1963 - 1968
4+ seats 💺
400000 MAZDA 800 1000
have been produced in total on earth
Mazda's automotive plans for the early sixties consisted of growing alongside the Japanese economy. To achieve this goal, they began by building an extremely affordable Kei car, the R360 in 1960, planning on introducing gradually larger and pricier cars as the Japanese customers became able to afford them. As a preview, testing the waters, a larger "Mazda 700" prototype was shown at the eighth Tokyo Motor Show in 1961, and formed the basis for the upcoming Mazda Familia. Meanwhile, the four door version of the R360 was introduced as the Mazda Carol, which appeared in 1962, and discontinued in 1964.
The first production Familia, styled by a young Giorgetto Giugiaro while working at Carrozzeria Bertone, appeared in October 1963. In line with Mazda's policy of only gradually approaching the production of private cars (a luxury in Japan at the time), the first Familia was initially only available as a commercial two-door wagon called the Familia van. The van was joined in April 1964 by a plusher Familia wagon, in October by a four-door sedan, and in November by a two-door sedan. The "flat deck" design of the sedan versions was reportedly inspired by the Chevrolet Corvair. Private car versions received foglights in the grille as well as more chrome trim. The Familia was sold in other markets as the 800.
The Familia was introduced to the Japanese market in time for the 1964 Summer Olympics which began in October.
The cars used a 782 cc, "SA" four-stroke aluminum inline-four engine, also known as the "white engine". There was also a pickup version available from November 1964.
A new Familia 1000 coupé arrived in November 1965, with a 985 cc SOHC "PC" engine, and was joined by the larger Mazda Luce in 1966. Around the same time, the 800 engine was upgraded, adding three horsepower. As a number of new 1 liter vehicles were introduced by Mazda's competitors, another 987 cc OHV engine (PB) appeared in January 1967, powering new 1000 sedan and van versions. The 1 liter sedans and vans are recognizable by their broader, rounded-off rectangular headlights. Production of the sedan continued until November 1967, while the van versions continued until they were replaced in February 1968. Around 400,000 of the first Familias were built, 130,473 of which were sedans and coupés. Around 10,000 of the first generation Familias were exported, mainly to Australia and Oceania.