Thursday January 30, 2020
When you see the Mazda belonging to Peter Linn, a certain number by Spandau Ballet inevitably comes to mind. Yet, this is not only one of the most uber-gold cars on the road today but an immaculate example of the very rare 929L Estate.
It is a 1982 second-generation version with five-speed transmission as well as being ‘the only one I've seen with a vinyl roof’.
The Mazda has covered just 33,000 miles from new and it is in remarkable condition. ‘The footwells have never seen a sole in their life, the boot carpet is immaculate, and I'd be guaranteed a fantastic night's sleep due to how big it is, and the carpets are so thick and soft’.
As for the plastic door panels – ‘I approached JK Classics of Lincoln who told me. “Leave them on as they add character and value”’.
The Linn 929L is a prime example of the L4-series Luce that was sold in the UK only in station wagon guise. As an alternative to the Ford Granada 2.0L Mk. II or Vauxhall Carlton Estates, it offered a sense of almost trans-Atlantic glamour; Detroit heavily influenced post-war Japanese car designs.
The Mazda was also, in the words of the brochure ‘so well-equipped that there are very few options – automatic transmission is one of them’.
Asides from the beyond-plush upholstery there were remote controls for the tailgate and fuel filler lock, height and lumbar support adjustment for the driver’s seat and even ‘ignition key illumination’. All that Peter misses is power steering – ‘but I can live with that ‘.
Peter became the owner of this splendid machine ‘last July. The car belonged to an old friend of mine called Tony who sadly passed away suddenly in February 2019.
I've been helping him with the car for five years since meeting him on my drive not long after I moved onto the street.
We got chatting one day as he saw me working on my other car – a Nissan 200SX - and we became very good friends’. The 929 has been christened “Toni” in honour of its former driver, who became the second custodian of the Mazda in 1983.
The L4 saloon ceased production in 1981, but the estates were built for a further seven years. You could occasionally encounter them on British roads during the 1980s – the Mazda seemed popular with antiques dealers - but there are now believed to be three left on the road.
‘Salt must have a lot to answer for too and humidity as they do well in Australia’. Mr. Linn finds the 929 to be ‘a light car’, but he does notice how ‘people will pull out on you as they assume your slow and time waits for no man in this day and age - unfortunately’.
As to members of the public recognising the golden 929 as a Mazda, this rarely seems to be the case, and Peter’s uncle ‘thought it was a Cortina!’.
With Thanks To – Peter Linn
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