By on December 31, 2011

Danny writes:

I am looking to buy an RX-7 (FC) convertible. I currently own a hand me down 2000 Honda Accord V6 from my mother in law. this car drinks WAY too much gas. 20 dollars in 89 octane gas DAILY! my commute is about 50 miles round trip. but I always loved Mazdas my dad had a 1984 323 with a 1.3, a 929 with the V6. I grew up playing with FDs in Gran Turismo. now that I can buy a cheap used car I was thinking about an FC convertible. BUT the major problem that I have is my job, I work for a Chevy dealership as a salesman. The GSM and the SM fired a guy who bought a Toyota Corolla S brand new.

I don’t wanna lose my job but I LOVE the FC and will not buy anything else, I know rotaries are as unreliable as an iron duke but that doesn’t matter. I have access to a repair shop so free labor is there. the parts might be a problem, though i think there are plenty of them in my local junk yard. so please help me figure out my dilemma I Don’t want to drive that POS accord in the summer heat, because it has no A/C, brakes are almost shot.

Sajeev answers:

So let me get this straight…your POS Accord drinks too much gas and you want to replace it with the bastion of efficiency, reliability, and cost effectiveness: an old RX-7? Really???

You just complained about getting kicked in the stomach, and subsequently ask to get kneed in the nuts. Because someone who doesn’t want to fix a somewhat old Accord (even with free labor) and wants to buy an ancient RX-7 is asking for said attack on one’s crotch. I would say that you should wear a cup, but that won’t help. The knee will hit with way too much force to your crotch. I mean wallet.

I like the part where you mentioned your dealership fired someone for buying a Corolla. While owning a Corolla is (often) punishment in itself, getting fired over it is a good reason to get a lawyer. Obviously you have to document every interaction where said employee was harassed for their car. Print out emails, wear a wire, write a journal with all the details, etc. That could be kinda fun. And hey, we all know that salesmen do have fair bit of downtime after the holidays!

I’m not kidding, after getting fired for a similarly idiotic reason a few years back. Plus, now I know what to do. And I might even have fun with it, if it happened again. Regarding your severely misguided passion for RX-7s, I suspect you’ll only learn from your mistakes by burning your hand on the waffle iron.  Enjoy the pain, but try to find a kevlar-reinforced cup.



Steve answers:

At first I thought you were plain nuts. But then I saw your French email address and figured that unreliable cars may just run in your blood.

Yes, the Accord is a truly terrible vehicle… if you’re one of those who fears ‘overquality’. What you need is a car that has the turn stalk on the wrong side, a powertrain that’s guaranteed to break sometime around Bastille Day, and an interior that biodegrades over time.

I do know of at least 3 Peugeot 405’s that have remained untouched since I harvested them for parts back in the late 90’s. But you are hungering for power instead of pauper. What can moi offer you?

Well, I took my family to a bowling alley earlier today, and there in all it’s glory was a red 1975 Ford Granada with the Cleveland V8 engine. The vinyl red interior is still completely intact and the manager told me that it’s only been sitting there for four months.We call that ‘free pickins’ here in Georgia; especially since cars older than 1986 don’t require a title here.

This would the perfect car to bring to your dealership. Just rip off the Ford emblem, replace the ‘Granada’ emblem with ‘Grand Am’, and you’re set. Now onto the RX-7.


They’re cheap at the auctions. Dirt, dirt, cheap. You can get an inoperable one for around $1000 and then buy a nice spare engine at Ummm… well… forget that actually . There are no replacement engines for the last Gen RX-7. Murilee and his damned LeMons racers destroyed them all.

I’ll tell you what though. Go to Carmax and tell them of all the woes this cretinous Honda has inflicted on you. Whatever they offer, I’ll beat it by $200. Between now and then, look at Craigslist and keep abreast of what salvage auctions such as Copart and Insurance Auto Auctions have to offer you.

Good luck!

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73 Comments on “New or Used: Ending 2011 with a Bang!...”

  • avatar

    If you work at a Chevy dealership that sales used cars, have them find you one. Im sure they wont mind making a few dollars off of you, and in turn you may get close to auction price, its a win win, situation.

