1979 Mazda RX-7 - today's JDM tempter

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine

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mazda RX7 First generation Mazda RX-7s are in demand. mazda RX7

First-generation coupe is definitely on the collector radar

We've seen some wild prices paid at auction for the first-series Mazda RX-7 - up to $55k at a Shannons auction last year - though one sale doesn't necessarily set a market value all on its own.

What that May sale (there were three cars up for auction at the time) established was there is definite collector interest in this series, particularly if they're unmolested and in good condition.

Known as the Mazda Savannah in some markets, the RX-7 was a relatively simple and elegant coupe that won a big following from the day of launch in 1978.

Layout was initially an 1146cc 12A rotary, tied to a variety of manual or auto transmissions, and rear-wheel-drive.

A feature that helped their reputation for great handling was the rotary was compact enough to sit behind the front axle line, centralising the mass.

The series inevitably developed over time, with more powerful engines including turbo versions.

As for the car featured here, it's a Japan domestic model (JDM) that has been imported as a used car. In this day and age that should not be a concern, so long as it comes with the appropriate import approval paperwork.

Purists will prefer a locally-delivered car, but the reality is they're in short supply and a JDM should be an excellent alternative.

This one certainly looks dead original and the price of $26,990 is probably under what you'd pay to do a comprehensive resto. It's located in NSW.

And the really good news? It's well and truly within the cut-off for club permit registration in all states.

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