Here's What $400 Of Mazda RX-7 Gets You

Screenshot: Hoonigan

If you, like me, often dream of buying one of the car world’s masterpieces, the first-gen Mazda RX-7, this will be of some interest to you. It’s how much RX-7 you get for $400. After some review, it appears to be, uh, not a ton.

This is a Southern Californian $400, so that means it won’t be buying you rust. But it won’t be getting you a lot else, either.

This 1983 GSL model one (not the fanciest first-gen, but not the worst) runs a simple, carbureted 12A rotary engine, precursor to the stout and beloved 13B. It might run, but trying to get it to do so will probably hurt it. You’re looking to rip it out and rip it apart. That or just rip it out and replace it with a 13B, as is happening on this Hoonigan build.

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You also get:

  • rat poop
  • an aftermarket sunroof, though the likelihood of leaks seems academic in LA
  • dust
  • a horrible steering wheel
  • no limited-slip diff
  • headlights that are taking naps
  • missing trim
  • complete glass
  • air-conditioning (!)

Basically, for $400 you’re buying a shell waiting for a drivetrain swap. I will take this information to heart. (By that I mean I will ignore it and continue to dream of cheap RX-7s anyway.)

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Raphael Orlove

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.