Mazda’s ads over the past ten years have seemed almost desperate to play up sportiness, reminding me of Pontiac in the ’90s. This rather prominent layout in the January 1979 Motor Trend, on the other hand, highlights value and economy. While, as in more recent spots, this mainstream model is compared to a sports car, its tone is more apologetic, reminding readers, “We Make Piston Engines! Promise!!”
I will say, I prefer the old Mazda, with unabashedly functional, dour cars sold alongside the RX-7.