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Car Buying Advice - Mazda RX-7 FD


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#1 gav240z

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 06:06 AM

Hi Everyone,
I realise this is off topic, but I have been living in Ireland for a while now and whilst I miss home, I think I could be here for a while longer.

Recently I have been considering buying a car, because I want to go surfing on the West Coast in Summer and its a 4.5 hr drive. I could hire a car, but weather conditions are not easy to predict and booking a car in Dublin could get expensive if I do it often. I don't need a car for work so it would be my weekend warrior.

I have more than enough cash to buy the car outright and I've always loved the Mazda RX-7 FD. You can get them relatively cheap here. From 4,000 euro - 12,000 euro depending on the year of the car. Compared to what they go for in Australia I consider this a great price.

Other thoughts to consider I'm still a young man with no mortgage or kids so I want a 2 seater sports car I can enjoy. I would get a Z but the only 1 for sale in Ireland right now is going for about 22,000 euro and I have nowhere to work on her anyway.

So what I'm looking for is feedback on the FD Mazda RX-7, have you ever owned 1? Have you ever owned a rotary? What's the general consensus / feedback on them?

I'm trying to get a copy of Brian Long's Mazda RX-7 book (same guy who wrote the Fairlady Z Story) but Amazon have it at a very high price and the publisher says its out of stock on their website. But I will order it soon as it has a buying guide and outlines the changes in the years.

The Spirit R version seems to be the duck's nuts but could be too expensive and I don't even know if any exist in the Emerald Isle anyway?

Here is a few examples in Ireland for sale right now:
http://cars.donedeal...ale/cars/894220
http://cars.donedeal...le/cars/1210549
http://cars.donedeal...le/cars/1188581
http://cars.donedeal...le/cars/1146387
http://cars.donedeal...le/cars/1209453
http://cars.donedeal...le/cars/1200624

So have I sold my soul here if I buy a Mazda? :) I realise the same money spent on this car could be spent on my 240z back home and get lots of nice things done but I could always resell the Mazda RX-7 before I leave the country.

Insurance, maintenance, NCT (National Car Test) their version of RWC are also things to consider in the cost of a car.

Oh and I'm looking for a car as close to standard as possible. Not interested in silly rear wings, big chrome wheels, massive exhausts or other non-sense (or at least I think that's all non-sense). I'm looking for a car that's been meticulously cared for and babied.

Thanks guys.

#2 zzzzed

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 08:36 AM

what i have learned from my mates with rotors.
They only get 80,000 to 100,000 kms out of them before the apexi seals go and need a compleat rebuild
they are very expensive on fuel
my mates seems to spend more time in the shed being worked on than on the road
they go like stink, but sound like a fart in a bottle.

Mind you theas are series 4/5 rx7 I am not sure if they improved the reliability and economy of the fd series 



#3 zedevan

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 08:45 AM

i say go for it gav, seems like the perfect time to buy one considering your circumstances. my house mate's a mechanic and has a nice fc, and ofcourse would really like to 'upgrade' to an fd. whenever i ask him about its realiability he says its the same as any other performance car and you just have to look after it with oil changes to protect the seals, but i've heard the 80,000-100,000km thing before. it however does go through more petrol than his old 70's v8 statesman!

i quickly consider an fd, but figured as i needed a semi daily, a silvia was a cheaper and less risky option. there was a bathurst r sitting an importers was checking out, and the guy was complaining that he'd pushed someone into the car opposite it, and they had rebounded off it and landed on the FD, putting a massive dent in it due to how thin all the panels are to reduce weight, where the car he was pushed into was fine! and he was saying that without their undercar bracing they twist like anything, and he'd imported an accident damaged car that one of his customers really wanted, and he said you could put your head inbetween the door and b pillar!

...where will the surf board go? gangsta roof racks?

#4 Toecutter

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 01:22 PM

Ah rotary head ache. why not just get the real car they copied. A mid 80's 944 would cost peenuts in Ireland I imagine. Just put some club sport wheels on it and get it lowered. Like this one:

Posted Image

Sulio

EDIT: just realised it is the later model RX your looking at. Yep I like that series better than the new models. Still the 944 is pretty cheap seeing it will only be transitional at best.

#5 nizm0zed

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 04:46 PM

will a surf board fit in a RX7?
Or is it going on the roof?

Most people i know with rotaries dont drive them often, due to a massive cost of fuel.
They also spend a fair bit of time on maintenance, and over here rotary parts arent cheap, no matter where you shop.
What is premium fuel worth over there? Coz the rotor will drink fuel like an irishman with guniess ;)

Maybe another kind of hot road warrior?
Turbo Vauxall Astra?
Peugeot 206 GTi?
Escort Cosworth Rs2000
Better yet, if its more for cruising around than tearing up the roads, how about an old school merc landbarge?
I would suggest watching top gear to get some ideas from them, seeing as they frequently review some well priced sporty cars between the million dollar exotics.

Personally id be looking for something that isnt easily available over here, enjoy it while your over there and its cheaply obtainable.
Maybe even play your cards right and import it overe here as a private car, then sell it on.

