ETC
The first-generation Mazda RX-7 was sold for the 1978 through 1985 model years, and for decades you'd see and hear these nimble little sports cars buzzing around American streets. Then, well, the apex seals went out, or owners tired of a 2,400-pound car that drank fuel like an Eldorado, or the floor pans were eaten by the Rust Monster... and then nearly all of them were gone. Enough of them remain, however, for a steady trickle to show up with depressing regularity in self-service wrecking yards. Here's a pretty solid '81 that I found in a Denver yard last month.

1981 Mazda RX-7 in Colorado wrecking yard

The 12A Wankel engine in this car made 100 hp and 105 lb-ft of torque, which was very good for 1981 (considering that you could buy a new Camaro with a 115-horsepower V8 that year). The $9,385 RX-7 looked like an especially good value when compared to, say, the $11,299 Datsun 280ZX or the $8,997 Fiat 124 Sport Spider, being much lighter on its feet than the former and much quicker than the latter.

  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin


If you have ever considered getting one of these cars, move fast before all the restorable ones are gone!

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