For $6,300, Would You Get The Drop On This 1988 Mazda RX7 Convertible?

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

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe RX7 has a three-position top! That’s a pretty nest trick. You’ll have to see if its price puts you in the position to consider buying it.

When you think of famous ponies, what’s the first image that springs to mind? If it’s the Chincoteage Ponies of Assateague and Chincoteague Islands off the Maryland/Virginia coast, then you may just be my wife. She does love those ponies.


If however, your image of ponies actually involves aggrieved chickens then I’ll bet your favorite pony is in fact a pony car, Pontiac’s groovy F-body, a.k.a. the Firebird Trans Am.

Yesterday’s 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo bridged the performance gap between old school displacement, and modern forced induction efficiency. Add to that all the Indy Pace Car replica decal-inization and you had yourselves a winner. Well, not quite a winner, at least not at the car’s $19,895 price tag. That proved too high a hurdle for this old pony and it fell in a narrow 52-percent Crack Pipe loss.


Back in the day, pony cars straddled a fine line between the plain jane family cars upon which they were based, and the full-blooded sports cars that they aspired to be. The difference usually amounted to the number of seats inside, some zooty styling, and perhaps their outer dimensions.


Here we have a car that is unambiguous in its sports car pretensions. It maintains two seats, a convertible roof—more on that in a sec—and a rotary engine to provide the get up and go.

Here’s a funny thing; in the history of the automobile, that specific description can be applied to only two production cars. One is the 1964 - 1967 NSU Spider, the first production car to carry a Wankel engine. The other is represented by this 1988 Mazda RX7 convertible, to which the NSU passed on its rotary ragtop baton.


The second generation (FC) edition of the RX7 was the only one of the series to officially drop its top, and honestly, it’s generally the least loved model as a consequence.


Maybe it was the somewhat languid performance that dunned it? After all, 146-horsepower and 138 lb ft of torque isn’t all that much to move the RX7 convertible’s not insignificant 3,070 pounds. That’s 240 pounds more than the coupe had to carry. The convertible was about 30% less stiff than the closed car as well.


Okay, so it’s a little fat and maybe not as sporty as we would like, but as I like to say, fat dogs need love too. Plus, check out that roof! The RX7’s soft top goes three ways—up, down, and halfway in between. It’s like the Kama Sutra of convertibles! Not only does the top go down all the way, but it offers a glass back window in its soft rear-section, and a central hard section that can be removed for a semi-open surrey style. You’ll have to provide the fringe however.

That’s pretty cool, and just one of this ’88 RX7’s neat attributes. Another is its low mileage. The ad claims the car to have done just a hair over 50K. That’s pretty good for thirty years time. Other fun bits here are BBS basket weave wheels, stereo speakers in the headrests, and an overall clean appearance.


Luxury accouterments include power windows, leather upholstery, and a power antenna. Y’all remember back when cars had real antennas? The ad says the car does its best Yogi Bear impression, spending winters snoozing in a garage. It’s further claimed that the car has been ‘meticulously maintained.’


That’s what we like to hear. We also like it when, as is the case with this car, the title comes without issue, and the transmission comes with a clutch pedal. In fact, aside from it’s being an FC convertible, which not all that many people kitten to, this little Mazda seems to have it all going on. How much might that be worth?


The asking price is a cool $6,300, which by today’s standards is in that nether region between ‘what the hell money’ and ‘I could buy a real car’ kind of cash. The question for you—you knew this was coming—is whether this RX7 might realistically command that much. What do you think, is this one of just two models of rotary powered convertibles worth that $6,300 asking? Or, for that much is this a drop top that you would just drop?

You decide!


Madison, WI Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to onlytwowheels (again!) for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

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