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

Mazda used to say in their ads that while other cars go boing, boing boing, theirs go hmmmmm. Well, for today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe RX7, that might need to be changed to hissssssss, because it rocks a Cobra V8. But will its price make you go hmmmmm?

Yesterday's Hess and Eisenhardt-converted '85 Century dropped not only its top, but a 68% Crack Pipe loss as well. However it didn't seem to care, and after shouting at its naysayers to get off its damn lawn, it headed off for an early bird dinner and an evening of Maalox and Matlock reruns.


In contrast to that last Century, which could have been used for buickally induced comas, today's modded '83 Mazda RX7 could likely wake the dead. A few years back there was this freak-show sitcom that managed, in one fell swoop, to rip off the Simpsons, the Flintstones (itself a rip off of the Honeymooners) and the National Museum of Natural History – it was unimaginatively called Dinosaurs. One of the show's central conceits was that the diaper-wearing infant lizard showed his father zero respect, and whacked him over the head with what ever fell readily to hand, while exclaiming over and over again Not the mommy! Not the mommy! Not the mommy!


I bring that up because, while popping the hood on this FB RX7 you'll find not the factory 12A Wankel, but instead, a good old ‘Merican V8. Now, you would probably be expecting it to be a small block Chevy mill – which seems like it dates back to the mid-Triassic - but lo and behold, that's a 5.0 from FoMoCo snuggled down behind the custom 3" radiator. That revelation of nonconformity would naturally result in much joy and dancing as well as the exultation Not the Chevy! Not the Chevy! Not the Chevy!

And thus the circle is complete.

Not only does this arrest-me red RX have what's claimed to be a professionally installed '93 Cobra motor blessing its pointy little hood, but that H.O. 302 brought along a burly T5 to keep it company. That's probably a good idea as Ford's SVT alchemists managed a healthy 235-bhp out of the small block back in the day, and the seller claims that he's added headers and a mild cam, so that number could be even higher. Or it could be lower, but whichever, it's still guaranteed to be more than the 100 or so the car's original 12A spun out. Sure it's a lot heavier too, but reliable eyelid-flapping acceleration is a reasonable tradeoff for going around corners rather that through them.


All that power pumped through the FB's original pumpkin could spell disaster – and in fact would spell it exactly like this: O-H-C-R-A-P! The ad doesn't mention whether that component has been upgraded, so it could be a point not in its favor. A point very much in its favor is the claimed BAR sticker, meaning that this car gets the CARB (California Air Resource Board) good garage keeping seal. That means you wouldn't be resigned to driving it with your eyes glued to the rearview, ready to pull into the closest driveway at the first sign of John Law. Since you can relax, you might as well take a look around and notice that the interior looks to be in pretty good shape, albeit with some take it or leave it mods. The dash looks un-cracked, untypical for RX's of a certain age, although the seller has decided not only to fit the center stack with additional gauges, but to paint it red as well. That not being enough, he's also extended the menstrual mania to the center tunnel, fitting that with red carpeting too. Sadly for those who hate, the driver's A-pillar remains unadorned.

The exterior is also remarkably free of aftermarket add-ons, lacking even the most ubiquitous of ‘80s accessories- the back-window louvers. That's all the better to appreciate the FB's clean lines, and to take notice of the huge lift-out roof panel which is reminiscent of the one in James Bond's DB5. It's unlikely however that this car also sports a passenger ejection seat.


With an awkward mix of hyperbole and warning, the seller of this Cobra-ized RX7 says it's not for a first time driver, but we all know that's secret code for it's the perfect car for your driver's test. That being said, is it affordable enough for a newly minted 16-year old to buy? Well, the ad says $6,000, which is probably out of reach for the average paperboy or lawn-mowing youth enterprise, but hey, they can always dream. Or sell meth at school.

For the rest of us, what's your take on that six grand asking price? Is that low enough that you might find this RX 7 with a snake charming? Or, for asking that much, is the seller lower than the belly of a. . . well, you know.


You decide!

Fresno (Raisin Capital of the World) Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears. Hat tip to mydadsamechanic for the fresnoriffic tip!


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