  • avatar

    “this car (Accord) drinks WAY too much gas.”

    “I am looking to buy an RX-7”

    These two sentences contradict each other. Your six-cylinder Honda is going to seem like a fuel sipper compared to a rotary.

    Rotaries are fun, but you’ll be getting the fuel economy of a V-8 with the horsepower of a four-banger. The RX-7 had its place, but today, I really don’t see the point.

    (And if you really are getting about 10 mpg in an Accord, then there is a problem with it. Even if your right foot is made of concrete encased in lead, you should be doing better than that.)

  • avatar

    How did you guys miss this one?
    Theres an easy anwser here and you both were all around it-
    Works at a Chevy dealership with free labor-
    1.3 bad/ unreilable
    The obvious answer here is an Rx7 with a 350 swap in it.
    They are common enough he might find one locally.
    Its a solution that should make all parties happy here!

    • 0 avatar

      I didn’t see this post before I wrote mine, but yoah, that’s really the sensible thing to do, and find a coupe, not a convertible :P

    • 0 avatar

      I know a guy who did just that when his third rotary blew up in his ’87 RX.

      Did kind of a hack job, but was swapped and running in 24 hours (including having to have a custom driveshaft made from a local driveline specialist)

      Imagine that, there wasn’t a kit driveshaft available at the time for a Turbo 350 trans to mate up to an RX7 rear diff…

      Additionally, even with wider tires, had ZERO traction after half-throttle. And the handling, well…didn’t.

      If you’re even thinking sports coupe, think Mustang/Camaro/Firebird. Cheap to operate, quick, comparatively easy to work on.

      Oh right, someone mentioned a French email. In that case, try finding a Vauxhall Monaro with LS V8 Chevy power.

  • avatar

    Why even print this letter. Obviously just “rant bait”

  • avatar

    I had my first rotary surprise in 1978 with an RX3. Those folks who might treat your dilemma with sarcasm are simply toughening you for the insult that awaits. Namely the one with the gas station pump versus your RX7. I once had a Honda Accord that was a lemon but am finding that I am pretty much by myself.

    The one word answer is: Don’t

  • avatar

    There is a lever next to the driver’s seat of your Accord. Grasp it in your right hand and push the button under your thumb. Push the lever downward until it stops. Release the button. Next!

    • 0 avatar

      It’s either that, or the trunk and back seat have been filled to the top with lead fishing weights.

      I can’t think of anything else that would make the mileage of a Honda Accord drop much below 20 mpg, V6 or not.

      • 0 avatar

        My 2000 Honda V6 rather abruptly dropped from the 20’s to 9 mpg when the first O2 sensor went bad. If they inspect cars in your neck of the woods, you’ll probably have to change the post-cat sensor too, since the differential between the new and old will create a bogus check engine alert. Even replacing both, your total bill will be less than two weeks of gas if you do it yourself as you should. Drive that Accord another 200K.

      • 0 avatar

        Hello? He said $20, not 20 gallons. At $3.50/gallon, it works out to about 17 mpg.

      • 0 avatar

        What am I missing? He said he spends $20 on gas to make a 50 mile round trip. Even if he is paying $4 a gallon, that is 5 gallons to go 50 miles. That works out to 10 mpg, less if he is paying less.

  • avatar

    With the RX7 he’ll never actually have to change the oil though! It keeps burning it up, and you just keep adding.

  • avatar

    Start by finding a new job where you won’t get fired for your choice in vehicle.

  • avatar

    I know rotaries are as unreliable as an iron duke

    That’s a myth that dates back from the early 70s, when rotaries were made to be disposable.

    The 13B in the RX-7 was a reliable motor during its useful life (although its useful life is shorter than a good piston engine, which is a fair complaint). A rotary is simpler than a piston engine, so while it is working, there isn’t that much to go wrong.

