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Here's Why the 1990s Mazda RX-7 Is Getting Really Expensive

Here's Why the 1990s Mazda RX-7 Is Getting Really Expensive
this is a 1994

mazda

rx-7 and it's currently listed for sale for 50 000 50 grand for a 94

mazda

but then again this car comes to me from lbi limited a local seller of exotic cars

here

in philadelphia the same people who lent me the ferrari f40 and the lamborghini yelp so you know it's not just any 94

mazda

indeed the rx-7 was

mazda

's sports car to compete with the nissan 300 zx and the toyota supra and the mitsubishi 3000 gt in the mid-

1990s

but while all those cars went after more power and more technology and as a consequence more weight the rx-7 was the opposite of all that this car had only 255 horsepower but it also weighed only 2 800 pounds it was a full thousand pounds lighter than a mitsubishi 3000 gt vr4 you could take an rx7 you could put an adult male polar bear inside this car and it would still weigh less than a 3000 gt vr4 the rx-7 also has a few other things going for it for example i happen to think that this is the single most beautiful japanese car ever manufactured ever it was also sold in the united states in this body style the fd body style from 1993 to 1995 only three model years which makes it pretty rare and this is the best version this is the sporty r2 model which had sport suspension and some other performance upgrades over the base rx-7 and the luxury oriented touring version this one is also a one-owner car with only 31 000 miles so today i'm going to take you on a tour of the rx-7 and i'm going to show you all of its weird...
here s why the 1990s mazda rx 7 is getting really expensive
quirks and it's unusual and cool features and then i'm going to get it out on the road and tell you how this thing drives and then of course i'm going to give it a dug score and for more of my thoughts on the rx-7 and its status as a future collectible click the link below to go to autotrader.com oversteer w

here

i've also written a market report on the other

1990s

japanese sports cars and we'll start on the outside with

getting

in the rx-7 now in order to preserve the beautiful body line of the rx-7 manza decided not to stick the door handle or the keyhole on the door itself like every other car instead they hit it up

here

in this little black thing so at first glance you can't even tell if this car has a door handle or keyhole but it does the keyhole is surprisingly high for a car the door handle you just do this and you're in now open the door and you'll find that the door frame is a rather odd shape it's circular on the bottom and on the top and it has this giant black lip around it instead of body color like most stores but more interesting on the inside of the door is the interior door handle it's not just a regular door handle you pull instead if you want to get out of the rx-7 you pull the door handle towards you and that's how you open up the door next up is maybe my favorite quark in the entire rx-7 and that would be the automatic power windows now most cars have automatic power windows at least for the driver's side...
here s why the 1990s mazda rx 7 is getting really expensive
you push the window down t

here

's window rolls all the way down without you having to hold the button but this car takes a novel approach in this car if you push the button down for the automatic window the button stays down it locks in place as the window rolls down and once the window has stopped rolling down then the button pops back up so that you can use it again i've been in a lot of cars with automatic power windows and i have never seen this before it is

really

bizarre next up move on to the power locks this car has power locks although it doesn't have keyless entry instead you just get a key and t

here

's no power lock button inside the car instead in order to lock the doors automatically you just lock one door and the other door automatically locks also you want to unlock them unlock one door and the other door automatically unlocks sort of a novel approach to power locks but then again this is a small car with like two doors so you

really

don't need anything more than that now speaking of locking let's move back to the windows one of the interesting things about the rx-7 is the driver has the ability to lock the windows and by windows i mean just the passenger side so even though this is only a two-seat car with only two doors the driver can still lock out the passenger if you're engaged in some fight so the passenger can't roll down their window more interesting controls in the center console you will find two buttons one is labeled...
here s why the 1990s mazda rx 7 is getting really expensive
security and the other is labeled overheat exhaust system when you go to press them you find out they aren't buttons at all instead they look like buttons but they're actually lights security comes on and the alarm is on to let you know that the alarm is on overheat exhaust system is something i've only ever seen in this car i looked it up but it turns out t

here

's a sensor in the interior floor of this car that measures the heat coming from the exhaust if it's

getting

too hot this light will come on to let you know that hey your exhaust is

getting

hot and it might get your interior hot and so maybe it's time to cool it a little bit i'm not

really

sure what you do if that light comes on except maybe panic but it's t

here

next up moving on to another rx7 interior quirk i like the ashtray because it's inside the center console in a cutout and inside it t

here

is a cutout and inside that t

here

is a cut out you open that cutout and you can put your ashes in it and of course the entire ashtray cutout can be removed from the center console when you want to dump your ashes also interesting inside the rx-7's interior this is one of the first cars w

here

the entire interior is sort of geared towards the driver obviously the center control stack is sort of angled towards the driver that was pretty common at the time but it goes well beyond that t

here

's one unbroken line from the driver's side door to the center console it

really

makes this...
thing look like a cockpit and several things aren't even available to the passenger take a look for example at the cigarette lighter it's all the way over behind the steering wheel it's basically only for the driver this car is

really

really

driver focused you could have a passenger in this car of course but the entire purpose of it was to drive now next up obviously this isn't a very big car especially when it comes to interior space t

here

's only two seats t

here

's not much storage but

mazda

has given you more storage than you might think behind both front seats t

here

's a little storage bin w

here

you can stick stuff that you don't want people to see now interestingly the storage bin locks but only on the passenger side the driver's side one doesn't lock don't put anything in t

here

you don't want to get stolen on the passenger side you can lock it and then that's the vault in the rx-7 no one can see it and no one can take it unless they have the key and speaking of storage area in the rx-7 back

here

is the cargo area this thing is ultimately a hatchback now the cargo area is fairly wide and fairly long but it isn't very deep t

here

's only about six eight inches of space

here

you can't

really

get all that much stuff but

here

's something i bet you didn't know about this car t

here

's a pass-through between the cargo area and the cabin for the longer items that you might need to put in this car now...
interestingly even if you put the pass-through down you only get about nine more inches of space because then your items are going to hit the front seats but it's t

here

nonetheless other interesting things in the trunk how about the spare tire which is under the floor it's bright yellow it's one of those spare tires designed to shame you into going to the tire store and get your tire fixed also in the trunk are the tire changing tools so you can mount that bright yellow spare on your rx-7 now the interesting thing about the tire changing tools to me is they're in two separate compartments on either side of the trunk and the compartments are just slightly different sizes just a little bit different one on one side one of the other i'm sure t

here

's a good explanation for that i don't know what it is next up we move on to the headlights and the rx-7 like mini 90s cars has pop-up headlights but

here

's the interesting thing about the rx-7 if you turn on the headlights obviously they pop up and they turn on as you can see but t

here

's also a button inside the interior you push it and the headlights go up without turning on i'm not

really

sure why you can put the headlights in the up position without turning them on i don't know if it's to admire your pop-up headlights or maybe to clean them all you have to do is push this little button to the left of the steering wheel and if you wanted to drop push it and they turn back off moving on...
to the back of the rx-7 you notice you don't see a red light for the brake light in the tail light or an orange light for the turn signal or a white light for the reversing light that's because the rx-7 they've hidden them under this black shroud to preserve the car's look i think that's kind of the surprising part is that even though the shroud is dark tinted it doesn't hide the brake lights or the turn signals when you put them on you can see them nice and clearly i always like this design element in 90s japanese cars the brake lights it's like they don't exist until you need them to next we move on to the logo now if you don't know much about the rx7 90s

mazda

or maybe if you're a little bit younger you're probably wondering what is this circle circle logo on the back of this car is it some weird rx7 logo it isn't this was actually

mazda

's logo throughout the

1990s

and it has an interesting story this wasn't intended to be the logo the initial logo that

mazda

had come up with was a circle with a diamond inside of it but after they used that logo on their cars for a couple of years it was deemed to be too similar to the french automaker renault and so they had to scramble for a new logo so they came up with a circle with a circle inside of it apparently they weren't satisfied with this logo they only used it for a few years before they went to the v wing thing that they're using now but this was

mazda

's...
logo for a long time even though it wasn't the original logo they intended to use next up i already mentioned how much i love the design of this car and part of this because it's just so clean and uninterrupted and flowing t

here

's no weird stupid curves or cuts like in a lot of modern cars but if you look closely on the rear you can see this weird number reflected on the trunk turns out it's the part number for the spoiler

mazda

thought they could mount it on the bottom of the spoiler and no one would ever find it but they didn't count on me and then of course t

here

's the engine while all the

mazda

rx 7's 1990's japanese sports car rivals use traditional six cylinder engines the rx-7 uses a rotary engine i'll spare you the tech details because if you're into this stuff you probably already know about it but basically the rx7 engine skips traditional cylinders and pistons for a rotating triangular part that looks like a giant spinning dorito the rotary engine is highly uncommon in the rx-7 and later

mazda

rx-8 are the only notable modern cars that have used it so those are all the corks and now it's time to take the rx-7 out on the road which i'm very excited about so it's so small in

here

all right so this car is 31 000 miles it's like a new car all right now it's real tight in

here

my knees are just like barely around this steering wheel the uh shifter is great the shifter is like

really

tight short throws and you...
stick it in gear like you

really

really

feel the shifter going to get i

really

love the the feel of the shifter these old japanese turn signal stocks just plastic plastic but they'll never break this car is just you can just tell in three minutes of driving this car is just so much more connected to the road and everything than a modern car part of that is because it just doesn't have all the safety equipment modern car t

here

's no side air bags in this thing but um you're also just so low when you're right on it you feel it and you can you're turning the steering wheel it's heavy and and you feel like you're you're

really

driving this thing and that's kind of the appeal all right downshift i don't think i've ever been so shocked by the acceleration 250 horsepower car the thing is it just doesn't weigh anything it's quicker than i expected it

really

is it just doesn't sound like a

really

fast crazy car you know i i floor it and i hear the turbo sound but i don't

really

hear a lot else the ride is

really

rough i'm on the highway and this is a notoriously rough section of highway but it's not incredibly bad it gets worse further up this section is okay but the car boy this is the thing though if you want a car w

here

you feel super connected and when you know you're feeling every little bit of the road blah blah blah you also have to take the bad with the good and the bad in this case means dealing with a...
rough ride at a stoplight it's actually surprisingly refined considering how it's relatively punishing on the road sitting at a stop light it doesn't

really

shake a rattle or anything like that you can hear a little bit of exhaust but this car has the only aftermarket thing on it as an aftermarket exhaust and so you can hear that just a little bit the only disappointment i have driving this car is i can't look at it i just love how this car looks so much i was driving

here

behind this car in my car uh just looking at it and i was thinking boy i drive a lot of cars but very few of them i just you know just have such an appealing attractive timeless design it's just a beautiful look i

really

mean that cars don't look like this anymore you know in today's world everybody's doing cuts and all these weird little things and this car was just it was so clean oh man boy it grabs it doesn't quite have the planted feel that a mid-engine car nsx or an exotic car has but in terms of you know sports cars with 250 horsepower that cost 40 grand new this thing is t

here

's a little bit of body roll in those turns ultimately it's a 20 year old car we're

getting

to the point w

here

people buy this car more for nostalgia than its actual performance the cool thing about this car is it has both it's not as fast as a modern sports car it does body roll a little bit in the turn it's not as precise uh but this is how these cars were back then you...
know when you drive all these modern cars you're so spoiled because if they've just engineered everything so well but in a car like this a little older it's a little squidger and that's just sort of the reality of these cars it's a different type of driving experience you know you get a little bit more road feel you're close to the ground you feel everything you hear everything but it isn't as fast as a modern car you know and it isn't around corners it isn't quite as tight now obviously t

here

's modifications that you can do to make that happen but driving a stop example this is a this is an interesting look into what you know the best sports cars were like back in the 90s and sort of how far it's come and it's come pretty far but this is still an enjoyable car to drive so that's the fd rx7 50 000 may seem like a lot but to me this and the toyota supra were the best of those 90s japanese sports cars and we all know that nice super turbos are selling for 60 70 80 000 in good shape admittedly this one is priced high but it's also probably the nicest of these you'll ever find a low mileage one owner r2 and right now the average asking price for an fd rx7 on auto trader is 28 000 with

really

nice ones starting to creep into the 40s in the end i think this is one of those cars w

here

we'll tell our kids that we remember when you could have had a perfect one for the price of a nice three series now on to the doug score...
starting with the weekend categories and styling in my mind t

here

's no dispute

here

this is one of the most beautiful cars ever made and it earns a perfect 10 out of 10 becoming just the fourth car i've reviewed to do so acceleration is good not amazing it does zero to 60 in five seconds which gives it a 6 out of 10. handling is also good nice and sporty but not quite as precise as modern cars so it gets a 6 out of 10. cool factor is high especially with an ultra clean stock example like this one of these pulls up into cars and coffee and you can't help but get excited and it earns a 7 out of 10. importance however is a little lower this car was simply the rx-7's third generation and just one competitor in the world of

1990s

japanese sports cars it's cool but it didn't exactly blaze any trails and it earns a 6 out of 10. still the weekend score stands at a strong 35 out of 50 placing it higher than basically any other car in its price range as for the daily category starting with features the rx-7 is weak largely a function of the fact that it's nearly 25 years old and it earns only a three out of ten comfort is also poor the rx-7 has a rough ride and shockingly cramped driving position especially for the

1990s

and it earns a three out of ten quality is also not great the interior materials are fine but not exactly nice with no high quality leather or stitching more importantly reliability is dubious and these rotary engines were famous for a few...
pricey issues and

expensive

upkeep and it earns a 4 out of 10. next up is practicality and cargo volume is surprisingly good it has 17 cubic feet of space which would give it an amazing five but only two seats bumps that down to a four out of ten finally value the 50 000 asking price for this one is high especially when you consider it's a 255 horsepower 23 year old

mazda

but i

really

do think this and the supra will emerge as the collectibles from the era of

1990s

japanese sports cars and i think prices have a way to go for that reason it gets a 6 out of 10 bringing the total daily score to 20 out of 50. added up and the total dug score is 55 out of 100 which interestingly ties the honda s2000 i reviewed a couple of weeks ago the rx-7 has a higher weekend score mainly based on its appearance but high pricing and questionable reliability keep its daily score down and since this graph has gotten pretty small i've linked to a google doc below with the scores updated through the last video slightly different size compartments on either side of the trunk just just barely different just little little bitty different size compartments also so this car is 31. are you singing oh i forgot your video