As we’ve been discussing Chrysler’s connection with Mitsubishi this week, the sighting of this blue Ford Courier by Cohort member Eric Clem is well timed. Built, as we know, by Mazda, this truck represents another rather fruitful (exploitative?) relationship with a Japanese automaker, almost as successful as the Colt.
This picture was taken in Arizona, helping to account for the fact that this truck is remarkably rust free, other than the obvious hole on the wall of the bed. I will say that out here in the midwest when I do see Mazda trucks, their beds are less rusty than those of their Toyota counterparts.
This is a second-generation (1977-1985) pickup and the turn signals mounted in the grille (and not the bumpers) mean it’s not a 1977, but beyond that, it’s difficult to pin down exactly what year this one is, although the Courier was replaced in the US by the Ranger in 1983, much like the LUV was replaced by the S10 a year earlier. Unlike the LUV, however, Ford offered a large displacement engine of US origin, the Lima 2.3, as an option.
I don’t know what engine is in this one, but seeing as the RX-7 shared a lot of its transmission design with this truck, a rotary engine swap would be both easy attained and truly inspired.