Mazda 323 GT Turbo Sedan GTX B6T
- Condition: Used
- Make: Mazda
- Model: 323
- Year: 1988
- Mileage: 256,600
- VIN: JM1BF2233J0142287
- Color: Red
- Engine size: B6T
- Number of cylinders: 4
- Transmission: Manual
- Drive type: FWD
- Interior color: Gray
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1988 Mazda 323
Regrettably after 12+ years of ownership I am selling my 1988 Mazda 323 GT sedan (BF Chassis).
Only 700 (although I’ve heard of this number being as high as 800) of these cars were sold new in 1988 only (one year only), and today only a fraction exist and an even smaller fraction actually run, the estimated number is less than 400.
It is somewhat of a forgotten car anymore but at the same time a sibling car to the well-known 323GTX all-wheel drive turbo hatchback, I also own a GTX which I recently restored, as a reference 1,234 GTXs were sold in the US, making the GT sedan one of the rarest Mazdas sold. It is actually lighter than the GTX at only 2250 lbs and accelerates faster accordingly. This car is FWD and like most Mazda chassis is very capable and handles extremely well. The engine is the 132hp / 136 ft.lbs B6Turbo (engine code), 1.6L Twin Cam 16 Valve, aluminum head and Iron block with a small IHI VJ turbo. The B6 engine went on to live in the first generation Miata except in normally aspirated form. I have modified mine to run 13psi (up from the factory setting of 8psi) of boost with a manual boost controller and breathe through a better flowing 2.5” diameter exhaust, I guestimate the power to be around 180hp, which in a 2250lb car is a peppy power to weight ratio.
I am the second owner, which is an unusual occurrence as these cars tend to changes hands on a frequent basis. The car currently has 246,300 miles, so it has been driven but you would never know from looking at it or driving it. This is not a 10 foot car and I feel one of the nicer ones out there, chances of coming across another for sale is very slim (in this condition).
I bought the car in 2004 when I lived in Colorado Springs from the original owner. This car was sold to this original owner when she was living in the San Jose, Nor-Cal area and in fact was apparently the very first Mazda 323 GT sold in that area back in 1988. She then moved to Colorado Springs, got married and after a couple of kids, the 323 GT was left on the street unused and a bit neglected for some time until I bought it out of the Penny Trader newspaper for $850.
I have the original 1988 bill of sale for $13,000 (making it an expensive car for the day, a Corolla Sedan new in 1988 was $8,900) and pretty much most of the service records since 1988. I will say in my 12 year ownership I have kept every single receipt relative to my maintenance, ownership and also well-chosen upgrades – two binders full.
Being an enthusiast I have not scrimped on spending money on the car and it shows.
Completely overhauled the AC and filled with R12, which blows very cold (tested in the Houston heat) - $880
Newer front and rear Ground Control coilovers (hand fabricated by myself) with Tokico struts and a rear under-mount strut tie bar - $1,100
Every suspension piece and bushing front to rear was replaced with poly urethane items - $720
Car was taken down to bare metal and repainted Porsche Guards Red in 2007 - $3,800
Front Japanese GTAe bumper color matched and bracket powder coated - $1,600
Newer Corbeau GTS II seats - $1,500 (for the pair). I fabricated the seat rails.
Head removed and rebuilt (ARP head studs, metal head gaske, new valves, seats and guides) at 205,000 miles - $1,200
2.5” exhaust from the turbo back incl. stainless muffler - $600
Rota 15” wheels and newer Yokohama S. Drive tires - $1,400
Upgraded intercooler and aluminum piping - $500
Upgraded Koyo aluminum radiator and electric fan, custom made mounts - $450
Timing belt, Mazda OEM tensioners and water pump done at 205,000 miles - $380
Newer rebuilt starter - $150
Newer alternator - $80
New windshield - $280
Lightweight AGM battery and hand fabricated aluminum bracket - $150
Aluminum radiator and Flex-A-Lite high efficiency fan - $350
Replaced the CV joints - $250
Upgraded to cross drilled and slotted rotors, Goodrich braided lines, OEM e-brake cables and flush fluid - $590
Replaced all four (4) rear wheel bearings (inner and outer – done in June 2016) - $200
Rough TOTAL spent (above items): $14,700
I drive this car about 3-4 times per week (40 miles round trip) and in the 12 years I’ve owned it I’ve put approximately 80,000 miles on it, it used to be my daily driver for 10 years. The car is always garaged at home and even at work.
