5,269 Miles: 1988 Mazda RX7 Turbo 10th Anniversary

One of the biggest automotive trends of the 1980s was to produce a limited-edition Japanese sports car (or family sedan) and paint it white, and then color-match everything. Monochromatic was the name of the game, and from the Mazda RX7 seen here to the Nissan Maxima family sedan, special editions with this unique color scheme denoted that you were driving a model with limited production numbers. That’s certainly the case with a 10th Anniversary edition Mazda RX7 Turbo, as only 1,500 were ever made. This example here on eBay has the added notoriety of having just 5,269 original miles on the clock, and bidding is approaching $33K with the reserve unmet.

This era of the RX7 is a bit of a sleeper on the collector car marketplace at the moment, but that’s starting to change. As younger collectors enter the fray eager to buy the cars of their youth, the RX7 is a primary benefactor of this renewed interest from next-generation buyers. The trouble is, given their propensity for being modified, finding clean examples is getting harder to do – especially if you want the preferred high-performance model that left the factory with a turbocharged and intercooled rotary engine. This one looks every bit of the low mileage example it’s claimed to be, and remains stock right-down to the color-matched wheels.

The interiors of the RX7 of this generation always came across as being slightly more refined than its counterparts, with nicely bolstered leather seats, a three-spoke steering wheel, and clean, clear analog controls. The RX7 may have been competing with the likes of the Nissan 300ZX, but I don’t really consider it much of a competition. The RX7 never went down the slippery slope of becoming a grand tourer like the Z31-chassis Z car did, and even in turbocharged form, the Nissan falls short in my book when compared to the Mazda. Aside from the Shiro Special 300ZX, of course, which was another all-white special edition that left the factory with a limited-slip and Recaro seats.

This RX7 is incredibly clean, and the engine bay is perhaps where that shows most clearly. Perfect decals on the intercooler and airbox housings; no sign of built up oil sludge or dirt; and hoses that still look brand new. The turbocharged 1.3-liter 13B twin-rotor engine pushed out a healthy 187 b.h.p., certainly more than enough to make this two-seater feel quite light on its feet. Owning a rotary requires a robust commitment to maintaining it for the long-term – perhaps a bit more attention is needed than a contemporary Celica or Z car – but given the price we’re seeing here, keeping a turbocharged RX7 in good nick is worth the effort.

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Comments

  1. Racer-x

    I prefer the 1st and 3rd generations (FB, FD) over this, but I’d love to add this one to my collection. The driver seat seems a little warn for only 5k miles. Maybe it was only driven 1 mile at a time. Why the recent “paintwerks by Jeff” pinstripes?

    Like 2
  2. Bamapoppy

    While living in The Peach State back in the 80’s the local Mazda dealer near Robins Air Force Base had one of these that at least 2 out of every 3 airmen stationed there in Warner Robins took their turn behind the wheel of one of these little spoilers. Th engine had such a sweet sound when that turbocharger kicked in! When I drove it it had a bit over 400 miles. All in 3-5 mile increments!

    Like 2
  3. Kevin Fear

    I have a one owner 13k mile one of these anniversary Im considering putting on BAT.

    Like 4
    • Russell

      You should also look at posting on Cars & Bids – sounds like a great car, C&B is a great site for something like this.

      Like 1
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        Or you could list here on Barn Finds! We have a quicker turnaround than BaT and more traffic than C&B.

        Like 1
  4. Howie Mueler

    Very nice, $34k now but reserve still not met.

    Like 1
  5. Kelvin

    Within the eBay photo’s this less than 6000-mile RX-7 driver’s seat appears to have far too many age wrinkles for the mileage. Age wrinkles occur from use, not storage, heat, or drying of the hides. Compare the passenger’s seat to the driver’s seat as a comparison. Additionally, the leather strip running down the backrest appears to have wear (color) fading. Ultra-low mileage cars typically display as delivered with minimal to no use indicators. This would need to be examined more by the prospective buyer. It’s a nice-looking car in the pictures though.

  6. JBD

    These were a rare hot sports car in the late 80s. It should bring a good price.

  7. t-bone BOB

    Item location:
    North Andover, Massachusetts

    Like 1
  8. Don

    Hello,

    My girlfriend’s mother back when we were in college bought her one of these after returning her 85 Sunbird Convertible and 85 Pontiac Fiero GT which were both on lease which upset her. Price tag as shown here was about 43K or so, and the mother proceeded to drive the dealership nuts as she was unsure of whether to lease this or buy it. They wound up buying it and the bill was about $450 per month in February 1989. OUCH!!!

    Mom was having an extra marital affair at the time and used purchasing this car as a condition for her daughter to leave NYS where they had just come about 18 months before from Houston and move to the Elgin Area of Illinois where her lover whom she wanted to marry a couple of decades before was busy ending his marriage. When my GF refused this, Mom moved everything in their house here including all my GF’s clothes and personal effects to Illinois. It was shortly before this when we had broken up but she was dating my friend whom she would go onto marry.

    In any event, mom left her with that $450 per month payment thinking she would have to move to Illinois for her to pay it. Much to everyone’s suprise, she got a job at a new hotel that opened as their night auditor and in the process of being alone with her books, her GPA shot up to over a 3.2 when it was around a 2.4 or something.

    No matter though after a hard spring 1989 semester, her mother and beau got ahold the new boyfriend and offered to pay for his college as well as hers if he got her to relocated which they did.

    Eventually they would return to Texas. Not sure what happened to the RX7, but at the end of they day they lost everything during the .com bust and in 2004, she murdered her nine month newborn because she was having mental issues.

    Like 1
  9. t-bone bob

    Ended:
    May 18, 2021 , 7:49PM
    Winning bid:
    US $35,000.00
    [ 138 bids ]

    Like 1

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