At $9,999, Will This 1979 Mazda RX-7 Survivor Survive Our Scrutiny?

Nice Price or No Dice 1979 Mazda RX-7
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice RX-7 is looking to cull a car collection, and this Mazda has to go. Let’s figure out if that collector’s loss could be someone else’s gain.

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Life is full of little risks. One such gamble is the increasingly less remote chance that the tuna sushi you’re about to eat is crazy-full of parasitic worms. Then there’s the option to buy yesterday’s 1999 Porsche Boxster for just $3,500. Yes, that’s a super cheap price for any Boxster that isn’t on fire or full of the aforementioned sushi worms.

The risk may be real, but a cheap Porsche is a cheap Porsche, and any threat of future financial disaster is surely masked by the attraction an obtainable Boxster teases. That siren song engendered fully 67 percent of you to award the cheap Porsche with a Nice Price win. Now, back to that sushi. I recommend lots of wasabi.

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Photo: Craigslist

Sushi and its sibling sashimi are delicacies that originated in Japan. Another wonderful invention of the island nation is Mazda’s RX-7. That small sports car debuted in the late 1970s and carried its Wankel motor and sporting pretensions through fully three generations and nearly a quarter-century of production.

This 1979 Mazda RX-7 hails from the first generation and appears to be a true time capsule of a car, looking much as it did when it rolled off the boat. Heck, I’d even expect each of the coins in the console to have been minted pre-Reagan administration to seal the experiential deal.

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Photo: Craigslist
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The car is claimed to be part of a collection, but apparently not that collector’s pride and “bury-me-in-it” joy. It’s offered now with a mere 68,264 miles under its beltline.

For those of you born after the fact, the original RX-7 — sometimes referred to as the “SA” for its internal code — rocked a 100-horsepower edition of Mazda’s 1146cc two-rotor 12A Wankel engine. In this car, that’s paired with a five-speed stick. As is the case with all first-gen cars, power is sent back to a simple coil-sprung live rear axle.

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Photo: Craigslist

The car is painted in what appears to be factory silver, and that is matched with a black vinyl cabin and cool Cromodora-like factory alloy wheels. It looks pretty tidy, although there are few boogers on the bodywork. Notably, there’s some minor chipping on the front bumper and what appears to be a small but obvious scrape on the hood next to one of the pop-up headlamps. The only other obvious aesthetic issue is a dealer plaque on the back end.

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The ad states that the interior “looks like it just rolled out of the dealership,” and the pictures bear out that claim. Everything looks to be in as-new shape right down to the crack-free dash and factory Clarion stereo.

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Photo: Craigslist
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The ad does not delve into the car’s mechanical condition, not even offering us a peek under the hood. As we all are aware, Mazda’s early rotaries had issues with their apex seals. That’s less of a problem these days with modern replacement parts, but updating does require pulling and completely disassembling the engine.

There’s also no word on consumables like the tires. Those, by the way, are 185/70R13s that have fully five inches of sidewall making up nearly half their overall diameter. If that’s not a throwback I don’t know what is.

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Photo: Craigslist

Perhaps less of a throwback is the Mazda’s $9,999 price. That’s half again what the car cost when new. You’d still be hard-pressed to find another one in as close to new condition as this one appears to be.

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What do you think, is this clean and clean-titled RX-7 worth that $9,999 asking? Or, does this old school rotary require a new spin on that price?

You decide!

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Reno, Nevada, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Noah Silverman for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

DISCUSSION

briangriffinsprius
BrianGriffin makes bad decisions

Is it weird that these just don’t do anything for me? I was born in ‘85 so I never saw a RX7 on the road as a kid and they certainly weren’t a thing I had any thoughts on as a teen. They’re too old to get exited over and I don’t have any personal connection to one (vs, say, a 70s Celica which I remember my mom telling me stories about as one of her last cool-person cars). Likewise they’re not classic “enough” like a 50s Bel Aire to get excited about “how things used to be”.

The RX7 exists in this weird limbo. NP based on the market, but I’d rather have just about anything else for $10k.