Crapwagon Outtake: Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

My wife tells me that I’m not allowed to own an RX-7.

To be fair, there are any number of cars I’ll likely never own due the the varied circumstances of life and wallet, but Mazda’s rotary wonder, generally available for a budget price, is off limits due to the misadventures of relative youth. More details, someday, when I’ve recovered from the tetanus.

Yesterday, I happened upon an eBay auction for, arguably, the most desireable of the first-generation RX-7, the GSL-SE. These “five-letter” cars are the only ones with the larger, more powerful, fuel-injected 13B engine. The model also added a limited slip, larger brake discs, and more luxury features. This one also carries the limited “IMSA TARGA-7” package, which appears to be mostly tape stripes and an aluminum-looking faux-targa bar cover for the B-pillar. The car has been repainted, and generally looks good. Even the velour bordello red interior looks clean.

Then my daily Bring A Trailer email came through.

Another five letter RX-7, this time a white ’84 model with lower miles and red leather. This one is even nicer than the black ’85, with mostly original paint and functional air conditioning. While white cars are not my favorite, I’ll admit this one is stunning.

I’m curious what you, the faithful Crapwagon readers, think of these cars – especially the selling price. The black car on eBay has a Buy it Now price of $9,900. I’d imagine the reserve is closer to $8k. My guess – the white car will pull about a grand more than the black one, assuming it sells.

What sayeth the B&B?

Chris Tonn
Chris Tonn

Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in eBay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, and he's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.

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  • TonyJZX TonyJZX on Jun 27, 2015

    DIS NOT A CRAPWAGON even middling driver examples of 1st gen RX7s are five figures now good one you can send back to Japan for real money pretty easy to understand why... gorgeous styling, unique engine, driveability, collectibility... it has it all they rust too like a real italian classic

  • Johnny_Cakes Johnny_Cakes on Jul 01, 2015

    These motors use Oil, by design, to lube the APEX Seals. They don't burn oil because they are somehow broken as many people think they do. Many buyers neglected theirs and never topped up the oil between changes. No rust on either of mine which I bought with about 75 K on them. I had an 83 RX-7 Limited edition that went past 150K on the original motor in the metro NY are that had no rust. I also had an 85 RX-7 GSL that went past 150K on the original motor in the metro NY area as well. I revved those motors on the daily and they never failed me. Miss them both dearly. Rotary engine is a beautiful thing that balances nicely in these light weight cars. I would never swap them out for a V8 or anything else. Hearing the Rotary hum past redline is like music.

  • James Hendricks The depreciation on the Turbo S is going to be epic!
  • VoGhost Key phrase: "The EV market has grown." Yup, EV sales are up yet again, contrary to what nearly every article on the topic has been claiming. It's almost as if the press gets 30% of ad revenues from oil companies and legacy ICE OEMs.
  • Leonard Ostrander Daniel J, you are making the assertion. It's up to you to produce the evidence.
  • VoGhost I remember all those years when the brilliant TTAC commenters told me over and over how easy it was for legacy automakers to switch to making EVs, and that Tesla was due to be crushed by them in just a few months.
  • D "smaller vehicles" - sorry, that's way too much common sense! Americans won't go along because clever marketing convinced us our egos need big@ss trucks, which give auto manufacturers the profit margin they want, and everybody feels vulnerable now unless they too have a huge vehicle. Lower speed limits could help, but no politician wants to push that losing policy. We'll just go on building more lanes and driving faster and faster behind our vehicle's tinted privacy glass. Visions of Slim Pickens riding a big black jacked up truck out of a B-52.
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