SOLD: Immaculately Maintained 2003 Mazda B2300 $5900
Back in 2013 my future wife and I needed a get-outta-town truck, a Swiss Army knife vehicle that could schlepp our earthly possessions and pull a trailer for our own version of John Carpenter's Escape from
New York Austin TX. It needed to be frugal, not a bro-dozer and a manual transmission was mandatory. The market showed an intense love and therefore high price of Toyota Tacomas and to a lesser degree Nissan Frontiers. We ignored the S10 which left only the Ford Ranger and its Mazda twins the B2300 and B2600. Our pal Les drove a Ranger on New Orleans' cratered and buckling roads for many years without any real expenses, so we cast our net for one. Read all about it here.
Craigslist yielded an immediate result, a one-owner 2003 Mazda B2300 four cylinder with a 5-speed manual owned by an Indian doctor with a thick accent who lived in a nice part of town. My spidey sense approved: it was parked in a garage, the paint wasn't faded, there were no leaks and the chassis looked spotless. My test drive methodology is to spank the car in question and cane it mercilessly up and down local hills looking for anything to go awry. Often a sick or mistreated car will perform acceptably when driven sedately but cough up a hairball when asked to perform. This truck spent its entire 100k mile life being driven at glacial Indian doctor speeds so he was unaware of impending needs. I was able to quickly coax a misfire from it along with a check engine light. The OBD2 reader I plugged into the port indicated that the likely culprit was one or more of the coil packs which are not a big deal. I floated an offer slightly less than his asking price if he'd take of its needs first. He took it to his mechanic who replaced the spark plugs, plug wires, coil packs and did an oil change. A stack of cash was handed over and we were the proud 'new' owners of a decade old truck. We made it ours with a vintage old-school Zoom-Zoom sticker:
Now a decade later we're sadly letting it go. We acquired a show car that needs a tow-vehicle rated for dual axle trailers, not the Mazda's forte even if it can do it in a pinch. Ironically we have used this Mazda to tow a previous auto project on a trailer and it performed heroically from Austin to Tampa, but then again we also didn't have to tow it up any mountains.
|I'm a big fan of Mazda's fender flares
|The fender flares make it awesome
|Does anyone not like the flares?
|Drives like a bigger truck
|A simple but aesthetic face
|The Mazda logo
|No thumb over the license plate
|Clean engine bay
|Softopper looking towards the cab
|An oddly quiet truck at speed
|A simple interior. Verrrrry cold a/c
|Fresh bulbs in gauges
|Kenwood stereo has any color illumination
|It's like the factory intended for it to be there
|Audio gear tucked away in a bespoke area
|A very well fitted JL Audio amp
|Subwoofer remote discreetly on console
|New Solus tires, fresh powder coated rims