#6 Huw

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 05:02 PM

Little cheap and quick (ish) 205 GTI??
Rocket powered rollerskate that can actually be used.

Huw

#7 Zeddophile

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 10:10 AM

Personally id be looking for something that isnt easily available over here, enjoy it while your over there and its cheaply obtainable.
Maybe even play your cards right and import it overe here as a private car, then sell it on.


This is an excellent point - if you're going to be over there for another 12 months, this would be a good option....

#8 Toecutter

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 10:43 AM

.Posted Image

put an RB in it!

#9 sco_aus

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:44 AM

As cool as FDs are, I reckon go for a Euro car too.  Though an FD would be quicker and if the coastal roads are some fun, well...

#10 acf321

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:56 PM

Gav

Sulio's spot on ... get a 944 S2 or turbo. They are bullet proof and parts are pretty easy to get (especially in Europe). They are very cheap also. Make sure you buy post 1985, as pre 85 they had cacky interior and were lower on grunt. The S2 is a 3.0l four cylinder and it a bullet. If you want some inspiration, have a look on Lyndsay Racing in the USA .. they regularly get 600HP from the 2.5 turbo motor.

Go and drive one before you buy the rotary. While the FD rx7 is a really nice car, i agree on the fuel and reliability issues. They seriously (i mean SERIOUSLY) chew fuel... think 351 carb Ford V8 style economy. The porsche 944 turbo will be faster too !

Oh, and the Porsche is well umm a Porsche. The Mazda is not!

Have fun with it.

Cheers

Adam

#11 RBZ 260

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 11:36 AM

gac agree with nizm0zed and guys bellow.

fd is nice but rotary = pain.

like they said get a porsche 944 turbo or even later model 968 big 3L 4cyl or cosworth escort something bit rare here and kinda cheapish up there,  that u can bring over here via personal import.

my plan is to do top gear euro trip. ie get a car in UK drive accross europe than pack it on container and bring it back here. was thinking cosworth, porshe, m3 etc.....


#12 NZeder

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 03:48 PM

Gav a mate from the UK (now lives in the US but the car is still in UK) has an FD Rx7 and it goes like a cut cat - when it is going that is. It cost him a packet in fuel and maintenance hence why it is still in the UK and not the US. I do like the style of the batmobile RX7 the back seat is a joke so I think of them as a 2 seater.

I would go with a euro too, the Porka that others talk about is a good car there is one that races in the time trials here in NZ and the old boy just pushes that car and he never lifts the bonnet. Those big 4 cylinders (1/2 of a 928 V8 I was once told not sure if that is true) are strong and reliable it seem.

I also agree with some other comments - get a Cosworth Esky or the like you know the YB powered cars - as worse case is you bring the car back to OZ and sell of the engine to a MK1 or MK2 escort boy to put the head onto his pinto bottom end (there are a number that race engine like that here in NZ - but they are 40K+ engine builds and big HP, but they also have alloy blocks too)

#13 NZeder

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 03:53 PM

Not in the price range you posted but check this rare beast out
http://cars.donedeal...le/cars/1056906
now that would be different to own

#14 Cdr Zero

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:25 PM

Go for it - Rotaries are expensive to run but they are SO much fun!  Mmmmm FD....  ;D

My first car was a 1st Gen RX7, what a car it was...  :)

#15 chris240

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 06:07 PM

Gav
I vote for a late 80's 944 (968 could be outa the budget) or a nicely worked 90's escort..a cosworth esky would be sensational  8) and 'probably" better resale....even a non turbo 2-door sierra (turbo could be expensive to buy)

or perhaps a Hillman Imp  ;D

#16 Lynton

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 12:27 PM

Can you buy 280zx two seater turbo?
Lynton 8)

#17 NZeder

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 02:45 PM

Can you buy 280zx two seater turbo?
Lynton 8)

only in LHD I believe - the US got them and so did LHD EU markets - don't think they were RHD 280zx Turbo - Fairlady Z turbo aka L20et powered but L28et powered in RHD.

The issue with most RHD 280zx 2 seaters in the UK is rust due to salt on the winter roads

#18 luvemfast

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 02:49 PM

only in LHD I believe - the US got them and so did LHD EU markets - don't think they were RHD 280zx Turbo - Fairlady Z turbo aka L20et powered but L28et powered in RHD.

I thought there was one for sale a year or so ago in Perth ???
Maybe an aftermarket turbo then...

#19 Toecutter

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 11:56 AM

I've also been looking at these E9 BMW lately, get em in a 2.8 or 3.0L. Nice car to ring back home later.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Sulio

#20 gav240z

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 11:20 PM

Bit of an update. I took a look at an FD3S RX-7 yesterday and I have to say I really like them. Very much reminded me of the feel of the 240z interior wise and even the way they drive.

I haven't driven a 944 yet, but I did see this:


Which inspired me to give them a look, I never really liked the styling though. It wasn't bad, but it's wasn't timeless (if you ask me).

It's worth having a look at them though.

Both cars could be risky to buy, the FD in case the engine decides to give up the ghost and the Porsche if it needs major parts (since Porsche parts = expensive).

I think I'm hooked on the rotary idea though, so smooth you don't realise it's time to change gear :).




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