The Rotary Pickup (REPU) was the world’s first and only Wankel engined pickup truck. It was sold from 1974 to 1977 and appears to have been available only in the United States and Canada. The Rotary Engined Pickup (REPU) had a four-port 1.3L 13B 4-barrel carbureted engine, flared fenders, battery mounted under the bed, a different dash, front grille, and round taillights.
It is estimated that just over 15,000 total units were built. Most were made for the 1974 model year (PA136 chassis), 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 (SPA136). Approximately 700 units were built for the 1976 model year. Mazda invested in a moderate redesign for the 1977 model (PA236), updating electrical systems, adding an additional 4 inches (100 mm) cab stretch for more comfort, and adding a five-speed manual transmission with different differential gearing. However, after about 3,000 units, the REPU 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 US$3500, and observed fuel economy was 16.5 miles per US gallon (14.3 L/100 km; 19.8 mpg-imp). Most of the trucks are found on the west coast of the US, and they continue to be sought out by enthusiasts.
Like many of the other Mazda rotary vehicles, the REPU was raced. Its 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.
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