l v6, 5 speed (both #GiveAShift and #SaveTheManuals approved!) with only 136K on the clock and less than $2 large on the asking price. Why the disinterest in the Subies? Don't get me wrong, Subies are excellent little AWD buggies, and I would go nuts putting a junkyard turbo and intercooler onto a EJ18 flat four to make a good little sleeper, but I've been wanting something truckish to haul my other projects around in as well. And being as I live in the middle of Missouri, 4x4 trucks are far more prevalent than used Subies are, believe you me!
Back to the aforementioned gem - a truck that was built the same year I graduated high school (this rabbit feels old!), and not only that, a small truck that was arguably the most popular model of small truck in North America. I know, the Toyota Hilux/Tacoma is probably the most popular around the world, but did you know that Ford and Mazda built the Ranger/B2/3/3200 twins almost virtually unchanged from 1993 to 2011? I'd say that's a strong argument for being the most popular small truck in North America. On top of its other sterling attributes (small, popular, cheap, old), it has exactly no fanciness to it - no power anything (locks, mirrors, windows, radio antenna) to break down or wear out. It barely has AC (not currently working) and AM/FM with no cassette or CD, but it still has a working cigarette lighter and ashtray. It's short cab, short bed, 4 wheel drive, and a manual, all with the very torque-y 3 liter v6. It hits all of my highlights and I can rallycross the bastard - yes, I said rallycross it. Yeah, it'll probably wallow around the field, unlike the much lower slung Subies and Evos, but it will hold spare tires easily in the back, won't break down as often or as easily (body on frame construction), and at under $2,000 purchase price, why the hell wouldn't I hoon the shit out of it in some stranger's field?
Okay, enough talk, onto the pictures:
I can't quite tell what color it is. In one light, it's a greenish tinge, and in other lights it's a blueish tinge, and the rest of the time it just looks steel gray. List of things to do: fix the rear, driver's side blinker that doesn't want to come on; get it titled, insured and licensed; cleaned up (it was a farm truck and dirty inside and out); get a seat cover for the cracked and ripped vinyl bench seat; get the fog lamps working or get rid of them; get a trailer hitch for it; touch up all the rusty bits with rust inhibitor or primer paint; and of course, hoon the shit out of it and be on the lookout for a Miata for the next stage of my evil plan.