Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Buyer Story: Old School Mazda RX-7

This next Reader Ride comes to us from Dennis who found the car via an article DT published in August of this year...so it is more of a Buyer Story.  The subject vehicle is a fantastically clean 1979 RX-7 Limited purchased for a great price, read the story in the buyer's own words below:

I spotted this vehicle on Craigslist last week and was planning to visit the vehicle. My parents owned a 1985 Rx-7 GSL-SE and I have always been fond of the smooth revving rotary engine. I know that rotary engines can be finicky, but I was willing to take the risk. In researching the vehicle online, I came across daily turismo which had wonderful high-res pictures of the vehicle which further solidified the purpose of my visit. 

The vehicle was in the condition indicated in the Craigslist ad and similarly described on daily turismo. The interior was 9/10 with only minor imperfections (shift knob leather, small blemish on door covering). It felt like I stepped into a time capsule. The exterior showed some of its age but appeared all original (including paint) with no rust or significant problems, overall 7/10. Receipts of an engine rebuild in 2007 were produced along with receipts for significant work performed by the previous owner including a new OEM exhaust and a myriad  of front suspension parts. The engine bay was in wonderful condition, again surprising for its age. The vehicle was completely OEM (except for typical replacement items such as battery, plugs, tires etc) as far as I could tell. The air condition, lights, power antenna etc, all worked great. The tires had minor cracks on the treads (due to age) and would need to be replaced very soon.

As part of the assessment, the car was taken for a brief test drive to determine the integrity of the drive train and overall running condition. The brakes did not feel responsive which I mentioned to the owner, but attributed to air in the line. The steering  had a small amount of "free play" but it was not significant. Other than these two items, I had no other criticisms of the drivetrain. Revs were very smooth and the clutch felt sturdy. The engine was responsive and the suspension hugged the road.

I was pleasantly surprised by the overall condition of the vehicle. I asked the owner why he had purchased the vehicle in Jan-14 and is already selling it. He indicated that he had other vehicles in storage and did not have enough room for this one. The gentlemen indicated that he had been driving this vehicle around 30 miles each way for work at least twice a week without any problem. He preferred that the vehicle go to an indoor home to maintain its condition. I was  happy to oblige.

Without much debate, monies exchanged hands and I was on my way home with the vehicle. The 3hr driving trip home would be the true test for the vehicle. With speeds approaching the speed limit (or just above!), the vehicle ran excellent with no problems. My 12 year old son road shotgun and I enjoyed explaining to him how a cigarette lighter works as well as explaining other novelties in the vehicle, such as the cassette tape player. We were riding in a 35 yr museum.

The car made it home safe and is now in our enclosed garage. I have been telling folks it is a garage queen, but she will definitely get some use once I replace the tires, and it is not snowing or raining etc (you get the picture). I informed my wife that this is the first car in the "family car collection." I have definitely caught the nostalgia bug and I am searching for the next great bargain collectible in the nearby area - I wish I could say the same for my wife. 

Thanks again daily turismo. You helped find this car a decent home.
DT: It looks like a great car and we are so glad to have helped.  It isn't often that you can find a 35 year old car with a 9/10 interior for less than $5k! Got a reader ride or a buyer success story? tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. I was waiting for the picture at the bottom with the GM LS3 crate motor sitting next to the car...

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Here we go
      Had some fun in this car. My friends use to lay in the back area to get to parties. My mods were tornado mirrors, rally euro double wiper blades and MTX subwoofers.
      Ultimately traded it in HS for a 1970 SS396 Chevelle with a rock crusher and 4:11. Pretty good trade.

  3. Didn't mean to thread jack,

    Very nice car Dennis, they are a lot of fun.

    1. Thanks Sean!

      My son has been sitting in the car after school for the past two days. He has been searching for the next find online. He has definitely got the nostalgic car fever as well.

  4. Dennis,

    I gave the tip for this one, and I'm so happy it's going to a guy like you. I didn't think it would get the no rain/snow treatment from the previous owner, so I'm glad to see it back safely indoors. I would have pounced on this but I just got my miata and my first child, so my hands are already full. Enjoy the revs!

    Mark W

  5. Mark - appreciate the tip, thank you!


  6. I was a salesman at Vachon Mazda when these were new.Our dealership received 4 of them and I sold the last one.Road and Track magazine had just finished an extended road test of the RX7.After 50k miles they decided to keep on going,blowing the reliability concerns of the rotary out the window.At the end of the test one of the editors bought the car.


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