Havana Brown: 1983 Mazda RX7 FB GSL 5-Speed – SOLD!

Mar 2021 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

March 7, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this classic Mazda RX-7 GSL deleted their listing after one week, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

We admit our traditional definition of “Sports Car” we use for our Saturday features (two seats and open roof) limits our weekend choices.  However, other great closed sports cars such as this 1983 Mazda RX-7 GSL originally listed on Craigslist in February 2021 in Providence, Rhode Island nicely fit in with today’s Malaise Monday leads.  Nicely detailed and sorted by the current caretaker over the past four years, he’s offering his FB RX-7 for $8,000.  Comparing this price against the Collector Car Market Review confirms this private seller has his RX7 priced between the #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $10,000 and the #3 “Good” estimate of $6,400.  As a second data point, the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his RX-7 priced between this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) appraisal of $3,800 and its #3 “Good” estimate of $9,200 before factoring in ten percent premium for the GSL package. 

Mazda launched its stylish rotary-powered RX-7 sports car in 1978 as the affordable alternative to Datsun’s 280ZX, which by that point became more of a luxury grand tourer.  The RX-7 was a hugely popular hit both in its homeland and here in the U.S.  Heavily investing in Wankel Engine technology at the time, Mazda featured a two-rotor 1.2 liter 12A Rotary power plant offering very smooth 100 horsepower, albeit with a tendency to gulp, rather than sip, gasoline.  Series 2 (produced from 1981–1983), or “FB” cars had integrated plastic-covered bumpers, wide black rubber body side moldings, wraparound taillights, and updated engine control components. While marginally longer overall, the new model was 135 pounds lighter in federalized trim.  The other big news was the new GSL package. Enthusiasts appreciated the package included new 14-inch alloy wheels and four-wheel disc brakes. Also part of this package were a sunroof, power windows, and other niceties that increased the curb weight to just above 2400 pounds.

We came across this vintage MotorWeek RetroReview on YouTube where they compared a similar 1983 Mazda RX7 to its benchmark, the Porsche 944:

During their four years of ownership, based on the description provided the current caretaker has taken great lengths to detail and sort their highly optioned RX-7.  This is a highly optioned example right down to the leather seats that will easily grant you access to any RAD Era event this summer. The only you need to do before then is address the non-working A/C system. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1983 Mazda RX7 GSL

5 speed, shifts great. Havana Brown exterior, with tan/brown interior. Both the exterior (no rust) and interior are original and in great shape for their age. Before me, this was a one-owner car that lived its life in Maine. Judging by how nice the undercarriage is, it was a summer car that was garaged. I’ve owned it for 4 years and have been slowly doing maintenance since. I’ve got a folder of service records, and the car is all stock with 87,300 miles. Being a GSL model, it comes with a leather interior, 4-wheel disc brakes, power windows, and a factory limited-slip differential. Basically loaded (for 1983). I also replaced the speakers (Pioneer) but left the factory stereo/graphic equalizer/factory amplifier under the seat. The stereo doesn’t sound great by today’s standards, but I didn’t have the heart to cut up the dash for a new head unit or remove the old amplifier/rewire the system. I did take out the amplifier to give it a thorough clean with DeOxit though. It’s got the original floormats too.

Things I have done since purchasing:

-Clutch/slave cylinder
-2 front tires
-Passenger side brake hose
-Idler arm
-Energy Suspension front swaybar end links and bushings
-Energy Suspension front control arm bushings
-Full tuneup (plugs/wires/cap/rotor)
-Full fluid changes (oil/coolant/transmission/rear differential)

I have detailed it extensively, and it lives in a garage full time. Since its been in my care, the car has only seen rain once. Almost everything works except for the A/C and the rear wiper. Even the cruise and power antenna work! This car is a real time capsule that drives great and gets tons of attention (seriously, every time I take it out, there’s at least one thumbs up or someone talking to me about it).

It’s a great ‘driver condition’ car that can be enjoyed on its own, or is a perfect platform for a restoration. The FB generation RX7 is just about to blow up in the collector world, so now’s a good time to buy a nice one before the prices skyrocket. Currently registered and inspected in RI.

Some extras going with the car:

-Energy Suspension Watts Link bushing kit
-Period correct front end bra that came with the car when I bought it
-Battery tender
-Bluetooth cassette adapter

Come take a look. $8000. Will consider reasonable offers.

NOTE: CL makes me put in a title status. The title was lost when I bought it, and RI doesn’t title vehicles older than 2001. I had to just prove chain of ownership to the DMV (jumped through hoops to get this done), but there’s no title. Like I said above, the car is registered, inspected and insured currently (Read: 100% legal). If you are from out of state, you should have no issue titling it. Don’t know why RI doesn’t title vehicles older than 2001.”

Do you have a Mazda RX7 story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. I recently test drove a 1983 RX seven but it did not have power steering is this common for the 1983s do not have power steering?

    I recently test drove a 1983 RX seven but it did not have power steering is this common for the 1983s do not have power steering?


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