Sunday, May 31, 2009

My First Car - Mazda 626 Hatch (1984)

Back in 1993, I didn't have enough money to buy a first hand car. Even though cars around that time were not that great, most of them cost lika an arm and a leg, e.g. Proton Wira 1.3L was going for RM45,000++.

The second hand car market wasn't any better. For example, the first generation Proton Saga was selling at about the same price it was sold for when it was launched nearly ten years earlier.

Of course, all this was before the East Asian economic crisis of 1997.

So, all that I could afford in 1993 was a reasonably maintained 8-year-old Mazda 626 Hatch 1.6L, like the one above, which I bought off my kind boss for RM21,000. I say 'kind' because he gave a RM2,000 discount.

RM7,000 more and I could have bought a Perodua Kancil, yes? Actually, no. It would be a good few years before the Kancil is launched.

Anyway, the Mazda 626 wasn't the best car I had driven. Having become used to my dad's old Mercedes 250 and my mom's Volvo 244, I found the Mazda lacking in many respects.

The engine sounded rough, the pick-up was sluggish, the brakes were faulty, the shock absorbers were worn out, the steering rack was fractured, the drive shaft was knocking, the stick shift felt like it was stuck in the mud, the clutch insisted on giving my left leg a good leg-press exercise each day.... Simply put, the Mazda 626 was as beat up as any reasonably maintained 8-year-old second hand car (third hand, if you consider the fact that my old boss bought the lemon from his friend but kept it pretty much under his garage for a year).

And I fell in love with it. So much so, I kept it for five years.

And in that time, I felt that the car could stand up to most other cars on the road in terms of looks and engine power. With a good shine, 'new' 2nd hand sport rims, window tints, engine metal treatment, my Mazda 626 was outrunning and outshining most cars on the road.

Unfortunately, when the car reached 13 years old, it pretty much wanted to retire. So, I traded it in for a Kembara - which I didn't keep very long.

Nonetheless, my love for Mazda cars had become entrenched. As a result, years later, I got my hands on what I think is another ageless beauty - the first generation Mazda 6 2.0L.


  1. Nice blog. Really like your writing style. Something that refreshes and stimulates a reader like me who is so bored of reading superficial blogs for so long. Keep up the great writing

  2. Thanks, Yuen. I look forward to more comments.

  3. I have enjoyed reading your articles. It is well written. It looks like you spend a large amount of time and effort in writing the blog. I am appreciating your effort. .

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  4. Thanks. I love writing. Built a career from it in the corporate world.

    But that's taken a toll. So draining.

    Hardly have the energy left to write for recreation.

    Still, will keep at it.