Interior: The interior is really in good shape, the dash has a minor swell adjacent to the digital clock and a crack that is about 1” long adjacent to the digital clock, all gauges work except the engine temperature gauge which only “moves” if the car is running hot, on other words if the needle moves off the peg the engine temperature is higher than normal. During my ownership I used a Dash Mat which helped save the dashboard, as they typically crack badly. All door pockets are intact – which is another item that fails as these cars age. The car has rear 60/40 folding seats and the trunk is huge…it’s quite a sight to behold. The car has manual crank windows, manual door locks but fully working power mirrors (left and right). All interior carpets are also in very good condition (including the trunk area).
The Corbeau front bucket seats look and feel great and match the grey interior quite well and I have also added a Momo leather shifter, leather steering wheel, shift boot and aluminum Mazdaspeed 3 pedals.
The car has remote operation for the trunk and fuel door, both work perfectly. I also have the original owner’s manual and all associated Dealer books from 1988.
A newer Kenwood blue tooth single DIN unit and four (4) Eclipse speakers has been installed. In 2008 I made a boost gauge pod out of fiberglass by grafting it onto the steering column trim) and installed an Autometer Boost gauge. There are no interior tears in the front or rear seat fabric, no droopy headliner and the door cards are all in great shape. The car has never been smoked in and during my ownership no food or drink is allowed.
All switches work perfectly, intermittent wipers, headlights and horn. On the rear defogger two (2) lines do not work. The driver’s side plunger for the dome light sometimes stick and the ignition can sometimes be sticky, there are days when it works perfectly and other days where it requires more turns (this is an inherent issue with these cars as they age). There are no interior creaks or noises to be heard when the car is being driven.
Some neat and unique interior features on this GT model only, rear head rests and a three combination map and dome light including puddle lights on all the doors. The car also has fully functional illuminated key lock on the driver’s side door, a feature many new cars do not have.
Exterior: In 2006 I was leaving my office and one of my co-workers backed his Jeep into the right side of the car, the hitch doing cosmetic damage to the right front and rear doors this occurred at an extremely low speed. I found two (2) replacement doors out of state and took this opportunity to completely take the car down to bare metal and repaint it in Porsche Guards Red. 10+ years later the paint still looks really good and I hand wash and polish the car twice per month, I frequently get compliments on the car and the guys at the Mazda dealership really enjoy checking out the car when I pick-up parts. There are a few very minor door dings that do not photograph well and the only way to see them is at the “right” angle. The leading edge of the hood has minor peppering from age.
All door and trunk sealing rubber is in good condition and I treat them regularly to keep them supple.
When I park the car in a public location it is typically in a remote spot to avoid shopping carts or door dings and it shows. The left headlight does have a stone chip and one of the rear tail lights has a minor crack. I’ve converted all the lights to LED and run Sylvania SilverStar headlights.
In 2014 after years of looking I found and fitted the very cool GTAe front rally bumper (only available in Japan and Europe), this highly sought after OEM piece that is no longer available. I also had the bumper bracket powder coated at the same time and the bumper color matched Guards Red. To some degree I call this the piece de resistance.
In 2015, the car was broken into by some scumbags smashing the rear left rear “sail” glass and my laptop stolen, which I quickly repaired, no other damage was sustained at that time.
