What do they say? Youth is wasted on the young?
When I was a 14 year old kid, there was no hotter car than the Lamborghini Countach that adorned bedroom walls all over the country. The Countach was made from unobtanium, though. The hottest car you could see on the street and dream about owning was the Mazda RX-7 – and it was sub-zero cool.
The RX-7 had all the attributes – two doors, swooping lines with a small cabin and a long nose, the all-important pop-up headlamps and some weird engine that nobody else had. It made Mazda stand out from the crowd and gave them an air of quality and sportiness that other Japanese companies simply couldn’t match (later to be extended by the MX-5).
The Mazda RX-7 debuted in the late 1970’s and the company produced more than 800,000 units over eight series, right up until 2002.
I can remember driving a Series 7 model with the twin-turbo setup in the early-mid 1990’s and it was the fastest car I’d ever driven at the time. Pure exhilaration and a very well finished car. The series 7 and 8 cars still look fantastic today, actually.
But the car that started my RX-7 dream was the Series 3 and that’s the model I want to focus on today. This was the last of the original shape RX-7’s. It not only looks sporty, but in the right colour it also looks really classy. I was especially fond of it in metallic medium blue.
The early RX-7’s weren’t blessed with heaps of power or torque, but the lightweight rotary engine helped keep the weight down to around 1,000kgs so power-to-weight was competitive for the time. Weight distribution was 50/50 thanks to Mazda’s mid-forward engine configuration along with a rear-wheel driveline.
I had a ride in a workmate’s 1985 model Series 3 car during the week and two things stood out to me:
- The RX-7 is very 1980’s but it’s aged extremely well. The dashboard does look dated now but it’s comfortable inside and it still feels special when you look around the cabin.
- The light weight makes a difference. The 12A engine only put out just over 100hp and the early 13B only 30hp more, but Matt’s RX-7 got down the road very nicely. We didn’t get to drive it through any twisties but I reckon it’d be a very nice car for a cruise.
This video’s not particularly good quality (it’s a recording of TV show) but it’ll give you a nice 5-minute overview of the Series 3 RX-7.
There are no RX-7’s for sale in my favourite blue at the moment, so here’s one in a more common red. I picked this one because it’s got the much more attractive grey/black interior. There are quite a few nasty brown interiors out there but I’d avoid those if I were looking around. Brown hasn’t dated well.
This car has aftermarket wheels and seats and it looks pretty tidy, over all. It’s for sale in South Australia for $11,500.
Yes, RX7’s are holding their value nicely.