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One Family Owned: 1994 Mazda RX-7

The FD-chassis Mazda RX-7 remains one of the more intriguing investment options in the modern classics category. Easily one of the most beautiful Japanese coupes ever made, the rotary-powered two-door was also produced in fairly limited quantities and is typically overly-modified when one does come up for sale. This particular car is claimed to be a one-family owned example that appears to be in largely stock condition. The seller inherited the car in 2007, and the engine was replaced by the dealer in 2005 – so the drivetrain mileage is low compared to the chassis. Find the RX-7 here on eBay with bids to $26,900 and the reserve unmet.

The seller is asking $40,000 for a Buy-It-Now. This actually isn’t an unreasonable ask for a stock FD RX-7, and if the engine was replaced with a factory fresh unit by the local Mazda dealer in the early 2000s, there’s a lot to like here. The chassis mileage is 145,000, which isn’t unreasonable for a car of this vintage, but if the paperwork validates that the replacement engine has just 30,000 miles on the clock, this FD may be one of the lower mileage examples to come up for sale recently. Interestingly, sales of the FD generation in North America ended in 1995, so it’s pretty generous that a local Mazda dealer was able to source a replacement engine ten years later. However, the FD continued to be produced in Japan through 2002, which may have been a factor in the engine swap.

This RX-7 also stands out for being a one-family owned example, as very few of these cars are left that remain in the hands of the original owner or extended family. The seller notes his father purchased this RX-7 new and was later passed onto him, but that he could never bring himself to use the car regularly so it was put into storage as you see it in the listing photos. The interior is in decent condition and is reflective of condition, with some rough edges here and there. It should also be noted the RX-7 is not completely stock, as there’s a cold air intake and an aftermarket exhaust in the photos. Still, for an RX-7, this is about as close as you’ll get to a unaltered example, so these modifications are easily reversed.

The RX-7 was not a cheap car in 1995, and considering most of Mazda’s lineup fell into a mid-pack pricing bracket, their predominant sports car was indeed targeting a different breed of buyer with expectations to match. The turbocharged 13B rotary engine was indeed a marvel of engineering, albeit one that needed a fair amount of proactive maintenance. The window sticker reveals this RX-7 came with the Touring package, which added a Bose stereo and leather seats, and may indicate that this was a factory demonstrator car before going into private hands. These come up for sale infrequently, so we’re not surprised to see the active bidding on this garage-find specimen.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Chris Cornetto

    This is the one that got away. I bought one of these exactly like this with a bad fuel delivery pump for 200.00. To me this is one of the best Japanese designs of that era. Needless to say, too many projects and when life gets in the way i decided to rid myself of too many cars. I sold 30 to the scrapyard, this being one of them. The car ran but was in limp mode it seemed…oh well, you can’t save all the gals.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Michael Yearout

      Had a 1980. Same senario. Can’t save all the Gals.

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo Hector Ortiz

      Did u just Comment that you Purchased a FD Rx7 with a Bad Fuel Pump Delivery System for TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS? No offense But I Find That Very Hard to believe
      Especially since FD’s that Need Major Work&with no Drivetrain Sell for Way Higher..These RX7’S have Been in Demand since they Came Out& Yes you can Thank the FIRST Fast& Furious Movie for making them Very Pricey..These Mazdas are Usually Modified& With Single Turbo- But you will see them “LS”
      Swapped also..They are Equipped with a Great Chassis& The 13B Twin Turbo Rotary..These engines are Usually Not Maintained Correctly & Almost always Abused..
      But there is a HUGE ROTARY community that makes these Rotary Rockets FLY..But They Don’t come Cheap..

      Like 2
  2. Avatar photo Nevada1/2rack Member

    Right on the button, Chris Cornetto- nice lines, drove well, and fast.
    Zoom Zoom. 👍🏻

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Steve R

    In the early-2000’s RX7’s were a common site at the local drag strip, Sonoma raceway. All had LS1’s, they were bought as rollers when the rotary engine wore out, then converted. You’d talk to the owners and they’d say how hard it was becoming to find inexpensive bodies. They said there was at least one company selling a kit with radiator, engine/frame mounts and headers. At that point in time these were at the bottom of the deprecation curve and there was no reason to believe they would ever become as popular as they have. These were the first cars most of us had ever seen in person with an LS swap in the real world, at that point you only saw them in magazines installed in high end show cars.