    But eventually, the apex seals will fail, probably some time before 150,000 miles; that’s an expensive problem that cannot be avoided, regardless of the level of maintenance. And they do require more maintenance and care. Infrequent oil changes, inadequate oil levels and neglect of the cooling system can lead to earlier failure. They definitely ain’t Accords; they take some effort to keep up.

    I still wouldn’t buy one, though.

  • avatar

    All Mazda rotaries are gas hogs. No exceptions, not even the latest version, the RX-8. My first generation model, with the 13B fuel injected engine, averaged 18 mpg on 87 octane regular. I doubt that the car you are looking at will do any better.

    I have first hand knowledge of three RX-7s, one from each generation.

    My first generation car was very reliable. It was still on the original drive train, steering and suspension (except for struts) when I gave it away at age 25 with 180k miles on it. To be perfect again, it needed a few hundred dollars of minor repairs and a paint job.

    A work colleague had a second generation model with an automatic tranmission. She babied it. She gave up on it after the engine apex seals (equivalent to piston rings) failed.

    A colleague at a different job had a third generation car. The only engine on that model was turbocharged. His engine died at 70k miles.

    If you weren’t worried about your job, I would recommend the newest Mazda Miata you can afford. It would be a ball to drive, it’s a convertible, and it’s both reliable and fuel efficient. An alternative, which should keep your boss happy, is a Pontiac Solstice or a Saturn Sky.

  • avatar

    My 2007 Saturn Sky with base 2.4 and Hahn Racecraft Turbo(Mitsu TD04) can see 45 mpg in the hottest part of summer and makes 300 wheel horsepower and 350 torque to the wheels. Upper 30 mpg throughout the winter.

    Should be able to find a base model Solstice or Sky for not much over $10Kplus another $4K for turbo and your co-workers will love you, rather than talk behind your back.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    The answer here is pretty simple: trade in the Accord for something off the used-car lot at work, then use the suck-up points from shopping at the company store to work on the RX-7 on slow days.

  • avatar

    “I currently own a hand me down 2000 Honda Accord V6 from my mother in law. this car drinks WAY too much gas. 20 dollars in 89 octane gas DAILY!”

    89 Octane must be $10/gallon in your area or something is seriously wrong with your 2000 Honda Accord V6.

  • avatar

    You cant fix stupid by changing cars

  • avatar
    Ian Anderson

    You complain about gas mileage in a V6 Accord (which sounds like it’s in dire need of a tune up or the trans is slipping so bad it never sees below 5K RPM) and say you want a rotary-powered Mazda… I’m sorry but anyone who knows anything about Mazda RX-cars knows they’re good for Chevy 350 gas mileage out of an engine the same size as found in a four banger Geo Metro.

    I’m calling this one a troll post. If it’s not, sell the Accord and buy something off your lot.

    • 0 avatar

      The displacement of a rotary engine is vague. The 1.3 refers to the maximum displacement of the chambers during intake, but each rotor has three chambers so could be equivalent to anything up to 3.9; the power and consumption roughly matched contemporary 3.0 piston engines.

  • avatar

    This is obviously a troll.

  • avatar

    Is there something wrong with me if the only really sad thing I see is that he wants to get a convertible. The coupe is a lot more of a real sportscar than the convertible, so buying the convertible really kills the whole point tbh. And I unsertand how it feels paying a lot for gas on a car you don’t love vs filling the tank on a car you love driving. (honestly, I went from a 21mpg Sierra V6 to a 25mpg 2.2 Accord, and I complained too, even if that Accord still ranks as maybe the third best car I’ve driven)
    And the guys at the dealership can probably give you a great deal on a smallblock crate engine after the rotary decides to eat itself ;)

  • avatar
    George B

    I’ve frequently viewed the Mazda RX-7 as a rare light-weight RWD car that just needs an engine swap. If I remember correctly, conversion kits are available for both Ford and Chevy V8s.

    I have a 1999 Honda Accord V6 that gets about 19mpg using discount brand 87 octane E-10 in stop-and-go suburban driving. Can’t figure out how you could make the mileage much worse unless you have brutal traffic, steep hills, and/or something wrong in the transmission.

