Sold at a bargain price, a long supportive friend

Mazda RX-7 GS, purchased new by the present and only owner in model year 1983, with five speed manual transmission, removable sunroof, factory air-conditioning, power mirrors, and much more…full delivery equipment listing is detailed on the original sales sticker.

Overview of the car

Overall mileage has passed 196,000, but with just 10,000 of that on its engine. The car has been garaged for most of its career, when not being driven, and maintained with what can legitimately be described as loving care. The car has been consistently reliable, but the owner's mechanic husband has reached the age where she no longer thinks that he is, and having no newer daily use alternative has become no longer wise. We are grudingly stepping into 21st century technology with a brand new car for primary use.

At present, all of this classic Mazda’s functions work, including the air conditioning, popup headlights, and power radio antenna. These have a few small quirks, such as the AC switch requiring a bit of a wiggle to engage fully, and, to become automatic again, the oil pan connector to the sub-zero starting assist requires re-soldering (although it has never been needed).

To improve performance, headers were installed on the exhaust side, together with the associated modifications to the engine's operating system, in the early 1990s by a exceptionally experienced, ex-Mazda factory racing team mechanic. That set of overall component changes lightened the car by about 100 pounds, while increasing horsepower and gas mileage by more than 10 percent. An alternative automatic pathway was created to provide warm air for the carburetor during near-freezing weather to keep ice from forming, since the modifications had removed the heavy original intake riser and air pump.

The 12A engine core was rebuilt in November 2009, because of troublesome oil leaks, at 185,666 miles. This work included ported and polished intake and exhaust passages to improve high end power output, done after careful research, by Atkins Rotary Specialties, Puyallup, WA. The owner’s mechanically experienced husband reinstalled it. It has run faultlessly ever since, and the result is notably more powerful than the original. This required the investment of more than $6,000, not including the value of the installation labor.

This engine core swap was accompanied by the installation of the following new parts (almost all OEM):

- water pump,

- fan and fan clutch,

- radiator,

- thermostat,

- coolant hoses,

- Mazdatrix doubled-belt fan/alternator pulley (solves higher rev belt slipping problems with the factory setup),

- platinum plugs,

- plug wires,

- clutch,

- throwout bearing,

- pressure plate,

- and starter.

Mazda engine

In recent years additional installations have included:

            - heavy duty battery,

- exhaust system aft of headers,

- rear brake cylinders and shoes,

- alternator,

- coolant reservoir,

- Hella high intensity halogen headlights (which have greater brilliance and a much improved lighting pattern),

- Italian dual tone horns, designed to replace originals for Alfa Romeos of similar vintage,

- and gray tinted overlay for hatch and rear side windows.

Further pluses:

            - Original Mazda factory and Haynes supplemental shop manuals, along with the original owner's manual.

            - Complete maintenance records, reflecting consistent, regular, routine and supplemental care.

            - 4 decent condition BF Goodrich Touring TA all season T rated P185/70/13 tires mounted on refurbished original factory optional aluminum wheels.

            - 4 Vredestein 185/70/13 winter tires on the original factory delivered steel wheels, with their pop-off center caps.

            - Sunroof with factory paint, and a separate heavily tinted glass moonroof, with padded vinyl cases for both.

            - Original, unused mini-spare tire in the under-hatch well.

            - Carpets in nearly mint condition, having always been covered by additional mats.

passenger inerior

            - Many miscellaneous spare parts, including an extra (original) gas tank, various rubber edgings, a starter core, and the original clutch and pressure plate (still in good condition).

driver's side interior


            - Seat coverings have several short tears in their vinyl edging.

            - Windshield has some rock chipping, with a repaired bottom edge crack, all no more than slightly annoying, and well within legal and useful functional limits.

            - Cosmetic exterior dings on right front fender alongside the headlight from a recent gentle but embarrassing encounters with the garage door edge and a deer (which ran into the car rather than the other way around);

front fender damage

another less obvious one near the bottom of the right rocker panel,

rocker damage

and others still less so around the left mirror, and on the hood above the radiator. All these preceeded the overall images above and below, so are only noticable in close up viiews.

           - Fender well, body edge, and scattered underbody panel rust, with some areas having small fiberglass reinforcing patches. Adjoining areas were zinc chromate anti-rust treated. The structural integrity, including suspension parts and their mounting points, all appear and physically feel to be intact and solid.

          - The winter tires have excellent tread depth, but have not been used in many years.

- The passenger side window requires considerable effort to raise and lower, especially when the weather is wet.

- The dashboard has one crack, which is not visible to the driver, and three small pieces of curling velcro, the latter for mounting a radar detector, all visible in one of the interior images that will follow.

- The engine uses about a quart of oil every 500 to 700 miles in short-trip driving, creating the traditional rotary exhaust blue cloud on startup after several days' rest, but uses little or none at highway speeds and does not smoke after even the briefest warmup.

- Just to be sure of a full supplementary oil supply for the apex seals, though its pump tested fine, the recommended amount of Marvel Mystery Oil has been added to each tank of gas as an ongoing practice.

- The biggest joker may be that registering the car in some Utah counties, or places with similar emissions testing, will require obtaining vintage license plates, which may restrict daily or commuter use, because with the headers it cannot pass combustion completeness requirements at idle. This is an inherent bureaucratic problem with rotaries. At any speed above idle, it runs very clean, so it has and can be driven without air quality guilt.

hatch view

instrument panel

Speedo w mileage

interior center

door panel

right engine

right exterior

In sum: A genuine sports car, perfectly balanced, thoroughly fun to drive, proven reliable (investment caveats about the future do apply, but with a considerable likelihood of increasing value over time), and a lot of life left in it, especially given all those expensive new parts. For someone with a more nearly perfect body, the upgraded engine and other pieces could be worth more than the asking price, alternatively.

Larger scale and/or images of additional details are available upon request.

Blue book and insurance values for the same model are $2,500 to $5,000.

It should all be worth at least $3,500, but all offers for a better home than a crusher will be considered.

current location is Colorado


page updated 6 January 2016