This gorgeous specimen of a compact pickup, spotted in Old Japanese Car Heaven (formerly known as Washington state) by Eric Clem, was impossible to overlook. Looking so lean and clean, it’s prettier in its unassuming shade of blue than its designers ever intended.
Just to boost its American car credentials, it’s been decorated with a replica (I assume) of a 1976 Gerald Ford/Bob Dole campaign sticker. Actually, this is more of a call-out to its historical context, since the protectionism spurned by the GOP made trucks like this rebadged Mazda a necessity. It’s also very appropriate for a car from Washington state, whose electoral votes went to Ford that year.
Mazda, at any rate, really could have benefitted from greater direct sales of its pickup in the states after their gas guzzling fortunes collapsed in the wake of the fuel crisis. It’s a miracle that they survived the dark period which followed and their continued viability today hasn’t come without a lot of blood, sweat and tears. So its to the truck’s owner’s credit that this rolling piece of Mazda’s heritage continues to charm onlookers approximately forty years later.