Five Fives: Five 1975-76 Mazda RX-5 Cosmos

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It’ll take a staunch Mazda RX-5 Cosmo fan to take on this challenge, but I know that those folks are out there, somewhere. We all know that vintage Japanese cars are as hot as it gets right now. This lot of five 1975-76 Mazda RX-5 Cosmos is located in some sort of open storage area in Buda, Texas, twenty minutes south of Austin, and they’re listed on eBay with an unmet starting bid of $600 and a Buy It Now price of $1,500. Surely there are $300 worth of parts on each car at the very least?!

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Ok, the white car looks pretty good, this gray one, not so much. Surely as a very, very nice parts car the white one is worth the opening bid of $600 on its own. And, you’ll still have four other cars to work with. The second-generation Mazda RX-5 Cosmo was made from 1975 to 1981 but they were sold in America from 1975-1978 when it was replaced by the RX-7 as the rotary-powered flagship for Mazda America.

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Here they are side-by-side, like when a current Miss Universe is replaced by the new Miss Universe and everyone compares the two. I personally like the former Miss Universe.. or, I mean, the RX-5 Cosmo more than the RX-7, but that’s just me. This white car is most definitely restorable, in fact it looks great from the photos so far. I’m guessing that most of you have not seen this gentleman’s website and series of YouTube videos on restoring his Mazda RX-5 Cosmo. The work that he does on that car is amazing!

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Chhhh.. piece of cake! No, obviously it’ll be a lot of work to piece these cars together, restoring parts and pieces as you go along just like you would do on any restoration project. And, as I said, I know that some of you have zero interest in cars like this and maybe in any foreign cars what so ever. But, I also know that a lot of you do have an interest in unusual foreign cars, and this lot definitely qualifies as the latter! We know by now that padded dashboards are restorable, seats can be reupholstered, floor pans can be welded in, new carpets can be glued down, etc. It’s just whether you’re a big enough fan of the RX-5 Cosmo to take something like this on or not.

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Some new plugs, a can of Sea-Foam, and badda-bing, Bob’s your uncle! Of course, this is Mazda’s famous rotary and the RX-5 would have around 120 hp. The seller says that this is the only drivetrain of the bunch and this car is by far the most “put together”, and that the rest are “parts cars”, which you can clearly see by clicking on the eBay link. These are surely not a project for the weak or for those without a cast-iron constitution and will power like nobody’s business. This will be a lot of work. But, once you’re done you’ll have the knowledge and will undoubtedly be one of the foremost Mazda RX-5 Cosmo experts in the country, which could lead to starting a successful parts and restoration business, and.. Well, ok, I’m dreaming there. But, there is a restoration-worthy car here for sure. Do you think that anyone could, or should, restore one of these Cosmos or are they just parts cars at this point?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Evan Wells

    Thats my plans with subaru ive bought owned and turned screws in other ones that i havent turned in my own Subaru Impreza L wagon auto 2WD just so i kknow the here ,when ‘n how to do it once before i do it mine

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  2. HoA Howard AMember

    While I never cared for the Cosmo, ( we saw very few in “Ramblerville”) I see they did successfully copy the ’62 Bonneville tail lights. I do see a the RX4 wagon, and even though the big bumpers ruined what I thought was the nicest front end styling of all Asian cars, I always liked the RX4, only with a piston engine, although, I don’t believe one was ever offered.

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    • Chris In Australia

      The 929 was the piston engined version of the RX-4. We never got rotary wagon in Australia, we did get sedan and hardtop RX-4/929.

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      • HoA Howard AMember

        Thanks Chris, it never ceases to amaze me how opposite Australia and the US are. I test drove a ’74 RX4 2 door when they 1st came out, and it had plenty of power, but didn’t know enough about the rotary to buy one. And the huge cloud of smoke when I started it, turned me off. It was the nicest styled Asian car, I thought.

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    • Little_Cars AlexanderMember

      Howard, looks even closer to the rear treatment on a 66-67 Barracuda.

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  3. Leon

    I wonder how many of the wagon model was imported. Rare sight

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  4. Clive

    Seafoam, the rotary snake oil from the RX-8 camp

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  5. HeadMaster1

    I’ve owned several Cosmo’s over the years, usually bought them as parts cars, sold them on as parts cars………They are cool cars, 4-wheel disk brakes, 5-link rear end, but fairly heavy for a import of the era. there is room for a big-block under that hood, so an LS would be an easy fit….It would be different at least

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    • Gerry Landry

      Naw just put a nice rebuilt RX7 rotary in it and they handle like a newer Corvette and they really go!

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      • Geoff Mckie

        The 13b in RX5 is the goto for major improvemets stronger than Rx 7, at least in Australia. The body weight is the on
        Y draw back. I have owned RX5. very pleases with it

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