10k: Clean Survivor: 1982 Mazda RX-7

The term survivor gets bandied about by car folks about as often as Madonna’s shows her midriff, but let’s take a quick second to define the term.  First, a survivor must have its original engine, transmission, options, & suspension, but wear parts can be replaced (shocks, engine/trans rebuild is okay), but when it comes to paint there is some room for discussion.  I would argue that the paint must be original, with the exception of any accident repair panels, but others will accept an older respray if it was done in the correct color.  Those people are wrong — a survivor needs to have its original paint, peeling and faded or bright/shiny like this next one.  Find this 1982 Mazda RX-7 with only 45k miles on the odo offered for $11,500 in Sarasota, FL via craigslist.  Tip from dascpcu.

The first generation SA/FB RX-7 was lightweight sports coupe built in Japan and sold in North America from 1978 to 1985.  It was also was one of the last vehicles to use Barney Coopersmith’s Felix Wankel’s piston-free rotary engine design. 

Under the forward hinged hood is a 1.1 liter 12A rotary engine that pushes out 100 horsepower into a
5-speed manual gearbox.  The 2300 lb lightweight will hit 60mph in about
10 seconds, nothing to brag about, but the 50:50 weight distribution
and 7000 rpm redline is a wonderful thing on a back road.

This base model is missing the leather accoutrements of the LS (leather special) model and the rear disc brakes/LSD of the GSL, but it offers a clarity of purpose that is endearing.  The muscle car market is starting to recognize the value of a nice stripper model (as they are called) perhaps the same will happen to the late model Japanese collector car market as time marches on.

See a car with cooler wheels? tips@dailyturismo.com