    Steve R

    Like 1
  4. Avatar photo GIJOOOE

    I love the FD RX7’s, but the 13B rotary engine isn’t exactly known for its longevity. If I were lucky enough to have one, I’d drive it until the rotary gave up the ghost and then install a built LS with a T56 and spend every weekend finding new twisty roads to drive while enjoying the improved performance the LS would provide. The FD RX7 is a pretty lightweight car, so adding horsepower and torque would make it even more fun to drive.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Derrick S

      I had an RX-7 (FB, GSLSE) and was a member of a local club. The guy that did all the organizing had an FD with a LS in it. It was not that great. Once you’ve driven a rotary, other engines tend to fade from your mind. That guy spent all his time trying to piece together a new 20B for his ride. He finally did it, and the difference was night and day. From lumbering front heavy understeer, to perfect balance and 10k rpm.

      Folks… Don’t LS your RX’s. The rotary is actually very reliable when you treat it properly, which doesn’t take much. Just warm it up, and cool it down and it will go for over 200k miles.

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Mercuryman

        Thank you. As a Mazda Master technician I agree. Most failures were do to poor maintenance or start it and go drivers. Even the Renesis engine was good if treated properly. Had a customer with 312k on her RX8. Maintenance was regular and engine was warmed up before driving. Still had good compression and oil pressure. Gave it to her son when she bought a new one and he blew it up within months. Her 2010 has almost 400k on it with the original engine. It can be done

        Like 3
    • Avatar photo Ten50boy

      Heck yeah…..performance, reliability and cheap parts. Love it. These were gorgeous cars, but your 100% right…..LS swap one that already has issues. Listen to the nightmares of dealing with the rotary and its finicky ways….. no thanks. Build a Japanese corvette!

      Like 1
  5. Avatar photo John P Lewis Jr

    Yeah these where fun to drive but the motor issues are a big time issue and a replacement engine doesn’t really mean anything they are known to go bad in as little as 30k and it sitting has not done it any favors

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo Cadmanls Member

    Have a 93 sitting in the garage, hope to get it on the market soon. It suffered some damage quite a while ago and I wasn’t driving, that’s all I’ll say on that. Got the sheet metal and front bumper still needs a few things, but prices keep going up I should come out alright. Fd parts were never pleantyful and even less so now Mine got a engine replaced as well, replacement is an Adkins with mild street port, and Pettit racing did the tuning. It ran amazing! Pettit also put the 20 B in them, that’s a Japan only Cosmo 3 rotor. Rode in one with only 10 lbs boost and it was very fast. The three rotor will run with an LS but you need to know the in and outs to make them run hard and last.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo jlechtm

    Drive it like you stole it, overtune it and don’t follow unusual (for an internal combustion engine) but not difficult maintenance requirements and yeah, the engine will go early. Drive it hard but smart (e.g. let it cool down before turning off), and a 13B rotary engine can easily last 100K miles or more. More common (and more minor) failures in this latter scenario are the instrument cluster, the air separation tank, the vacuum tubes and the pre-catalytic converter. All can be repaired, replaced, upgraded and/or removed (as the case may be) for more reliable performance.

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Fran

    When I see hobby cars for sale it is sad to see the overpriced cars. The future of the hobby is dim. The car above is beautiful no don’t! However the hobby should never exceed the cost of responsibility of everyday life.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo John D'

    Loved the Look. I’ve always thought They Looked like a miniature Corvette Coupe.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Silver FD

    It seems that engine replacement is the big ticket item for price on these cars, however at $40k and 147k chassis miles there is a huge amount of money that will need to be put into this car just to make it driveable. All suspension bushings, including the pillow balls will cost you upwards of $1500 without install. You’d need shocks for sure, another $1k, possible brake rebuild with pistons for how long it sat another $500, ball joints for sure so $1200 for control arms cause you can’t get just ball joints. How do I know, well I bought a 94 just over a year ago with 88k miles and that’s only a fraction of what I’ve had to put into it just to make it road worthy. No 150k mile FDs are selling for $40k. This is a $30k at best. Much cleaner lower mileage have sold for way less.

    Like 1
  11. Avatar photo C Force

    One thing to remember with rotary engines,they only have around a 80k mile life expectancy and will need to be overhauled around that time,the engine in this car has at least another 50k miles left on it….

    Like 0

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