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Home Pick of the Day Pick of the Day: 1985 Mazda RX-7 in exceptional survivor condition

Pick of the Day: 1985 Mazda RX-7 in exceptional survivor condition

The rotary-powered sports car was highly successful in sales and racing competition

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The first-generation Mazda RX-7 was a landmark vehicle, a Japanese sports car with a Wankel rotary engine and just as significant as the Datsun 240Z. Out of the gate, the RX-7 saw incredible sales as well as racing success, and redefined how the world saw affordable sports cars.

But unlike the 240Z, where an excellent example can cost in excess of $40,000, the first generation RX-7 represents a tremendous bargain.

rx-7

The Pick of the Day is a fine example, a 1985 Mazda RX-7 GSL that has covered just over 51,000 miles from new and looking to be in fine condition.

The Collierville, Tennessee, dealer advertising the Mazda on ClassicCars.com describes it as a true survivor, with every bit of the car remarkably preserved.  Finished in its original Sunrise Red paint over a gray cloth interior, there are no tears or even noticeable wear on the upholstery, the seller says, and the paint looks stunning with only two minor stone chips on the front bumper. There is no evidence of rust to be seen.

rx-7

In the photos with the ad, the engine compartment looks to be just as nice as when the car rolled off the assembly line. This example still has its original AM/FM cassette stereo with an integrated equalizer rather than a modern aftermarket replacement.

This RX-7 is from the end of the run of these cars and in GSL trim represents the top-of-the-line version of the car, featuring AC, power windows, alloy wheels, a 5-speed manual gearbox and both a glass and a metal sunroof panel.

While the Datsun 240Z was an outright attack on the affordable sports cars from England and Italy, the RX-7 from its debut in 1979 aimed higher, setting its sights on such rivals as the Porsche 924.  

Consider that the Mazda cost about $10,000 while the 924 was priced around $15,000, and that a 0-60 run for the Mazda with its high-revving rotary engine was covered in 9.2 seconds, compared with the Porsche 924’s leisurely 11 seconds.

Finding an RX-7 in this condition has become quite rare, and a car like this one can be shown, driven and enjoyed for years to come.

The asking price is a reasonable $14,900, and one would be hard-pressed to find another all-original sports car in such exceptional condition for less.

In its commercials for the RX-7, Mazda’s tag line was “just one look,” which is about all it should take to want this RX-7 in your own garage.

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

Hagerty
Andy Reid
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.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I owned a 1982 RX-7 GS for 28.5 years putting on 118,815 fun miles on my Mazda. I rebuilt the carburetor at 94,000 miles which was a challenge being as I had never rebuilt a carb, let alone a complex 4-barrel carb. Only other baffling maintenance issue was the need to replace spark plugs due to a drop in performance and tendency to stall out at idle. I would love to buy this car, but I am selling my 2013 Corvette C6 convertible and I am looking to buy a 2022 Corvette C8 convertible within the next 6 months.

    • Hey Ed, I love hearing stories like this. Completely understand about the C8 dilemma. Maybe you need both. If this were a non-sunroof car I would likely have bought it myself as I do not fit in sunroom first gen RX-7s. It looks like a excellent survivor example to be sure and in a great period color.

  2. That is beautiful, I loved those cars especially the shift buzzer under the seat, for those that didn’t watch the tach. One minor correction, I believe the GSL-SE was the top of the line in 1985, though this one seems to have all of the SE add-ons.

    • You are correct with the correction Dave we will get it changed. I tend to think if the SE as something bit different and simply spaced it out. The buzzer is a fun addition that these cars have. It is so easy to take the RX-7 engine past redline by mistake, and I’ve done it more than once. Without the buzzer you wouldn’t even know that you did it.

  3. Yes Andy – the GLS-SE (or ‘5-letter’) had the fuel injected 13B engine and other SE additions. I had a perfect example and sold it to start a business- wish I still had it and even with 2 special Miatas, I am in the market for a top condition GSL-SE. They were just that good!

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