Wankel Powered Drop Top: 1989 Mazda RX-7 Convertible – Sold!
As we inch closer to drop-top weather (even though April is putting up a good fight), we felt this 1989 Mazda RX7 convertible listed in April 2020 on Craigslist in Unionville, Connecticut with just over 100,000 miles and listed for $6,750 was worth a look. Checking the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool indicates the seller has priced this rotary-powered convertible fairly, as a “Good” condition example clocks in at $7,200 while “Fair” shape will set you back $4,200. Given this example has some cosmetic issues that can be easily remedied (or lived with, depending on your obsession with perfection), the price seems reasonable – but with the disclosure that the seller has a pending relocation cross-country, you may be able to negotiate a better price.
While we don’t see them on the roads all that frequently anymore, the U.S. was one of the best sales markets for the RX7. The second-generation model, otherwise known by its internal chassis code “FC”, carried forward the success of the iconic SA/FB chassis that introduced consumers to the engineering marvel known as the Wankel rotary engine. To this day, Mazda’s interest in pushing rotary powerplants out to the masses is a topic that inspires spirited discussion, as some enthusiasts swoon for the high-revving nature of these unusual powerplants, while others cite Mazda’s trouble with building a rotary engine that didn’t invite quality control issues. Regardless, it put the RX7 on the map in a big way in the 1980s and continues to the present day with the contemporary RX8.
Here’s a test drive of the model from Motoring TV from back when this RX-7 was new:
Despite the well-documented issues with the rotary mill, these are fairly reliable classics if maintained – and an RX7 of this generation would be welcomed warmly at any Radwood gathering of your choosing. The seller notes it has been a weekend-only ride for years, and the modest mileage of 105,000 would certainly support claims of limited use. The Mazda features the preferred BBS wheels that came on later examples, along with the desirable manual gearbox. The seller does disclose some issues associated with paint quality, a torn-up driver’s seat, and a top that’s starting to show its age. Recent maintenance includes an alternator and battery, new clutch master cylinder, new shift linkage, and entirely new exhaust from the engine back. The best feature? The new-in-the-box factory hood bra. Good luck living the Wankel life if you decide to snag this RX7!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1989 Mazda RX7 Convertible, white, manual / 5-Speed, 105,000 miles (will slowly go up), factory BBS wheels,100% stock, garaged, non smoker. Other than oil changes, other recent maintenance the car has received is a new alternator and battery, new clutch master cylinder, new shift linkage, and entirely new exhaust motor back. There are some flaws, a couple patches where the paint has flaked, the top is starting to show it’s age in on the top of the rear window, and the driver’s seat back is rough, we normally have a t-shirt over it. There are a couple small electrical things, the wipers don’t auto stop at the bottom, the radio works, but has very dim lights and won’t play all CDs (if you care), and the struts for the trunk need replacing. The car comes with a bra, we’ve never used it. Retiring and moving across country, the car runs perfectly and is ready for a new life; being tucked away for weekends as it has been, or of daily driving.“
Do you have an RX7 story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!