Daily Driver Droptop: 1988 Mazda RX7 Cabriolet – Sold?

by | Dec 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

(Click on the photograph below to expand it and navigate through all the others)

January 14, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

December 17, 2022 Update – Apparently, after no action offering their Mazda RX7 for $4,750, the seller elected to reduce their asking price to an equally odd ask of $4,460.

Many aspire to drive an interesting car every day, but it’s not always as fun as it looks. Older, vintage cars are older for a reason, especially regarding modern comforts and other conveniences. While your new Camry may seem egregiously boring, it will work as intended every single time. Still, we give plenty of credit to enthusiasts who pilot a classic sports model or older truck daily, as that’s a true test of one’s love for older vehicles. The seller of this naturally-aspirated 1988 Mazda RX-7 convertible is such a character, as he’s been using this classic rotary-powered convertible like a fuel-sipping hatchback. However, he admits to needing a family car, so he once placed his RX-7 for sale in December 2022 on Craigslist in Raleigh, North Carolina, for $4,460 (the original ask was $4,750.) Comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows that the seller is asking below the current average sale price of $14,522.

The later FD-chassis RX-7 has been appearing for sale more often as a $50,000 collector’s item. The last modern RX-7 was produced in limited numbers with gorgeous styling and a turbocharged rotary engine under the hood. The FC-chassis cars, like our subject vehicle, are much easier to come by in both hardtop and convertible form, so the values have stayed lower. But do you know that phrase, a rising tide lifts all boats? Well, at some point, it seems fair to speculate that the earlier cars will start to appreciate as enthusiasts are priced out of the FD market. The turbocharged model is the one that seems most likely to jump in price in the future, so the convertible – which was only sold in naturally-aspirated form – will likely always be fairly accessible for most enthusiasts. But don’t be surprised to see the best-of-the-best trade hands routinely for five figures, especially a later model with the updated taillights and BBS wheels.

The Ye Olde Commercials YouTube Channel features this vintage commercial of actor James Garner pitching the RX7 on behalf of Mazda:

Going back to the seller of this car: you have to love seeing someone not only daily drive a cramped sports car, but daily drive a cramped sports car that’s also a convertible. Now, you may say that the folding top creates all sorts of headroom, but convertibles tend to be far less composed, what with the cowl shaking and the top not sealing cleanly against the glass. The seller’s RX-7 will probably feel like an old convertible inside, but he claims that the soft top does not leak and that the motorized top still works. The RX-7 will need engine mounts sooner or later, and the seller also notes that the cable for the driver’s side window regulator has been cut, so you’ll need to tackle that problem assuming you want a functional window. The RX-7 leaks oil and brake fluid but isn’t losing any coolant. The paintwork shows signs of age, with the clearcoat suffering in places, but it does benefit from some new parts, including replacement shocks, tires, and a driveshaft all installed under the current owner’s watch. It takes a commitment to drive a vintage car every day; make sure you choose a fun one.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1988 RX7 convertible for sale.
Selling because I need practical family car.
99.9% rust free runs and drives has been daily driven for the past 3 years. New battery, new shocks, driveshaft, top. Tires less than 2 years old.
Leaks oil and brake fluid does not leak or burn coolant.
Rag top does not leak and motorized top works.
Starts first crank hot and cold.
Cruise control works 4WS works as it should.
OEM AM/FM radio works but FM has issues at random.
Car runs and drives as is and has recently been on a 600+ mile trip. Engine mounts need to be replaced at some point but car can be driven as is just fine.
The car is not perfect the clearcoat is worn and it has small dents. Shifts good and drives as it should.

Driver side window regulator cable is cut. It will need a new one. Doorcards are both in good shape driver side is removed to replace regulator cable.

$4750 OBO. Cash only, local pick up only clean NC title in hand. Car is tagged and insured so it can be road tested and cold started.”

Daily driver dilemma: would you drive a boring but reliable sedan or a potentially finicky but interesting sports car?   


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *