NFL running back Alfred Morris got his 1991 Mazda 626 back today. As you may remember, Morris recently signed a $2.2 million contract with the Washington Redskins, yet continued to drive the car he’s nicknamed “Bentley.” Upon hearing of his dedication, Mazda USA and some local dealers banded together to help Morris restore the car he bought from his pastor for $2 when he was a poor college student.
For nearly two months the humble 626 underwent a down-to-the-bare-metal restoration. New emblems and lights both front and rear were added to the car. Apparently Mazda even recast some out-of-production parts using the original molds from Japan for this project, according to Jalopnik.
The golden opportunity to re-create an all-original 1991 626 sedan was somewhat squandered, however, but the dealers responsible for the restoration. Playing right into stereotype, they gave Morris a bunch of stuff he didn’t need — a 7-inch touchscreen Pioneer stereo and seats reupholstered with the cross-stitching pattern from an actual Bentley. The dash also appears to have been re-skinned rather than replaced.
That’s enough parade-raining. Morris still has the nicest 626 around, and will now be able to fulfill his dreams of passing it down to his kids.
Now that Mazda has finished restoring one 1991 Mazda, our sources say that the 787B shown at JCCS is next.
Photos courtesy of Mazda.
And then he goes and sits on the hood. 🙁
Ugh. I can’t stand that…
From looking at the Jalopnik photos, it seems that that picture was taken before the restoration. They changed the wheels to a set of alloys during the restoration.
oh, I guess that’s a little better but I still would never sit on any of my cars, whether new, old, or in-need-of-restoration…
If Mazda wants to restore my dad’s RX2 that would be great! Seriously though its great that they did that for him. I wonder if that motor is all original or if they retuned the ECU with more modern standards.
“…the car he bought from his pastor for $2 when he was a poor college student.”
And…cue the NCAA investigation.
Nice… but can’t help but think that after all that, it’s still one of the bleh models from a dull point in Mazda’s history.
Okay, so they weren’t the WOW! models, but they were probably the most common one. I always liked them. They seemed like a nice, comfortable, good-looking car. I could never decide which of the three models on that platform I liked best, but if the Mazda, I’d go for an LX in the Quartz Mica with the burgundy interior (if they still had that copmbo by then).
Offer me a DX with a stick and A/C for $2? Dude, I’m all over it!
history is history. ive seen a Cadillac Cimarrion and a Ford Mustang II restored to mint condition and those are potentially 2 of the worst cars to have ever entered production. If people love even the most horrific cars of a companies history (http://www.morrismarina.org.uk/) then you know full well that there is a culture behind the brand.
From the articles I read, he seems like a nice guy without the ego that so many others have – as he said, it keeps him grounded. Nice that he doesn’t seem to be caught up in all the hype that swallows so many others. Hope he keeps his sensibilities, so he doesn’t end up broke or in legal troubles.
Ludacris wrote all of the Red Light District in his Acura Legend. Staying grounded definately helps.
Im glad this happened if you read my comments you can tell i love “other” chassis (ie: GL-10 ownership). i just wish that dashboard and seats didnt look so horrific
Too bad it’s not a 91 2.2 GT turbo hatchback he had. I drove one for 5 years. Was a blast and super reliable
My heart has skipped a beat every time I’ve seen a link to this Alfred Morris story – See, my dream car is my first car, a 1991 Mazda MX-6 LX. Brilliant Black. My dreams of restoring it to perfect factory spec were tragically over by the time I heard of this Alfred Morris 626 though. This story sounds like a dream come true, and I’m really happy for him.
But. My rusted out and impossibly beautiful 91 MX-6 is, well. I don’t really know. It’s been scrapped as far as I know. When the transmission blew up, I decided I couldn’t go to college to be a mechanical engineer and pursue a career as a formula racing driver while keeping it around. Needless to say, putting it in storage wasn’t an option.
In 2011, I knew deep down somewhere that The Mazda wouldn’t make it. I badly didn’t want to believe it. However. That feeling made the Summer of 2011 the best summer of my life. Every drive to work at the pool was special because I was driving that car, and no one knew how much longer it would be around.
I grew up with this car; it’s been with me all my life. As a spiritual being, The Mazda, my MX-6, will never die because I will NEVER forget it. I just hope that one day, when I can afford to do a restoration like Alfred Morris, I will be reunited with the spirit, the soul, and the love of my Brilliant Black MX-6.
Anyways, thanks for reading this little story, if you did. And as for The Mazda – You’re the most wonderful car in the world and I miss you dearly. So here I am with open arms. Soft and warm on a summer’s night You’re the only one, the only one I love The lovely one I’m thinking of.
Touching story. Hope you can find another one someday. They’re out there, just gotta look.