When it comes to the ’90s, affordable Japanese sports cars ruled the roads. But as far as icons go, the FD generation Mazda RX-7 is in rarified air. Of course, that whole generation of cars got a cultural boost from the original The Fast and the Furious movie. Still, it’s hard to argue they need any help today, because of the vintage car bubble that continues to expand over the era. The RX-7’s sound, silhouette and unconventional engine made it an instant classic, which is why this particular example is an absolute gem of a find.
In 1992, the first year of the FD RX-7 production, Mazda’s high-performance coupe went for around $33,000, or about $62,000 in today’s money. While that would make it Mazda’s most expensive model if it were on sale today, nearly doubling the CX-9 SUV in price, this one for sale on Japanese Classics is just $19,995 — less than a base-level MX-5. Even with 76,000 miles on the clock, that’s a ridiculous steal.
It should be said, this RX-7 isn’t completely stock, but thankfully it’s not modded to hell and back and burdened with some bolt-on widebody kit. A set of 17-inch OZ Racing Futura wheels are added to a Tein adjustable coilover setup; a Fujitsubo Catback exhaust broadcasts a better-than-stock sound out back. When it was new the RX-7’s rotary engine churned up 236 horsepower, 217 lb-ft of torque and screamed all the way to an 8,000 RPM redline, but it has to be said, was notorious for overheating. Japanese Classics claims this FD starts up and runs smoothly with no smoke from the exhaust (a telltale sign of worn rotary seals).
At $20,000, a car as legendary as the RX-7 is a genuine find. The money you save should probably go into upgrading the cooling system to get ahead on typical reliability issues, but as great as the new MX-5 is, it takes a back seat to an FD RX-7 of this caliber.
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