    • 0 avatar

      1. To fix your accord mileage, disengage the emergency brake.
      2. The person who allegedly got fired for buying a Corolla should have bought one with a Geo Prism badge.
      3. Find yourself a non-running RX7 at auction and drop a small block chevy engine and T56 into it. No, aluminum LSx motors are not as light a rotary, but they’re really not that heavy either, fit in tight spots and will improve your power/weight dramatically. And you can show your boss the chevy motor. Maybe to be safe, you should get a stick on bowtie badge or some sort of ‘Corvette Powered’ graphic.

  • avatar

    Sounds like a plan to me.

  • avatar

    The whole point of the RX7 for Mazda was to show off the attributes of the rotary engine. i.e. very low weight and so small it could fit low and a long way back in the engine bay. Plus it’s love of high revving was a perfect match for the light sports car. All of these attributes are the exact opposite of a V8 so I would love to hear comment from someone who has done this heretical engine swap.

  • avatar

    I had two first generation RX-7s and they were a lot of fun. Rotaries are truly a blast on mountain passes and canyon roads. Sure they were money pits, but they took a lot of abuse and road trips in my younger days. The second of the two, an ’84 GLS-SE was sweet. It’s currently sitting in a friend’s garage waiting to be restored with 180k on it. It still starts too!

  • avatar

    Get a Dodge Daytona, you’ll get the neat looks of an RX-7 but with an engine that’ll hold up, and decent mpg to boot!

  • avatar

    No matter how much you love the RX7, it isn’t worth losing your job over.

  • avatar

    Boy, what a post.

    This “kid” doesn’t appreciate what he has here. First off, saying he uses $20 in 89 octane gas, something’s wrong, even with a V6 Accord, that’s about half a tank of gas as that’s what I put in my truck (92 Ranger with 4.0L V6, but 2WD). and I can get between 77-110 miles on average before I have to fill up, and that all depends on whether it’s all highway or mostly highway or not. I guess I get at best, 20 mpg, city, 24-27 tops highway on a good day or so that’s what I was lead to believe anyway.

    I bet something’s wrong with your car, gravely wrong and unless not a US spec Accord, I think ALL accords, even your 2000 have AC standard, unless it doesn’t work and the brakes are easy to fix, just get new pads and check the master cylinder and replace that too if it’s going out and you should be good to go.

    But going with an RX-7 won’t yield you any better mileage than your current ride and to be honest, I’m beginning to lean (along with others) towards either the OP is not so bright or is a troll.

  • avatar

    Please tell me the letter is someone’s idea of a parody. I can’t believe he really means that.

  • avatar

    April Fools day came four months early.

  • avatar

    It’s a little early, but I’ll count this as my first good laugh of 2012. Thank you!

    I’ll feed the troll too: If you lower the Accord and paint it primer gray, MPG should increase substantially. Don’t forget the fart can muffler that adds 50 horsepower and sounds hella wicked tight, yo.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    “2000 Honda Accord V6 from my mother in law. this car drinks WAY too much gas. 20 dollars in 89 octane gas DAILY! my commute is about 50 miles round trip.”

    I own, and have for the last 9 years, a 2002 Accord V6.

    1. It does not take 89 as a requirement. I use nothing but 87 and have had no knocks in my 9 years.

    2. I get 20 mpg always in urban driving and using DU shoes. I love to accelerate. I get an honest 300 mi from a 15 gal fill up.

    3. Your job situation is your job situation. Trade the Accord for a good lease deal on a Cruze.

    4. An Rx7 is a hobby, not a daily driver.

  • avatar

    I believe that this video is in order:

  • avatar

    getting fired over it is a good reason to get a lawyer

    Sadly, not in an employment at will state; which is the case in many states. You cannot be fired over ADA, FMLA or EEOC issues – but in an employment at will state I could fire everyone with green eyes, or fire everyone who is left handed, or fire anyone with a tattoo because it is not an EEOC or ADA issue; as long as I follow the procedures outlined in my own employe manual, or documented human resources procedures. Now if the tattoo was religious in nature, THEN one could build an argument of an illegal firing.

    Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have public policy doctrine exceptions to their employment at will clauses, which complicates the issue. There are seven states that don’t, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New York, Rhode Island and Florida, and in typical Florida style, they make it complicated because they kind of have an exception. The most common use of public policy doctrine is, “whistle blower laws,” which even in an employment at will state, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee who reports illegal activity (whether that be say accounting impropriety that causes tax fraud, or abuse at a daycare center at the other end of the spectrum).

    Only eleven states have essentially what would be described as a, “just cause,” statute for termination of employees. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Idaho, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

    Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Idaho, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming are the most employee friendly states as they have both public policy doctrine exceptions and have “just cause” clauses in their state laws.

    Now, there is on ace-in-the-hole that many employees have in most states to fight a termination. Although most cases go to federal court over EEOC violations, other reasons to fight wrongful termination include retaliation for whistle blowing (including hostile work environment), violating FMLA, violating ADA, and finally, the employer not following their own termination procedures. So for example, if the employee manual states that termination requires a set series of steps to be followed, like being written up three times, and the employer does not follow them, even in employment at will states, that is an angle to go to court and claim wrongful termination.

    Ain’t America great.

    • 0 avatar

      Ain’t America great.

      Yeah, it respects the rights of employers too. Unless otherwise indicated in an employment contract or implied in an employee manual or HR guidelines if I hire you that doesn’t mean you have a lifetime job. All I owe you is your fair wages for the labor you do.

      • 0 avatar

        However, if you want good performance from your people, treating them with respect and some dignity will make most be willing to go the extra mile for you. If your only incentive is “be grateful you have a job:, your employees will flee as soon as the economy improves. But yeah, dead wood should be disposable at will…

  • avatar

    You are a Chevrolet salesman and you’re not interested in any of Chevrolet’s products, any of the gazillions of them since the beginning of time? How could you sell the product that you didn’t believe yourself, or rather how could you convince other people (your customers) to buy Chevrolets when you won’t yourself, even under threat of losing your job? Many others share your conviction because they want a reliable vehicle and has been burned by Chevrolets or hear others burned by unreliable Chevrolets, but your lust for RX-7 indicates that reliability is not high on your list. So what makes Chevrolets so bad for you? I want an inside information from a guy who sells one for a living!

    • 0 avatar

      … and I think the solution here is to get a job at the local Mazda dealership before buying that RX-7 (assuming your heart is still set on it.

      If you think the product you’re selling is not good enough for you, how can you look yourself in the mirror every day after pushing it on your customers?

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t think you absolutely need to buy your company’s products to be able ethically sell them. As a slightly more extreme example, I’ve been paid to extol the virtues of a certain brand’s minivan. Now, I’m childless and like smaller cars, so I’m in no rush to buy a minivan, but it doesn’t mean I can’t see how it has merit for other people.

        Likewise, Danny’s interest in an RX-7 over anything Chevrolet makes doesn’t mean he thinks they’re bad cars, just that he doesn’t have the same irrational love for them.

  • avatar

    Get yo’self a bitchin’ 5th gen Camaro V6 with a stick (the 3800 is fairly bullet-proof) – you’ll have almost as much fun as the RX-7, and you’ll get the employee discount on parts and service.

    Or, everything that you said was a lie, in which case: GO FOR THE RX-7; WHAT a GREAT IDEA.

  • avatar

    If they can fire you for what you drive, that job isn’t worth having. Get a job at a dealer closer to home who doesn’t give a damn what you drive and then buy whatever you want.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, the requirement to buy and be seen with your employer’s product is quite common in sales and related fields.

      A family member works of mine for a fashion design company and is expected to wear the company’s clothes. Discounts to enable wearing the clothes (or driving the car) are normal and expected.

      Employment at will means that anyone can be fired from any non-union job for any reason, or no reason whatsoever.

      • 0 avatar

        Employment at will doesn’t mean that termination for invalid causes isn’t legally actionable. It is. And unless this employer made it clear to its employees that they had to drive Chevys, then this was wrongful termination.

        Not that it’d make a lick of sense to sue over losing a straight-commission sales job, but there it is.

