1983 Mazda RX7 Series III Racer

By: Alex Affat, Photography by: Alastair Brook

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Joseph Lenthall's story with his beloved Series III RX-7 starts as a kid in Adelaide, growing up and watching rotary-powered R100s howling around racetracks

Upon moving to Sydney, he found a lot of the guys there were racing early-series RX-7s instead of the compacts in his homestate, "because they handled better, and they were cheaper too," back then.

"I’ve always wanted a bridgeport race car," says Joseph, a motorsport man at heart. He picked up this ex-works racecar, and under his care, it continues to be raced and enjoyed.

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In 2013, Joseph embarked on the brave and admirable endeavour of undertaking a full tear-down rotisserie rebuild and respray in his single-car suburban Sydney garage.

"We soda blasted it in my garage, it looked like Dexter, with all the plastic sheets hanging everywhere."

| Buyer's guide: Mazda RX-7 Series 1-3

Joseph jokes that it "wasn’t a great decision" but in doing all the work himself he saved himself some vital pocket change.

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"There would have been no way I’d have been able to afford it," he says.

As for future plans, Joseph simply wants to maintain his car and keep on racing.

When asked about advice for those seeking early RX-7s of their own, Joseph is quick to point out the mechanical horror stories usually linked to the Wankel engine.

| Related: Mazda RX-7 Type-R Bathurst R review

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"Like anything, if you keep stretching it, eventually it will break."

"I’ve never had it go on me, I’ve never had it go boom, it’s never spat out a seal".

Joseph stresses that with diligent maintenance, major catastrophes can be avoided.

Mazda -rx 7-engine -bayThe bridgeport motor has proved to be durable as well as powerful

"Catch it before it goes boom," he says. "Check, refurb, refresh.

"It’s much better to check and fix something, than have to find and rebuild a whole engine."


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