April 2, 2013 7:24 a.m.

I took a new job in Baltimore a few months back, and my wife and I recently rented an old Baltimore rowhome as a temporary residence while our house hunting adventure in Maryland continues. Yesterday after work, we decided to take a walk around the rowhome community with the dog. Almost none of the rowhomes have garages, or even parking spaces, so everyone street parks. Of course, my favorite past time as we're walking is to check out the cars. Mostly it's what you'd expect from the area- Camcords, Crown Marquises, generic economy cars and a sprinkling of SUVs. Most of the stuff is in the 5 to 15 year old range.

But yesterday I saw something I don't recall having ever seen before. I spotted what I thought were Mazda 323 tailights, which of course piqued my interest. The car was black, a 2 door, and appeared to be in better-than-average condition for it's year. Walking around the side I saw stenciled into the rear flank of the car "16V", which seemed rather sporty. I looked inside and noted the proper gearchange lever for a manual gearbox. Up until now it was already the most interesting car I'd seen all day, but what I noticed last really made me stop- it was ALL WHEEL DRIVE. Wow. Surely someone here must know something about these cars- ? This one was definitely owned by someone who cared for it, it had NO rust and appeared to be well maintained. Very cool little ride.

RossD UberDork
April 2, 2013 7:26 a.m.

323 GTX. Produced as a race homologation car, IIRC.

April 2, 2013 7:28 a.m.

323 GTX. they came over here to america in 1988... and are pretty rare... and neat.

psteav Dork
April 2, 2013 8:46 a.m.

Pretty rare indeed....think they only imported 1500, IIRC.

Jay_W Dork
April 2, 2013 10:21 a.m.

Very fun car. But a very codependent relationship. I'm pretty sure I got more outta my GTX than it got outta me, but it's a close call.

mndsm PowerDork
April 2, 2013 10:22 a.m.

Very neat cars. Kinda fragile though, and parts can be unobtainium. I'd own one.

GameboyRMH UltimaDork
April 2, 2013 10:23 a.m.

Super rare, super awesome, parts specific to it are high-enriched unobtanium. It's like a GC WRX but smaller, lighter and 80s-tastic.

Swank Force One MegaDork
April 2, 2013 10:35 a.m.

Neat cars. I wouldn't own one.

If i'm going to take my chances on a glass-drivetrained small and light Japanese AWD Turbo car with many NLA parts... it's going to be an Impulse RS.

GameboyRMH UltimaDork
April 2, 2013 10:38 a.m.

Yeah owning one is like owning a WW2 aircraft but cheaper, you'll need to fab a lot of replacement parts. Only guy I know who owns one is a rally mechanic.

slefain UltraDork
April 2, 2013 11:25 a.m.

I rode in one with locked diffs all the way around. A real bear to turn at slow speeds, but what a ride. It was like being shot out of a cannon sideways. Point and squirt.

Jay_W Dork
April 2, 2013 12:01 p.m.

Go find one of the ~1000 4wd '90-91 Proteges instead. Much better wheelbearings and all (I do mean all) of the homologation-special drivetrain bits from the never-sold-here 323 GTR will bolt right in. My street car was such a thing, an old grocerygetter with rear lsd, nice big brakes, and somewhere round 320whp@23psi. My rallycar is the evil twin but it gives me a great deal more grief so the street car's the nicer one.

April 2, 2013 12:44 p.m.

I'll beg for another walk today and try to get pics...if it's still there.

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