The first generation RX-7 (SA/FB built in Japan from 1978 to 1985) was a dainty ballerina in the sports car world. The RX-7’s lithe frame was propelled by an equally dainty engine – the Mazda rotary…which was known for dancing high on the tachometer, consuming fuel, and sounding like angry bees when uncorked. However, they are expensive to repair, lack torque, and many have (for better or worse) been swapped with another powertrain…and this next one is the most basic of swaps…Chevy V8 and some kinda automatic transmission — but at least it has a Holley Sniper EFI setup instead of the typical stone age carb setup. Find this 1979 Mazda RX-7 offered for $7500 in Yakima, WA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On
You know you are in for a treat when a seller describes his car as “super” or “mega” or “monster”..and we’ve got a real treat for you today. It appears to be a Mazda Miata that has had its small 4-cylinder engine replaced by a Ford V8 mated to a 6-speed manual. But that wasn’t good enough, so the seller added a supercharger with an intercooler and claims 500 horsepower at the rear wheels. Find this 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata offered for $15,999 in Tampa, FL via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
Consider this next car as an apology for the grody brown Mercedes-Benz that I posted the other day — if that car was a wet half-breed three legged donkey, then this RX7 is a chocolate palomino thoroughbred that is racing up in class. It reminds us that brown can be a nice color on cars if done correctly and probably looks even better in person. Now, go find a matching Member’s Only jacket, Ray-Bans, and a Swatch watch. The 80s aren’t back, ’cause they never left. Find this 1983 Mazda RX7 GSL offered for $8,500 in Providence, RI via craigslist. Friend of the seller tip from Art C.
Tipper Cory sent this next car in with the following spring of seemingly nonsensical drivel; turbo ft swapped compact aqua colored mazda truck frame off restoration. I did a double take…because I’m pretty hip when it comes to model designations but this sounded more like the title of a Tom Wolfe novel than a description of a car on craigslist. So, let’s break it down. Turbo — yes this has a Garrett T3 turbo; ft swapped — which means this is a 2.2 liter turbo 12-valve SOHC F2T Mazda inline-4 that was only available in transverse front-engine MX-6/Ford Probe but bolts up easily to the B2200 that used the FE version; compact aqua colored mazda truck frame off resto — the rest now makes sense. Find this 1993 Mazda B2200 offered for $12,500 in Belmont, MA via craigslist.
If you are going to go through the trouble of dealing with the nonsense that goes with selling a car on craigslist…you’ve got to provide more than just two photos, especially if that car is an interesting looking fake Ferrari Dino built on a Mazda Miata chassis. We have so many questions, why don’t you sit down and stay a while. Find this 1995 Mazda MX-5 Ferrari Dino offered for $11,500 in Kennesaw, GA via craigslist. Tip from Graham.
I hope everyone enjoyed the Bracq Friday posts of this past long Turkey Day weekend celebrating the German cars designed by a Frenchman, but it is time to go back to DT’s bread-and-butter…or brot-und-buerre, which is low mile sports cars from the mid-80s that don’t cost a kidney to own and drive every day. Next up is a rotary powered Mazda that might cost more than the typical beater RX-7, but with only 38k miles on the odometer, this thing is barely half way through its first set of apex seals. Find this 1987 Mazda RX7 Turbo II offered for $14,900 in West Central MN via craigslist. Tip from Jeff.
The first generation Mazda MX-5 Miata (internal code NA) was launched in 1989 and sold a staggering 400,000 units through 1997. It was a surprise hit given its Skunk-Works style genesis and everyone from Mazda’s product planners to all the out of work former MG, Triumph, Fiat, and Alfa-Romeo employees were shocked that a cheap, reliable, fun, sports car could sell so well. Anyway, the good news for automotive vultures of the world (that’s us) is that Mazda sold so many that the market is flooded with cheap used examples and you get get them cheaper in bulk. Find these two 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miatas offered for $2,650 (both!) in Morgan Hill, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
Fiat first used the name 124 Spider on a little convertible sports car that was built from 1966 through 1985. Styling was by Dutch descended, but Detroit born Tom Tjaarda who spent most of his career with Ghia and Pininfarina. However, in 2015 the world was re-introduced to a newborn Fiat 124 with design by Virgilio Fernandez that pays homage to the original 124, but uses Mazda MX-5 ND underpinnings. Italian styling, Japanese reliability — what could go wrong? Unfortunately for Fiat, the Mazda version (MX-5 ND) is prettier, faster, sportier, and more fun to drive (that last bit is according to one famous beefsteak wielding automotive journalist.) The only thing the Fiat 124 has as an advantage is that it depreciates faster. Find this 2017 Fiat 124 Spider offered for $16,990 in Aliso Viejo, CA via craigslist.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t a car for everybody. If you are too large or if your family is too large, fuggedaboutit– you’re not gonna fit. But for all the people who want a convertible with a driving experience that is sublime, you need to at least consider a Miata. Obviously, the latest generation (ND) has the best combination of styling, performance, etc…but if you want the best bang for your buck — look to the NB generation Mazdaspeed MX-5. It was a limited production version that added a small turbocharger, Bilstein shocks, and a limited slip diff to 5428 versions equipped with the 6-speed manual for the 2004-2005 model years. Expect them to be collectible in the future, but for now, they are affordable. Find this 2005 Mazda MX-5 MazdaSpeed offered for $7,800 in Temple City, CA via craigslist.
We continue the Loony Labor Day celebrations with this next car that’ll be perfect to cruise around in the blistering heat…uggg, it is so hot right now. But you won’t worry about the heat when you’ve got a paint job like this, because you’ll be more concerned that wild animals will want to take up residence in your MX-5 or city graffiti cleanup work crews will try and remove the paint. Find this 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata offered for $10,000 in Long Beach, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!