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1993 Mazda RX7
“A 1993 Mazda RX7 was the most intense bone-stock car I've driven.” -William Clavey, Jalopnik
There are a number of very good reasons that the third-generation Mazda RX7 is enjoying robust appreciation (in accolades and dollars) among classic car enthusiasts. In just the past 12-24 months, market values have risen sharply—exceeding the rate of increase being seen for Japanese vintage sports cars overall—and look to be headed higher still. These were—and still are—very special automobiles.
The third-generation RX7s represented the last of the rotary-engine Mazdas to arrive in the U.S. Described by the Jalopnik writer, William Clavey, as coming “from a time when things were honest, uncensored, and little rough around the edges,” the 1993 RX7 “was engineered to go fast and do incredible things on a racetrack using technology no other carmaker had the nerve to explore.” He went on: “In many ways, the RX-7 is a lot like a Miata, actually. Simple, down to earth, confidence-inspiring and free of electronic nannies. The hydraulic steering is well-weighted. The manual gearbox is a tad notchy, but it has a pleasant mechanical feel to it, and the pedals are well spaced to have a bit of heel-and-toe fun.” Today, the cars still deliver all of that. It's no wonder this was Motor Trend's “Import Car of the Year” for 1993.
Driving these cars is an enthusiast's trip back in time, and a very gratifying one. The RX-7's sequentially-turbocharged engine delivered 255 horsepower when new, and the car weighs just 2800lbs. It sports a 5-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential, and four-channel anti-lock brakes. “Traction control” in the car is old-school, meaning it's achieved by the driver in response to inertial energy changes (felt in the seat of the pants) and the sound of tires screeching.
Many RX7s suffered from over-modding by less-than-respectful owners. And how many more of the cars fell to driver-incidents with telephone poles, trees, or racetrack barriers, may never be known. But the RX7 presented here is a true survivor that has been respectfully treated by all three of its Michigan owners since new. With a mere 28,000 miles on the odometer--only 3,000 of which were added by the current owner over the past ten years--the car is definitely a collector-quality example. Resplendent in its factory-specified Vintage red paint (refreshed by highly competent body-paint specialists, Koens Auto, in 2009), it's easy to see why the color is sometimes called “arrest-me red.” The shine and overall condition of the paint—including on valances, door sills, side mirrors, pop-up headlight covers, and surrounding the trademark taillights—is exceptional. The 2-rotor Wankel rotary engine bay is clean and tidy, and the car's undercarriage—displaying the only performance modification on the car, a custom exhaust system—mirrors that condition. Five-spoke original wheels are pristine, and Michelin XGT V4 tires have plenty of tread-life remaining. The car's spare tire is unused.
Inside, the optional tan-leather upholstery retains its supple feel and good looks, perfectly complementing the bright exterior. An upgraded Jensen audio head unit together with Bose speaker system is in place (the original unit is included in the sale). Gauges are clear and unfaded. The black dashboard is in perfect condition, and carpets—with matched RX7 floor mats—show virtually no wear. All switchgear functions as it should; the car has no maintenance needs. An oil change service was just conducted. The original window sticker, owner's manuals, and all keys accompany the car.
Be sure to closely inspect the more than 150 photographs and the short video of this RX7 on the Garage Kept website. But don't inspect them for too long, or chances are, this red delight will be on its way to someone else's garage.