    • 0 avatar

      But they hired him with the Honda…I am throwing up the BS flag.

  • avatar

    I have to agree with Steve, that 75 Granada with the V-8 would probably be much more reliable.

  • avatar

    Sloppy work by the site admins (too much partying?)… its New Years, not April Fools, so please repost this on the correct day.

  • avatar

    Assuming this is not some kind of joke….

    “but I always loved Mazdas”

    First gen Miata. Great on gas, and stone reliable. As much fun as any of the RX-7s you are looking at. I know a couple guys who are hard core rotary fanatics…but only 1 daily drives one and that is a newer RX-8.

  • avatar
    dvp cars

    ……the odd wording of this letter notwithstanding, it has rekindled some musings on the infamous Wankel. Only those who experienced the sound generated by an unmuffled Mazda rotary in late 70’s GT racing could begin to explain the cacophonous, (literally) ear-splitting noise those things emitted. Even at idle they sounded like a AA Fuel Dragster with a couple of dead cylinders….and yet you could balance the proverbial nickel on the tiny running engine………weird!…and actually painful. I’m sure there are decibel limits in force today, thank the gods.
    But Mazda had the last laugh with their version of the Wankel.They are the only Japanese maker with a Le Mans overall-win trophy in their boardroom…….and it’s not as if the others haven’t tried. Nissan, and most notably Toyota, spent hundreds of millions in vain attempts. Mazda pulled it off in 1991 with the mighty 787B…..1800 pounds, 900 qualifying hp, 4 rotor engine. Check out to hear this thing.
    There are lots of other interesting Wankel stories, including the last minute cancellation of the fully developed rotary engine Corvette, and the fact that the AMC Pacer was originally designed around a cooking version of the same stillborn motor (which they hoped to source from GM).

  • avatar

    I have ended the year in a bang! I’ve started a collection of GM badges.

    GM sure did a lot of badge engineering! (It’s like Pokemon!)

  • avatar

    Thanks for answering my dilemma Steve & Mr Mehta:

    Situation update:
    the problem with the honda was the 3 cats were clogged beyond recognition. as evidenced by smoke emanating from the car after coming home one day and parking in the grassy part of my driveway.
    the EGR connector was unplugged, and finally 2 wheel bearings were shot. after all that was fixed I actually cut my fuel usage by more than half.
    gas is at $3.09 and all i need is 8 bucks to make a 50 mile roundtrip. which is normal.

    now why didn’t I buy a chevy since I work for a chevy dealer?

    we DO have a used car lot but can’t afford anything on it and i certainly do not want to take a loan to finance a despicable cobalt or an Impala or a pre-2008 Malibu.

    I would like to own a Cruze they are actually very very nice cars.
    but again I hate leasing. and at $20,905 for the turbo motor, I can’t plunk in that much dough on a new one, not to mention the stupid depreciation…

    I asked the boss about buying something used not from his lot and he said: how much do you want to spend, I replied: $3000 he said ok
    so i guess buying a cheap used car is not a problem but a brand new off brand car is. which is reasonable.

    as for the French Email connection:
    I Immigrated from France to here in 2003 and I am too lazy to get a new Email…

    Why an RX-7:

    I just love them beyond comprehension, not just RXs but Volvo 850’s and first gen Audi A8’s.
    now NONE of these will be my Daily Driver. that’s just STUPID… but as a second car. BTW my first car here in the states was a Peugeot 505 that i bought used so indeed unreliability runs in the blood.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Let’s see…his employer fires people over buying a Toyota, but this guy rolls up in a Honda every day, and it’s no problem? As an aside, I tried googling “Wrongful Termination Chevrolet” but got no returns. Fancy that.

    • 0 avatar

      Buying a new car from another dealership will get you the ax. No one really cares about a used car that isn’t made anymore. I’d just keep the Honda and buy something fun. Save your cash and buy a cool trade-in. As long as you don’t do it too often, you’ll get to drive the cool car for a while, sell it for more than you paid, and get a little newer/nicer/cooler car the next time.

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