Junkyard Gem: 2007 Mazda Mazdaspeed6

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How many American car shoppers in 2006 and 2007 considered a Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, or Nissan Altima … and then decided to buy a factory-hot-rod version of the Mazda6 with 274 turbocharged horsepower, all-wheel-drive, and a six-speed manual transmission? Not many! Available here for just those two model years, the Mazdaspeed6 never made much of an impression on our automotive culture, so I was startled to find one in a Denver-area yard while making my car-graveyard rounds.

We'll cut to the chase and let you know that some lucky junkyard shopper grabbed that wild 2.3-liter four banger and its twin turbochargers. Perhaps it has been swapped into a Ford Focus (which uses a related engine) by now.

While the six-speed transaxle is long gone, the shifter remains. By 2007, manual transmissions in any US-market sedan were incredibly rare.

I checked the VIN and, yep, it's a real Mazdaspeed6. Not that you'd find many ordinary Mazda6s with manual transmissions, but people do swap badges.

Apparently, the car was once owned by a fan of this London-based "emo-tinged indie rock" band.

Another rare-but-not valuable car set for a date with The Crusher.

The Mazda6 was known as the Atenza in its homeland.

In Europe, it was the Mazda6 MPS.

This car appeared during the "Zoom-Zoom" era of Mazda.

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