One Alfred Morris, One 626, and 110 Horses

JoRoFoto Photography

Alfred Morris, star running back for the Washington Redskins, loves his 1991 Mazda 626.  He bought it for a mere $2 from his pastor when he was a junior in college and it’s been his only ride.  Ever.  Affectionately known as “The Bentley,” Morris drove the car in college at Florida Atlantic University, drove it from Florida to NFL training camp in Virginia last summer, and drives it daily now.  Only now his ride looks much, much sweeter.

When local Mazda dealers heard how Morrison loved his 22 year old 626, they decided to give the running back a little gift.  Call it a loyalty reward of epic proportions.  On July 22nd Mazda took Morris’ car in for a major stripping down and building up.  On October 15th, he got it back.

Bare bones.
Bare bones.

After 75 hours of labor, they brought the car back to factory specifications, including rebuilding the 2.2L inline 4 engine knocking out 110 hp and 130 lb/ft of torque.   They kept the same brake set up of discs in the front, drums in the rear.  A new air conditioning system, exhaust, fuel pump, battery, starter and alternator completed the mechanics.

The engine of the 626 before Mazda got a hold of it.
The engine of the 626 before Mazda got a hold of it.


The After Pic.  So clean!
The After Pic. So clean!


The exterior, which took 300 hours of labor, proved to be a bit more tricky.  Many of the original parts were no longer available, so Mazda had to re-chrome some pieces.  Other trim pieces were impossible to restore and not available to buy, so original molds were supplied by Mazda in Japan and those pieces were manufactured.  All rust and damaged body parts were replaced, including the character filled dent in the back on the passenger’s side.  “I had the option of keeping it, but with all the hard work they put into it, I think it would take away from it if it still had the dent in the side,” said Morris.

Of course, it’s not all 1991.  Mazda had to put a few extra touches in for Morris.  The new leather interior includes “Bentley Diamond” pattern stitching and the optional swing vents have been added to aid in heating and cooling.  Bringing the car into the new millennium, Mazda also added a 7” Pioneer touch screen with navigation, Bluetooth, back up camera, and HD radio.'s a manual!
Yep…it’s a manual!

What is next for Morris and The Bentley?  “I’m ready to drive.  I’m excited.”

To some, it may seem silly.  Why restore a 22 year old Mazda to its factory glamour?  Why do this when you could afford to buy nearly any car you wanted?

To you skeptics, I say, “Because love, knowing no borders, knows no lower limits on horsepower.”