The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice RX7 says it sat for 20+ years and that, while a bunch of work has gone into making it roadworthy again, it still needs “someone to take her the rest of the way.” Let’s see if it’s priced to make that the only way to go.
To most Americans, Canada is a magical place where mounties ride moose-back and everyone gets free poutine on their birthdays. Well, at least, that’s my idyllic image of our painfully polite neighbors to the north. In fact, I’ll bet it’s actually a much more complicated place than that. With the current pandemic-related travel restrictions, however, I guess I won’t be going there any time soon to find out just how much so.
That’s too bad since most of you agreed that the Vancouver, BC-located 2007 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B we looked at yesterday was a screamin’ deal at its CAD$7,500 asking price. That worked out to about $6,010 U.S. and considering its condition, that would make it a deal even adding on the cost of a one-way plane ticket. The voting bore this out with a solid 83 percent Nice Price win.
Did you all participate in Katmai National Park and Preserve’s Fat Bear Week? What am I saying? Of course, you did. Man, that was like March Madness only in the fall and with bears. This year’s winner, Otis, is one of the older bears in the competition and is actually a veteran of the podium peak, having taken first place three times in the past.
The reason bears gorge themselves in the fall is because they need to bulk up on reserves prior to climbing into a cave or goldilocks-proofed home and sleeping the winter away. That hibernation allows the big caniforms to survive the long season of cold and not have to fight over food resources made scarce by the short days and long nights.
We occasionally come across cars that have been in hibernation, sometimes for many seasons. Unlike our bear friends, we sometimes don’t get the opportunity to properly prepare them for such a long sleep and that can cause some problems upon awakening.
This 1980 Mazda RX7 is apparently one such long-term sleeper. Per the ad, it was stored in the original owner’s garage for more than 20 years before being sold to the present owner who has attempted to peel back those years and bring the rotary sports car back to life. It seems that the effort has been only partially successful and now that second owner now wants to hand the mantle of its completion to someone else.
Work already done includes a carburetor rebuild, new weatherstripping all around, brake master refresh, and a total fuel system flush. Oh, and the seller really wants you to know that the power antenna is once again working.
On the downside, the seller says that while the car starts and runs for a bit it will eventually begin to stumble and then crap out. When the plugs are pulled afterward, the seller says they show fouling. It’s not clarified whether that’s carbon fouling or oil fouling. If the latter, it could mean that the side seals have given up the ghost and will need replacing. Should that be the case, it may be a simpler job to just grab an off-the-shelf rebuilt short block than to try and rebuild the one in the car.
The seller claims it to be a carb adjustment issue, but we’d need to know more about what exactly is going on with those plugs to make an accurate assessment. The reason given by the seller for giving up on the work is because they have “since took on another project and don’t have time for this one. She is close, but needs someone to take her the rest of the way.”
Of course, the rest of the car would have to make that a worthwhile effort, and it does seem to have some pretty solid bones. The bodywork is reasonably straight, showing no major issues. There are a few dings and scratches here and there, but aside from a sizable dent below the fuel filler door, it all looks pretty serviceable. This is a base model, so it’s wearing steel wheels, and those could stand a respray.
Things look pretty good inside too. The upholstery seems to be intact and without appreciable wear. There is some cracking on the dash, which is partially hidden by one of those ill-fitting carpet toupees. Everything looks stock in here, save for an aftermarket cassette deck, although the seller says the original 8-track player will come with the car, just not installed.
There’s a modest 80,412 miles on the car, which doesn’t seem all that remarkable when you consider how long it was out of commission. The title is clear and one would expect that the car has either been on non-operation registration or has been out of the system for long enough that back fees won’t be a problem.
So, a lot to consider here. These first-generation RX7s are getting some traction in the classic car market, likely dragged upward in value by the ascent of the similar Datsun Z cars. To be useable, this one needs some work — potentially very expensive work — and we’ll need to take that into account when we consider its $5,500 asking price.
What do you think, is this partially re-awakened RX7 worth that kind of money as it presently sits? Or, would spending that much keep you up at night?
Orange County, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
H/T to Ted Hanlon for the hookup!
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