No Bubbles – 1979 Mazda RX-7 and bonus 1984 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE

Reading some of the more highbrow sites, you might get the impression there’s some kind of a run-up in the prices of SA and FB series RX-7s, but a quick scan of the local online listings will tell you otherwise. These cars are still very affordable for your average enthusiast, even in the purest early versions and the most powerful GSL-SE specification. If you truly believe in automotive diversity, you do need to at least drive a rotary once in your life, and for these prices who can’t afford an extended test drive? Check out this 1979 Mazda RX-7 for sale for $3000 in Puyallup, WA.

1979 Mazda RX-7 right front

These early cars look great in period colors like this yellow – there are some details that recall contemporary European sports cars. That also brings up one of the most Italian-ish styling elements, the alloy “waffle” style wheels found on most of these. The wheels on the car are pretty common on early SA cars, so were probably a dealer installed option.

1979 Mazda RX-7 left rear

The yellow looks a little faded in this shot – not surprising as yellow cars are fade-prone. The seller says it’s a one-owner vehicle since new, but not that he’s that person – a common flipper trick is to not re-title in their name. If the seller is indeed the original owner, that would help with the 51,000 original mile claim, though the real tip-off will be the condition. That said, you’re not really paying a premium for mileage.

1979 Mazda RX-7 engine

The engine compartment looks pretty clean, though there is evidence of some surface corrosion. With these miles, make sure the car hasn’t sat for a protracted amount of time – long periods of storage are not kind to the rotor’s seals. It’s nice to see the car is equipped with a 5-speed, and though it comes with air conditioning, the seller doesn’t say if it works. If you were ever wondering how many spark plug wires a typical rotary has, here’s your answer.

1979 Mazda RX-7 interior

The basic vinyl interior is appealing and original, though there is some damage on the dash speaker grill and the driver’s seat bolster. If you’re lucky, you can replace that smooth vinyl panel and have that bring the car back to decent shape. The simple, black interior is great in a late-1970s way, without suffering from any of the tacky fashion choices from which the more luxurious versions of RX-7 suffered.

1984 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE right rear

But if simplicity or originality are not your bag, how about this 1984 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE for sale for $2800 in Issaquah, WA? You get the 135hp fuel-injected 13B engine, upgraded suspension and brakes, and a limited-slip differential. Sure, it’s got 148,000 miles, but it benefits from several upgrades. Some might not be your taste, but those can be easily reversed, and things like the interior appear to be in excellent shape. Which one would you pick?

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3 Responses to “No Bubbles – 1979 Mazda RX-7 and bonus 1984 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE”

  1. 1977chevytruck Says:

    I like the 1979, it has a nicer colour IMO, and with the recent weather in my area, I’d prefer A/C. Also, for $200 more, you get an example with lower mileage and less questionable modifications.

  2. steve in podunk Says:

    ahh,, the extremely rare 4cyl. rotary (per ad copy); still if they run well, they’re cheap fun.

  3. Vance Says:

    I’m interested in a driver, so I’d pick the GSL-SE. A driven rotary is a happy rotary in my experience. Those mods are all very common and quality parts were used. I’ve driven both versions, and the extra horsepower and torque (surprisingly torquey motor . . . for a rotary), plus the LSD, really wake that car up, despite being a bit heavier.

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