High School Car: 1983 Mazda RX-7 GSL

Normally, a long-slumbering vintage Japanese car residing in Maine would be nothing to get excited about, as the likelihood of finding a seriously rotten car behind the garage door is highly probable. However, in this instance, we’re pleasantly surprised to see a 1983 Mazda RX-7 GSL hiding out in Biddeford, Maine, without fatal amounts of rust. The car, listed here on eBay with a $7,500 Buy-It-Now, does not run at the moment and is sold with the garage-find dust intact. 

The seller says the door edges are “crusty” but that those panels are the extent of any corrosion. The listing claims the seller purchased the car from a long-time owner who used the car in high school and then left it parked in his mother’s garage ever since. The flat tires, dusty paint, and straight panels all point to long-term sitting and little exposure to the outside world. The seller includes two photos showing very minor rust on the door edges, so hopefully that’s the extent of it.

The GSL cars offered RX-7 shoppers some nice upgrades, including a limited-slip differential and four-wheel disc brakes. With under 80,000 original miles, there’s hope the LSD still works, and the interior certainly shows like that of a car that hasn’t been abused: The buckets display little to no wear in photos and the dash remains un-cracked. If the previous owner drove this RX-7 in high school, he was one of the more conscientious students out there.

The seller is fairly adamant about not starting the rotary motor before a potential sale. In fact, he thoroughly discourages any attempt to start it without full payment received and the ink dried on the paperwork. I can’t say I blame them – who wants a paperweight just seconds away from a potential sale – but at least confirming the engine is still free would put buyers’ minds at ease that this long-forgotten RX-7 has a chance to return to the road.

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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Let’s see if I have this right:
    “No, you can’t do anything to check on the condition of the car before I have my money and all the paperwork is done.”
    “I say it is a bargain, so you should believe me and fork over the cash. (but it is priced high in the market for a non-runner)
    “I bought it, have put ZERO into it, want you to pay me a profit.”


    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Eh, this is one DayDream which I choose to disregard…..

  2. RoughDiamond Member

    If I were looking for one of these and the original owner was presenting the story and selling the car and could prove the engine would turn over I probably would maintain some interest.

  3. Dave Mika

    Wankel wankel…

  4. grant

    Nobody is going to sing the theme from “Flipper?”

  5. Mark Lawson

    I absolutely LOVE first generation RX7’s. Owned a 1980 GS. A conscientious owner that UNDERSTANDS a rotary can keep one alive damned near forever. That said, I wouldn’t touch this one with someone else’s ten foot pole. Its worth at this point lies in the body and possibly the frame. Having sat that long without any use spells disaster for the rotor apex seals, among many other things. That kind of money will buy you a running example that reaches an 8 or 9 on a scale of ten. Without verification of the engine, transmission, brakes, exhaust, and the LSD at the very least, this is a $1000 parts car. Tops…

    • grant

      Especially when there’s a running, driving first gen on the Maine CL in similar condition to this for $4500.

  6. Richard Miller

    I agree with the seller in not turning the engine over. I feel for that price a professional detail should be included.

  7. Matt R Member

    Same year and model that my parents had. I have a soft spot for these, but gold paint and deep slumber would make me fold this hand.

  8. bruce lougee

    I love RX-7s and ive owned 4. an 81, an 83, an 84, and I currently own an 85 GSL. I know what that car is worth andi know the potential of it running. but not starting it before I give cash is not an option. any smart person would make sure it starts before paying. just common sense. especially if you are not familiar with rotary engines. they are a different animal. you absolutely can not treat it like or expect it to act like a piston engine.

  9. Dennis gilmore

    I have an ‘82 rx7. Has not been started in 3-4 years. Am thinking of getting it restored this summer. Ran well when parked- really! Not sure how to start it again without doing damage. Any tips?

    • H. Rivera

      Just drain the old gas from tank, change the rubber fuel lines and the filters. Take out the spark plugs and pour in the holes some transmission fluid or mystery oil and turn it by hand with a socket and a handle on the main damper… Do that for a couple of days. Then change the oil , pour some new gas and light it up… It would start like a champ…

  10. Mark Lawson

    Dennis: Seek out the RX7 forums online. There is a wealth of knowledge available. First advice: DON’T try to start it without developing a fundamental understanding of how a rotary works. At the bare minimum, ask someone you trust who has knowledge of rotors to advise you and walk you through it. A standard piston combustion engine can be woken safely with minimal damage if done properly, but do a rotary wrong and plan on buying a crate engine. Patience and knowledge is rewarded.

  11. KevinR

    Anyone who buys this car without being able to start the motor might as well plan on buying a crate motor for it. By the time you’re all said and done, you could have a gold ’83 Rx7 for used Porsche 996 money.

    To me it’s just not worth it. And I LIKE Rx7s…

  12. Mountainwoodie

    What a Wankel……

  13. Gay Car Nut

    I remember the RX-7. I found it to be the best looking Mazda produced at the time. Some friends and I would joke about the Rotary Wankel engine. We’d refer to it as the “Wanker” engine.

  14. Craig

    Too high but love these, I had two, fun pocket rocket. I love little sports cars I could put my hand flat on the ground sitting in my TR3

  15. Doug B

    Yeah this whole thing is pretty sketchy. My mom had one and it was a hoot to drive. But as a sixties hippie if it comes with LSD I might be tempted.

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