Junkyard Find: 1979 Mazda RX-7

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1979 mazda rx 7

First-gen RX-7 s aren’t uncommon in wrecking yards in the western part of the country, as demonstrated by this ’79, this ’80 with incredibly of-its-time custom paint, and this fairly solid ’85. In fact, I don’t bother to photograph most of the examples I see. Today’s ’79, with its brown-and-beige tape stripes, seemed worthy of inclusion in the Junkyard Find series, though.

It’s fairly complete, the body is straight, and there’s no rust.

It’s difficult to get these cars through the California emissions test, though, even with the not-so-stringent requirements for the 1979 model year.

Looks like the dash and the door panels have been pulled.

Poor doomed RX-7.

The car you’ve been waiting for is waiting for you!

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  • Japanese Buick Japanese Buick on Apr 26, 2014

    My wife was driving an 83 (?) GSL-SE when we met. It was a great car and held up well when it was her daily driver. When her commute changed and it was relegated to fun and weekend duty, it fell apart. Apex seals and flooding became a big problem. It needed work about every 700 miles and her mechanic said it has to be driven regularly. Final straw was when we moved to the country and its sporty ride became punishing on washboard dirt roads. We sold it with about 70k mikes and used the money to buy a generator (it was 1999). So long story short I can definitely see why it ended up junked.

    • Redshift Redshift on Apr 26, 2014

      An NA rotory driven regularly and slightly hard will last forever. Neglect and "gentle" will see them have a lot more problems. And the GSL-SE was 84 and 85 in North America.

  • Jim brewer Jim brewer on Apr 26, 2014

    15 years at 5K per year? Doesn't sound so bad to me. I haven't tried one, but If I were in the market, I'd definitely give their products a test drive. There's a Mazda Millenia in our parking lot. Average to good condition for its age. No show car. Just a really handsome practical and comfortable looking car.

    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Apr 29, 2014

      You get into trouble with the Millenia unless you get one of the very early ones, which are getting pretty rare and old these days. The Millenia is on Steve Lang's used cars to avoid list.

  • Tassos There is nothing 'weird' about Finland's fine system. A few other nations have it too. Switzerland maybe, I am not sure.But you do not specify WHAT was that clown's income that required him to pay $120k for a speeding ticket?I am sure that for somebody like ELon Musk, $100k will barely operate his megayacht ONE LOUSY Day.
  • Bkojote On paper, GMC is supposed to be the understated, more sophisticated member of the GM truck family.In actuality, GMC is total garbage in the truck world - by the time they're on their second owner they're decked out with amazon wheel spacers, pizza dish wheels, punisher stickers, and really angry opinions about any president who's won the popular vote in the past two decades. And man, these things are ugly as sin too.That's because GM trucks as a whole are kinda the also-rans in the truck category. Yeah, they do sales, but they aren't anyone's first choice. Not as extreme as the Ram, not as category defining as the Raptor, not as well engineered as a Toyota, so you end up with owners who compensate big time to distract others from the endless repair bills. The only owners I know who are worse are the rollin' coal lifted Super Duty drivers. Like you bought a GMC because the guy who sold you your wife's acadia is less scary than having to grovel for a Raptor and you take the Ford guys making fun of you personally.
  • Tassos The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I have mentioned this before, and it applies here again.Go to the U of Michigan College of Engineering parking lot. How can you say what car the $300,000 a year (ACADEMIC year of 9 months, mind you, summer pay is extra, and consulting a whole lot on top of that) and what does the $50,000 a year secretary drive?Hint: Teresa was out chair's secretary, started a year ago. She had to resign in just a few months because her 75 mile EACH WAY from her home in Lapeer MI to ANn Arbor MI just KILLED HER when gas prices rose.What car did Teresa drive? Take a wild guess. An F150? A Ram pickup? A Silverado? One of these. In a fee months she had to resign and find a lesser job in the whole lot lesser U of M Flint (but why would she care? she's just a secretary), which halved her commuting distance to a still significant 75 mile round trip every damned day.So the poor keep buying pickups and get poorer, and the rich keep NOT buying them and get richer.
  • Cprescott It is ugly enough. But why? You refuse to build enough of your products for your consumers.
  • Cprescott Only if your income also gives you more votes.