1989 Mazda RX7 Turbo II (FC)

Photos provided by the vendor

Highlights


  • Recently respray in factory ‘Blaze Red’
  • Almost £3k spent mechanically this year
  • Refurbished factory alloys
  • Factory spec, unmodified

The Appeal


The 80s was the decade when the Japanese performance car scene in this country really started to establish itself. The RX7 Turbo was one of the hero cars of the time, offering accessible performance and an advanced drivetrain married to superb coupé styling, it’s no wonder it remains collectible and sought-after today.

Here we have a very charming example of the breed, a later ‘FC’ model, recently refinished in its original factory red colour scheme and having had almost £3,000 spent on it mechanically this year. If you’re after a stylish, powerful and evocative modern classic, you can’t get much better than an RX7 Turbo, and this one looks to be a cracker.

The History and Paperwork


  • First registered in December 1989
  • Supplied by Lythgoe Motors in Rochdale
  • 6 owners from new
  • Purchased by the current vendor in early 2022 as they’d always wanted one
  • A light mechanical overhaul was carried out by the previous owner
  • The current owner has had the car resprayed and wheels refurbed by a local specialist
  • Almost £3,000 was spent in September 2022 making sure the car was in excellent mechanical condition
  • Comes complete with the original handbooks and service record (19 stamps from 1989  to 2000)
  • Paperwork file includes a number of invoices/receipts and old MOT certificates
  • The vendor tells us that the car will come with a fresh MOT
  • Workshop manual and parts catalogue on CD

The Interior


  • Electric sunroof, windows and door mirrors
  • Highly original 2+2 interior
  • Period radio/cassette system
  • Cruise control

The cabin of the RX7 is very much ‘of its time’, with deeply sculpted seats and some quirky Japanese switchgear. It’s a true 2+2 layout, with the heavily bucketed rear seats really only suitable for children or as extra luggage room. The upholstery is a smart 80s striped grey design, which looks to be in overall pretty good condition. Obviously, there is some wear evident, particularly to the driver’s seat, where this is some minor seam parting apparent.

Black carpeting runs through the cabin and boot area, with complementary black vinyl to the door cards and dashboard. It all appears to be in very good order, with no significant damage to the carpets we could see, and just the odd blemish to the vinyl. As far as we could see, there is no cracking or UV damage to the dash, which is great to see on a car of this vintage.

Apart from what appears to be a missing blanking plate near the handbrake, all of the cabin trim and switchgear looks to be intact and in fine fettle. There is some patination in evidence, as you’d expect. But there’s nothing we would consider notable considering the age and mileage of the vehicle, and the fact that the interior appears to be unrestored and original.

The rather spacious boot is certainly a handy size – more than enough for a reasonable amount of luggage. Again, it’s finished in black carpet that looks to be in good order. There are a few minor pieces of trim missing in the boot, but nothing that stands out or that would be an inconvenience. Under the carpet, the boot floor appears to be solid and corrosion free from what we could observe.

We’re assured by the vendor that everything works as it should, with no known issues or gremlins to note other than the fact that the rear wiper is not working.

IMG_3062.jpg 23.6 MB

The Exterior


  • Professional respray in factory ‘Blaze Red’ (FQ)
  • Original wheels professionally refurbished
  • New matched set of BFGoodrich tyres

One of the first things you notice about this car is the quality of the bodywork and paintwork. The vendor tells us that the previous owner had any corrosion cut out and repaired. Meanwhile, the current owner has recently had the car resprayed in factory correct ‘Blaze Red’. The work has clearly been completed to a high standard, as the paint looks very well indeed, with no signs we could see of notable blemishes or overspray.

The bodywork itself looks nice and straight, the panels presenting with no evidence of damage or corrosion and looking to have even panel gaps. Similarly, all of the external trim and badging looks to be present and correct. There’s some light wear and blemishing showing on the rubbers and seals around the windows, but otherwise everything looks in fine order.

Riding on its original factory wheels, it’s nice to see an RX7 that hasn’t been put onto modern aftermarket alloys. The 16-inch wheels are diamond cut and have been professionally refurbished, and it really shows as they look superb. They’re shod in a matched set of 205/55 BFGoodrich tyres that appear to be almost new and have plenty of tread on them.

Peering under the car, the usual problem areas for Japanese cars of this vintage – sills and floors – all look very good indeed. Clean, solid and straight. It has obviously been treated at some point, as there is underseal over the underside that looks to be quite fresh. Other than one or two minor areas of surface corrosion on some of the drivetrain elements, the underside looks to be free of any significant corrosion.

The Mechanics


  • Wankel 13B 1,300cc twin-rotor, turbocharged engine
  • Good compression, documented
  • 5-speed manual transmission
  • Almost £3,000 spent in September 2022 on maintenance

That twin-rotor engine is something of a work of art – high-revving and with a unique aural signature. Add in the twin-scroll turbo in this model and you have a sub-1300Kg car that revs very freely and pushes 179hp and 247Nm to the rear wheels. The engine bay is generally nice and clean, with no evidence we could see of leaks or overheating. One or two elements show some surface corrosion, but nothing that would concern us in any way.

A stainless steel exhaust system has also been installed, but we’re told it is pretty much factory spec in size, so isn’t overly loud or obnoxious. The car also benefits from factory-fitted fully independent suspension, all round disc brakes and rack-and-pinion steering – all significant upgrades over earlier RX7 models.

The car has good compression, with documentation to attest to it, and the vendor tells us that it starts well both from cold and hot. In fact, in September of this year, they have had a specialist carry out a significant amount of maintenance work on the engine, ensuring it is in ‘A1’ condition. Some of the work carried out includes: a full service, injectors cleaned and tested, fuel system fully inspected, faulty Air Flow Meter reinstalled, a new Varta battery, new alternator, air pump and power steering belts. Almost all of the hoses and vacuum lines have also been replaced.

We’re told by the vendor that they always use pre-mix fuel, as recommended for rotary engines, and that the car drives very well, idling, accelerating and braking as it should and apparently being great fun when the boost arrives. Some spares will also be included in the sale.

Summary


The JDM car scene is probably as big as it’s ever been now, and finding a car like this that hasn’t been heavily modified is quite the rarity. We love the fact that it’s clearly had lots of care and attention lavished on it recently, which should give the next owner real confidence in the quality of this smart little coupé.

If you like your performance cars to be unique, high-revving and chock full of boost, then look no further. Embrace the braaaaap.

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This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1989
  • Make Mazda
  • Model RX7 Turbo
  • Colour Blaze Red
  • Odometer 141,921 Miles
  • Engine size 1300
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Worthing
  • Location Sussex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
48 bids
  • sean.wr•••• £11,250 29/11/22
  • marcus-•••• £10,750 29/11/22
  • super_s•••• £10,500 29/11/22
  • marcus-•••• £10,250 29/11/22
  • sean.wr•••• £10,000 29/11/22
  • marcus-•••• £9,800 29/11/22
  • sean.wr•••• £9,700 29/11/22
  • marcus-•••• £9,500 29/11/22
  • sean.wr•••• £9,300 29/11/22
  • marcus-•••• £9,000 29/11/22

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