Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mazda represents the company's first melding of rotary engine and wagon body style. You'll need to decide if that has any effect on your concluding whether or not its price is the last thing you'd pay.

Wow, talk about close - go ahead, I'll wait. Are you done? Okay, well just coincidentally yesterday's 1985 Nissan 200SX, owing to its low mileage and seemingly pristine condition, came away with one of the narrowest contests we've ever had, enjoying a 50.97% Nice Price win. Now if it had been brown...

Felix Wankel never held a driver's license. He did own an NSU Ro80, in which he was chauffeured about, but he never personally directed the engine under that car's hood even though it just so happened to bear his name. The Ro80 was introduced just a short few years before Mazda debuted the RX3, of which today's 1973 wagon is a representation in fly yellow. Wankel never drove one of those either.

The RX3 was, surprisingly the smaller sister to Mazda's other '70s rotary rocket, the RX2. Unlike with the 2 however, Mazda hedged their bets with the 3, selling the same car with traditional piston power as the imaginatively named 808.


Here however it's Wankel time. And not only does this compact longroof have a triangular shape to its pistons, it also has their likeness echoed throughout including on the wheels, grille badge, and oil filler cap. All of those are stock '70s Mazda kitsch, but despite the ad's claim of mostly original parts, there's not much that's stock-looking under the hood.

The engine is likely still the original 12B which has been given a non-factory coating in yellow and looks like half of it is missing owing to its oddly diminutive size. That engine managed 90-bhp and here that's put to use through a 4-speed stick. With only 2,265-lbs to pull around, that should provide enough grunt to at least get out of its own way.


It'll look pretty good doing so too. This screaming yellow zonked is styled in the fashion of the time and seems to be in pretty good shape. It's claimed to have under 50K on the odo and to have been garage-kept. The seller says he's the car's second owner and has been so for over 16 years.

Is it all titties and beer? Well, no. There looks to be something going on at the trailing edge of the curb-side rear door, is that rust? Hood fit and a ding in the rear fender are additional body glitches, minor ones to be sure, but still needing to be called out.


Another issue is that, just like yesterday's Nissan, the seller here hasn't bothered to include any pics of the interior so we can't judge its appearance nor account for any shortcomings therein. I'm thinking that I need to offer a Car Advertising 101 class, you know at the University of Phoenix or Harvard.

Before I spin off into that venture however, perhaps this would be a good time to determine if this RX3's $10,000 price tag is a fitting value. What do you think, should someone pay that much for this rotary wagon? Or, is that price just wanking the Wankel?


You decide!

Orlando Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Reskaas for the hookup!

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