Farm Find: 1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE

We featured a second-generation Mazda RX7 a few days ago that was in need of a new caretaker; this 1985 RX7 GSL-SE is an arguably more desirable first-generation model that was recently extricated from a farm on Long Island after its owner passed away. This is a fairly uncommon GSL-SE model, which was loaded with performance goodies right from the factory. Find it here on eBay with an opening bid of $500 and no reserve.

The GSL came with four wheel disc brakes, a limited-slip differential, and unique alloy wheels. The SE designation kicked up the feature list with bigger brakes, stiffer shocks and springs and an external oil cooler. Who knows if any of those components are still attached – note the missing alloy wheel in this picture – but it’s still likely one of the more exclusive variants to find today of Mazda’s rotary-powered coupe. The seller says due to the lack of rotary mechanics on Long Island, cars like these would sit for “…minor problems.”

Inside, the leather bucket seats are in rough shape, as is the center console where it appears the radio has been rudely ripped out along with HVAC controls. The seller also notes that the rear and side glass were punched out by the towing company that removed it from Long Island and brought it to the Bronx where it currently is stored. The seller is including replacement glass, but I still shudder at how poorly this RX7 was treated from its removal on the farm to the current day. Moisture-related damage could be an issue due to the broken glass, too.

Mazda’s famous 13B rotary engine produced a healthy 135 b.h.p. and 135 lb. ft. of torque in this application, plenty of power to hustle along the lithe RX7 chassis. The seller does not elaborate on the mechanical health of the car, nor does it seem like he’s made any attempt to start it. His suggestion of new spark plugs being the key to getting it to crank seems like wishful thinking; speaking of keys, new replacements will need to be made. This RX7 is worthy of saving, provided the bidding stays low.


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  1. francis

    and this one

  2. Cmarv

    The bid has far surpassed the value .

    • Rx7turboII


      Really? Just the glass moonroof panel is worth the opening bid and the disc brake limited slip rear axle is priceless these days…you should stick to what you know, that’s why I don’t make comments like yours on things I am not an expert on…

  3. Scott Tait

    These are like rocking horse poop ….some people under value these.. hopefully will be bought and saved by an enthusiast

  4. Rex Rice

    I put 190,000 trouble free miles on my ’85 GLS-SE, one of the best cars I’ve owned. The rotary mechanics told me “these engines will run indefinitely, unless deprived of water or oil, then would instantly self de struck.” I checked the fluids every day before starting out. When I sold it, it ran as good as the day I bought it, Great car.

    • Chris

      But that’s an RX-7in the pic

      • Rx7turboII


        ( crickets chirping)…. huh?

      • Steven D Visek

        Rx7turboII, I can only guess that Chris was funnin’ a bit on it being described as a GLS-SE instead of GSL-SE.
        I think we all know what Rex was sayin’.

  5. Brian

    Jeff Lavery, you forgot to mention the best part of the GSL-SE. A 13b with fuel injection and variable intake geometry. The difference from the carbureted 12a to the FI 13b is awesome! Better throttle response and more power. Such a great car!

    • Mike H. Mike H

      143hp for the 13B versus 101hp for the 12A. Made a big difference.

  6. ccrvtt

    These cars are undervalued, IMO. I had a ’79 that had been rode hard & put up wet. Nevertheless it was a well-conceived, relatively well-built car. I would love to have a cinco letra someday, but in much better shape than this example. It’s going to take a whole lot of time, perseverance, & money to get this one to a state of desirability.

    I think the prices are going to go up on 1st gen Rx7s the same way 1960’s MGBs & Triumphs have. And they are better cars. Those who complain about the poor gas mileage are missing the point. No one in his right mind complains about the mileage you get in a Hemi Roadrunner.

    Nice find, if only for the nostalgia.

  7. Mr. TKD

    This deserves to go to someone with a passion for these and the know-how to bring it back. Lots of potential.

  8. Mike H. Mike H

    In the parlance of the Rotary elite, these are referred to as “Five Letter Cars.”

    • ccrvtt

      “Cinco letra”…

  9. Big Lee

    My 1st car was a black 85 gslse in 1998. Bought for $500 out of the newspaper in upstate NY. Just needed a new slave cylinder. Drove it for 2 years and never had engine problems with around 150k on it. Would run mid 15s with a few mods. Sold it to get an 88 Conquest TSI.
    My 1st turbo car…

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