Mazda 1300: The $5000 Bathurst Champ!

16 February 2018
The Geoff Leeds/Les Carne entry backed by Sydney's Tynan Motors was the fastest Mazda 1300 in qualifying for the 1970 Hardie-Ferodo 500, with an identical time (3min 25secs) to the fastest Datsun 1200. Unfortunately this car crashed out of the race after only three laps.

Mazda’s proud history in Australian touring car racing is largely built on its bold decision to back rotary power. However, perhaps less known is that a non-rotary model – the Mazda 1300 – also competed with great success in the early 1970s, winning the small car division (Class A) at Bathurst and proving how affordable racing at Mount Panorama could be.

An article in the July 1975 issue of Sports Car World proved that a new Mazda 1300 could be purchased and race-prepared for the Hardie-Ferodo 1000 for as little as $5000. That’s only about $34,000 in today’s money, which shows how the relative costs of racing have ballooned since then.