As this car has only lived in a dry climate and the South its entire life (CA to CO now TX), it has zero rust, if you’ve ever owned a Japanese car from the ‘70s and ‘80s you’ll know the importance of this point. The floor pans developed two (2) small rust areas in the floor under the carpet and I cut them out and made new steel floor sections and MIG welded them in, this was a flaw in the car’s unibody design that typically rust in this location. The floors, rockers and under body is in great shape.
Mechanically / Electrically: The car runs great and has never left me stranded in 12+ years, in this regard it has been an awesome and very reliable car. When I lived in Colorado, I drove the car every day and no matter how cold in the Winter, it started first turn and has fantastic heat. Fast forward to being in Texas, the car has equally impressive AC.
Regardless of the car’s high mileage, it runs extremely well and has very good power and throttle response through the gears. I had the car’s ECU in 2005 reprogrammed with an EPROM by well known Mazda tuner Reich Racing to be able to safely manage the higher boost (fuel and timing management), I also added the larger flowing fuel pump from a Mazda 626 GT Turbo and a cold air intake I made with a K&N cone filter tucked behind the right headlight which eliminated the bulky and restrictive factory air box.
The head was rebuilt at 205k only to address hardened valve seals.
This car has a hydraulic 5 speed and I installed a custom made short shifter with poly urethane bushings which really enhances the driving experience. All gears are smooth but 2nd has a slight notch which it always has had since my ownership, no “popping out of gears” issues.
The engine has a slight oil weep from the front crank seal and also oil weep from the transmission area that leaves a dime sized drop on the garage floor if the car sits for a few days. I may fix the front crank seal oil leak prior to selling the car.
All lights work perfectly, but since converting them to LED, there is a bulb out error light on the dash due to the low draw of the LEDs. All interior lights work fine, but the left front door puddle light sometimes can be intermittent. The ignition key is sticky and sometimes requires a few turns before the car starts, this is an inherent design flaw with these cars as they age, having said that, the car always starts first go.
As we all know cars have all become bloated, large and heavy and it’s a great feeling to get behind the wheel of this car. It is a tremendous amount of fun to drive and handles extremely well and also well balanced with the power delivery, at the same time it is comfortable and nimble. The Corbeau seats really hold you in and support you and give ample under leg and bolster support. I am 6’1” and have lots of headroom and legroom. I am running the stock IHI turbo (which was rebuilt at 100k) and so it spools up quickly with minimal lag. The modifications made to the car were done thoughtfully to increase performance and the fun factor without sacrificing reliability.
I change the oil every 2,500 miles with Castrol GTX 20W-50 and I put in Redline’s ZDDP additive to keep the valve train healthy. The car always runs at 170-175F even in the middle of a Texas summer with the AC running sitting in traffic. The larger intercooler and custom TIG aluminum piping is capable of 250hp.
The car has strong brakes as well, and is four (4) wheel disks with custom made slotted and drilled rotors. I am running Axxis pads all around. The emergency brake works perfectly as well. I did a full brake service in 2008 which included replacement of all rotors, pads and the e-brake cables including the installation of Goodrich braided lines on all four (4) corners. The suspension is firm and if too firm the springs can easily be swapped out for softer rating that can be purchased through Ground Control as they are standard 2.5” Eibachs.
The car will pass CA emissions with the re-installation of a catalytic converter, the EGR and charcoal canister is still in place.
The car will be sold will be sold with over a $1,500 in spare parts, namely:
A spare and complete B6T engine.
Four (4) factory 14” wheels
Many many engine, suspension and body panels – that I acquired over the years and will assist in maintaining the car.
I will say that I truly cared and dare I say “loved” this car during my ownership and I wish it to be sold to someone that will care equally as well as appreciate it. I have no hidden agendas selling this car, other than I own too many cars and in the future this car will not get driven much. Thank-you for taking the time to read my ad.
Good luck and happy bidding, please contact me with any questions.Some additional pictures are below: