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

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

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.


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.


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

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