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Thread: 1971 Mazda 1500 DeLuxe panel van ..bought another estate too

  1. #1
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    1971 Mazda 1500 DeLuxe panel van ..bought another estate too

    Hi! I am from Norway, and I've just bought a 1971 1500 panel delivery.

    The only reason that I bought it, is because my stepfather had one like this when I was a boy. He owned it from 1970 to 1986, when it was sold, and wrecked in the early 90's.

    Both the cars I'm telling about have got windows mounted in the rear in later years, (my stepfathers got windows only in the rear doors) but not original windows, but rather "homemade" solutions, and got back seats.
    So I'm planning to restore my car, and get the steelpanels back where they belong!!

    I've been searching up and down worldwide on the internet, to see if I could find pictures of similar panel delivery 1500/1800/Luce cars, but so far, the only 2 cars I've seen, is my stepfathers, and the one I've just bought.

    I wonder if anyone knows about these panel delivery cars, or if it was only a Norweigan phenomenon, due to lower taxes on cars without rear seats, and windows in the cargo-area.

    Better pictures are coming, but I have to scan old photos of my stepfathers car, and I haven't got my own back home yet, because it's winter and a lot of snow in Norway just now!!
    This picture is taken with a poor cellularphone, and You have to use Your fantasy, to recognize the 1500, but it shows my stepfathers car, with the rear steel panels

    And here is my car. Photo from the add where I found it.
    You can see the rear windows are not original.




  2. #2
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    Hello there, welcome aboard.

    Technically was never a factory add on but I have seen a few over here that had those side panels put in after purchase. I'll have a look through my photo's for you and see if I've got any.

    I do know in a few European markets that panel van options with fewer seats were added to various model wagons through the 1970's and 80's.

    The wagon versions didn't sell in great numbers over here and we only had the 1500 versions and missed the more powerful 1800 motor. I have a number of the sedan versions but no wagons as of yet.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for Your answer!

    I really hope that You have some photos of these panel vans, so I could see if the panels are similar to my stepfathers.

    The only I know for sure, is that the panels are welded to the car, so if its not a factory add, there had to be a very good workshop who did the work on the panels, because it looked stock and original on my stepfathers car
    Unfortunately, I only have my stepfathers car in my memories, and I don't have any good pictures of it, so I appreciate any help I could get!

    The reason that estate/wagons sell in large numbers as van, with only front seats in Norway is that we have totally sick taxes on passenger cars with rear seats. On a ordinary sedan or estate, they add 75% taxes to the price of the car, but on 2-seater trucks, vans and converted esteates they only add 9% taxes.
    My stepfather told me that he gave 25.000.- NKr in 1970(about 5000 USD) for the car, but if he had bought it as a estate with back seats, he had to pay almost 40000.- NKr.(almost 8000 USD)

    And I apologize if my english writing is rather rusty!!

  4. #4
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    I've not ever seen a Mazda 1500 estate with this kind of side panel. Your car is still in good shape, so, it will be an interesting example as a rare type of Mazda 1500 estate. You may restore it the way it is until you can find a set of new doors for it, then rethink again. :tu:

  5. #5
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    the easiest solution is restoring it with the rear side windows in place, but I will try to make panels that are as close as possible to the original steel panels. I think the windows destroy much of the "heart and soul" in this car.
    The car was sold new as a panel van, and the owner turned it in to a "wannabe estate" when he installed windows and a back seat.

    I know this is a Crown, but it's the closest to my Mazda panel van that I found, and my Mazda also had this kind of panels. Btw: This is also a Norweigan car.

  6. #6
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    Never seen an advertisment of a 1500/1800 panel van. But even if a japanese brochure appears, I wouldnt belive they were imported as panel vans. I think you should try to get in touch with persons who were in mazda-norway at that time, and they will solve many of your questions. Thats what I do when I face a "Greek-exclusive mazda". Alternatively, I would suggest the press of that era, as you have indications that this conversion was a wide practice in Norway.
    I would go for the panels for sure, keeping a local variation of mazda alive.
    Japanese manufacturesrs at that time ususally were turning the pick-ups to panel vans but never(?) originally passenger cars to panel vans.

  7. #7
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    Yes, I consider finding, or at least try to find, persons that worked with Mazda here in Norway these early years. The first Mazda's in Norway came to Norway june 28. 1967 and it was two grey Mazda 1500 Deluxe sedan. The dealer bought back these two cars in 1982, restored them, and put them back in his shop.
    Here is these two cars in 2005 in the dealers shop



  8. #8
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    ^ That's nice that the dealer kept track of the cars and was able to restore them. :tu:

  9. #9
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    It happens from time to time, that dealers buy back cars that they sold a long time ago here in Norway
    I have, among other, a -77 Ford Granada 3.0 GL aut. estate which was bought new at my local Ford dealer, and when I just had got it, I stopped by the dealer, and asked for some minor parts.
    That car was a nearly a top of the line model in -77, and rather expensive at the time, and when I now rolled in to the dealer with it, some of the persons, both salesmen and mechanics recognized the car, and started talking with me about both the car, and the customer that bought the car new. They came up with all the history that they had on the car in their archive and so on.
    just that day it became even more interesting for me to save and drive classic cars.
    You find picture of my gold Ford Granada in the thread "Nostalgic German Cars" in the off-topic area here on the forum.

  10. #10
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    The dealers in your country have a very good attitude to classic cars. I used to visit the original Mazda dealer in my country some years ago to find some parts for my Mazda 1500. Instead of appreciation, they laugh at me for still using such a long outdated vehicle!.

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