For $2,500, Could This 1981 Mazda RX7 Make You Go Hmmm?

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Just like mama bear in the Goldilocks tale, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe RX7 is just right—old enough to be a classic, but not too old to be a pain in the ass to drive. Let’s see if its price is fair to middling too.

As was pointed out in the comments on yesterday’s 1987 Suzuki Samurai convertible, a rev-happy Wankel is perhaps not the best engine to plant in an outdoorsy rock hopper. However, that somewhat more than minor annoyance didn’t dissuade fully 58-percent of you from giving that tall-standing truck’s $2,500 price tag a Nice Price win.

Seeing as you liked one rotary-powered vehicle for that monetary amount, let’s see how you like another.


Here we have the Mazda Wankel in its natural environment, a 1981 RX-7 Series 2. This second series of the original RX7 added a number of aesthetic and functional niceties, including cleaned up bumpers, a reorganized dash, and a shorter shift lever for the now standard five speed.

The engine is the 100-horsepower 12A, and that gave the little Mazda sports car scintillating performance. Okay, it didn’t actually do that but for the era, it was pretty quick, and it handled competently.

This one probably doesn’t do much of anything at the moment as the seller claims it to be in need of carburetor work. A rebuilt carb will set you back approximately three-fiddy, while the DIY option is about a tenth of that. Should you want to go that latter route, there’s a carb manual (PDF) to aid in the rebuilding endeavor.


There’s not much else in the ad’s description of the car, other than that it has remarkably low miles (43K), which once again are mama bear not too little and not too much. It’s also described as having been “lady-driven.”


Now, I don’t know what “lady-driven” is supposed to imply. I mean, I’ve seen Stef drive her “Parsh” and she rocks it just hard as any dude might. Maybe it means that it smells fresh inside since girls don’t fart.


Oh well, let’s move on to the car itself. It’s presented in metallic gold over a brown interior, and it all looks pretty decent at first glance. A closer dive raises some questions though.

The paint seems to change hues between the front clip and doors, and the rest of the car. Oddly, the rear bumper seems to share the front’s gold standard. The underlying bodywork is straight, but there are some dings and chips in the nose. You won’t notice those however, because POP UP HEADLIGHTS!


Inside, as noted, it’s a trip down to brown town. The vinyl/velour seats look intact and the dash is free of any cracks or accumulated Chiquita Banana stickers. Manual windows, locks and steering help the car maintain its svelte 2,340-pound weight.


A couple of things stand out here. First off there’s the little toggle switch on the side of the console that seems ready to stab the driver’s knee. What’s that all about? Then there’s the aftermarket stereo unit by Mitsubishi. I don’t know that I like the idea of some Mitsu in my Mazda, but then that’s an easy fix.


The title is clean, as seems the car overall, less the tires which look like they’re from the Bush I era.

Let’s tally up all this car needs then, m’kay? There’s the carb, which could run $35 or $350, then there’s about $500 worth of tires, and maybe some $$ to try and bring the paint back into unity.


That all would need to be added to the car’s $2,500 price tag, and we’re now at the point in the show where I ask you to vote on whether that’s a fair asking or not. What’s your take, is this RX7 worth that $2,500 ask it’s (briefly) described in its ad? Or, does that price warrant more to the story?

You decide!


Omaha, NE Craigslist, or go here of the ad disappears.

H/T to glemon for the hookup!

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