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Mazda Rotary Information & History
The Rotary Pickup (REPU) from Mazda was the world's first and only Rotary / Wankel engined pickup truck. It was sold from 1974-1977 and appears to have been available only in the United States and Canada. Toyo Kogyo (Mazda) made trucks for Ford in the Courier line as well as its own Mazda B-Series. These trucks shared many of the same parts, but the Rotary Engined Pickup (REPU) had a 4 port 13B 4-barrel carbureted engine, flared fenders, a different dash, front grille, and round tail lights.
It is estimated that just over 15,000 total units were built. Most were made for the 1974 model year, due to the energy crisis putting a damper on sales, Mazda restamped many of the 1974 models with a prefix "S" designating it as a "1975" model. Approximately 700 units were built for the 1976 model year. Mazda invested in a moderate redesign for the 1977 model, updating electrical systems, adding an additional 4" cab stretch for more comfort, and adding a 5 speed with different differential gearing. However, after about 3000 units the line was discontinued due to poor sales.
Road & Track magazine was impressed with the "smooth, quiet power" and the "nice" interior. Price at the time was about $3500, and observed fuel economy was 16.5 mpg. Most of the trucks are found in the west coast states, and they continue to be sought out by enthusiasts.
Like many of the other Mazda rotary vehicles, the REPU was raced. It's most notable finish was an overall victory at the 1975 SCCA Mojave 24 Hour Rally at the hands of drivers Malcolm Smith and Jack Sreenan.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from articles at Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia
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