Pick of the Day: 1982 Mazda RX-7 low-mileage, 1-owner survivor

First -generation models of the rotary-engine sports car are still affordable

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The Mazda RX-7 is a quick and agile sports coupe

Did you know that the Mazda RX-7 is the winningest car in the history of IMSA GT racing? From their first race at Daytona in 1979 where they finished first and second in class, the RX-7 has won races all over the world.

Topping the market-value chart for the RX-7 are the third-generation models, known among enthusiasts as the FD. These are a hot collector car with selling prices routinely north of $40k.

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But it’s interesting that first-generation RX-7, the car that started it all and a car as important it its era as the Datsun 240Z, is still quite affordable.

The Pick of the Day is a 1982 Mazda RX-7 finished in its original color of Crystal Silver Metallic over an original black vinyl-and-cloth interior.

According to the O’Fallon, Illinois, dealer advertising the Mazda on ClassicCars.com, this is a well-maintained 47,404-original-mile car that is a preserved survivor, a one-owner car with a clean history. The car comes with all service records since new, including the dealer delivery info and window sticker.

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The pictures with this ad show a car that that appears to be in fantastic original condition with no visible needs.

These first-generation RX-7s are light and fun to drive, with a weight of just over 2,400 pounds, near-perfect balance with the entire engine mounted behind the front axle, and great handling. The 1.2-liter 12A rotary engine revs quickly to its 7,000 rpm redline, so quickly that there is a warning buzzer should you exceed that figure.

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It is unlike any other engine you have ever experienced. You have only 100 horsepower yet the car is capable of 0-60 in 9.2 seconds, 16.7 seconds in the quarter mile and a top speed of over 120 mph. Not bad for 100 horsepower.

When Road & Track magazine first reviewed the RX-7, they called it “an enthusiast’s dream come true.” I would agree with that statement as I have owned one.

This RX-7 with an asking price of $11,500 offers a tremendous amount of classic 1980s sports car fun for the money, which is what the RX-7 was originally designed to do in the first place.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

3 COMMENTS

  1. A friend in Indianapolis, in the gogo ’80’s had this exact car, louvers ‘n’ all. Brilliant, if quite tail happy in the wet. And the 7k buzzer was often ignored, with no apparent damage- the car went 110k before the seals began to fray and smoke was an issue.
    The lack of effective compression braking caught me out a couple of times, tho’, sorta like the H-series Kawasaki 2stroke cycle triples. One adapted. A wonderful bit of kit; I envy the new owner.

  2. I’ve long been a fan of this first-gen RX7 for their simplicity and lightweight. The price on this example really seems very competitive too! If I was in a position to buy something right now I’d be all over this!

  3. I had the same car 1992 a red one with a black cloth interior ,That I bought brand new, it had the louvers on the back window with a rear Black spoiler. Boy what a fun great little car and it was fast with the five speed stick.

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