Parked 3 Decades: 1974 Mazda RX-4 Rotary Wagon

052316 Barn Finds - 1974 Mazda RX-4 Wagon - 1

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

Rotary fans unite! Especially ones with a lot of talent and time, and money. This 1974 Mazda RX-4 Rotary Wagon is on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $250. It’s located in Hanford, California so you can figure out the shipping costs to have it delivered to your garage.. This is the first year that Mazda imported these RX-4s to the US and they were here until 1978 when the RX-7 arrived. I’d rather have a perfect RX-4 wagon over an RX-7 any day, but that’s just me.

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Almost a year ago, Jamie showed us a much nicer, no, an almost-perfect-example-compared-to-this-car ’74 “Wankel Wagon” on Barn Finds. That car had a buy-it-now price of $4,000 which seems like a steal now in looking at the one for sale here. $4,000 wouldn’t make much of a dent in the restoration costs of this car. I guess that if a person were to do the work themselves they could probably turn this into a very nice project with $4,000, but I’d probably want to start with a nicer one for a restoration. Maybe this car is more relegated to parts now than restoration, even with the hot, vintage Japanese market?

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How about those bumpers, though! Those are the 1974 government-mandated 50 mph bumpers… kidding, of course, but they sure are humongous! These are rare cars and if someone needed a parts car, this would be a great one for that. The seller says that the “car is in rough shape but is complete and still has the trim, emblems, lights, grilles, handles, and all the other small things in tact that usually get lost on an old car.” The sheet “metal is mostly straight with a few easily-fixed dents”, but there “are some small rust spots that will need to be addressed.”

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Yeah, this one will take a lot of work on the interior, too. The seller says that the interior will need to be redone but that “everything is there, including a lot of the plastic trim and panels that usually get damaged on a car this old.” It is a great-looking interior when it’s in nice shape, that steering wheel and driver’s layout is pretty nice.

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There are no close-up engine photos, but this is the reason why this car hasn’t been crushed yet, I’m guessing. It’s filled with Mazda’s 13B Wankel engine with 110 hp, not a bad amount of power for a car weighing only 2,300 pounds and having a 4-speed manual transmission. I can almost guarantee that this would be a fun car to drive, wagon or not. Is it a 400 hp muscle car? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be fun to drive. This car is way past my restoration abilities but I hope that someone can save this rare little piece. I’m guessing that this car is past the point of saving for a restoration, what do you think?

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Comments

  1. boxdin

    Of course they are 5 mph bumpers not 50.

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    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty G Staff

      You are correct, sir; I was just kidding, of course. They just look so huge that I used a little poetic license there.

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  2. John F

    Anybody wanna buy my Accord so I can get this as my daily ?

    😀

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    • Dirtyrx4

      i would but i already bought it XD

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  3. Healeydays

    Rotary fans unite to bury this car. I love the rotary as I owned 5 new Rx7s buying my first one Fall of 1978 and sold the last one in 2005. This wagon might have 2 dozen usable parts on it, but my guess is nothing major.

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    • Kelly

      The RX-4 has a 13B which would be a nice swap for a period RX7 with the smaller 12A

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  4. brakeservo

    Click on the eBay listing and then look at his other item for sale – an old Opel pickup truck. Interesting junker.

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  5. Mike D

    My Dad bought a 74 Rx4 new, I never drove it, but he said it was a blast to drive , it had the 4 spd, and a lot of ” standard” equipment that would have been options on American cars, or not even available on them! the AM radio was ” backwards” probably had AM FM stereo available, because of the ready to install spot for the rear speakers . This car is well worth saving ! too bad I am a bit short on funds!

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  6. PRA4SNW

    My Dad bought one of these too – for my mother to drive. It was probably around 78 and I had just gotten my license, so it was my car too, sort of. It was an automatic and I remember flooring it and it would move along quite nicely.

    It had this weird buzzer that would go off if you didn’t fasten the seatbelts. We found how to disconnect it pretty quickly.

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  7. Will Bloombergh

    One of my classmate’s parents had one.
    I went for a ride in it and it went like a bat out of hell.
    I was really impressed.

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  8. Dirtyrx4

    Its okay everyone i saved this car im currently trying to get it running before 7stock

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