Junkyard Find: 1979 Mazda RX-7
First-gen Mazda RX-7s aren’t difficult to find in self-service wrecking yards (we just saw this ’80 with Flashdance-grade custom paint and this fairly solid ’85), and so most of them don’t make it into this series. During my recent trip to California for the biggest 24 Hours of LeMons race in history, I stopped at one of my favorite East Bay wrecking yards and found this utterly rust-free example of one of the few bright spots of the Malaise Era.
Somebody has grabbed the complete dash, but the no-doubt-Quaalude-saturated driver’s seat is still present.
The 12A engine made just 100 horsepower in ’79, but that was pretty serious stuff at the time (keep in mind that the most powerful engine you could get in the ’79 Corvette made just 225 horsepower, and that the RX-7 of this period weighed less than 2,500 pounds). Sure, your grandma’s 11-year-old four-cylinder Camry will beat a ’79 RX-7 in a drag race, but the Malaise Era had different standards for cars.
You don’t often see gas struts on junkyard cars that still work— someone will buy these for sure!
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There's a nice blue '81 I've been seeing posted for sale in my region: http://saskatchewan.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehicles-cars-trucks-1981-Mazda-RX-7-Coupe-W0QQAdIdZ523991839 The blue is a bit lighter though. The interior is worn, but the exterior looks to be in great condition.
The 79's are pretty common where I live. But the majority of them in other places are usually in the junk yard. My brother bought one of these lightly used in 1986. I remember when the he got tired of the base engine it had and installed a rotary version it was pretty good. Great memories brought back except the blue wasn't really like this picture it was dark kind of and it looked a bit after market.