73K-Mile 1994 Mazda RX-7

Mazda's RX-7 made quite an impression when the charming first generation debuted in 1978. By then, the Germans had long abandoned any notions of mainstream, mass-produced rotary engines. But Japan hadn't given up on the quirky engine setup, which was noted for its smoothness and high output, although not necessarily reliability and efficiency.

Successive generations of the RX-7 have come and gone, but the 90s version remains the most enigmatic. Firstly, it's rare. Mazda only offered it here from 1993-1995 and never sold many, hence pulling it off the market so quickly. Second, it was the only rotary engined car available. The rotary engine is a piece of complex machinery, and is not measured by cylinders. This generation RX-7 came with a sequential twin-turbocharger unit that was good for north of 250 horsepower, impressive for the time. But despite being a quality, capable rear-wheel drive sports car, it was often out-shined by stiff competition like the 300ZX, Supra, Corvette and NSX. Lastly, the styling, while admired for its simplicity, is almost a little too soft and anonymous to stand out in a field of alpha-personalities.

Only three models were offered in North America: base, touring and R. This is a 1994 model that is being offered by a private seller. They don't specify what trim it is, but it seems well equipped with a sunroof, leather seating and a rear spoiler, all of which are rather must-haves on this type of car.

They say it has just 73k miles on the clock. It's no garage queen though, and has dings and dents on the body along with a worn driver's seat.

Mechanically, the seller says it runs and drive nice. Reliability will depend on their upkeep, so check for proof. I'd also check for accidents. These were fast cars and inexperienced owners often pushed them to the limits, with repercussions. Scarce parts and service might be expensive, as well.

The seller is asking $12,000, which is a large chunk of change for an old car not in perfect condition. But, the mileage is low enough and the car itself rare that it is still desirable. Knowledge is power and will help in negotiating.

Available here on craigslist.

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