It might be the world’s loudest doorstop and look like a Triumph TR7 from more than a couple of angles, but the first-gen Mazda RX-7 is a neat little car. Powered by a 12A two-rotor system, revving like a two-stroke dirt bike and looking completely honest as a sporty little hatchback that begged to be driven, the first-gen RX-7s were renowned for their handling and smoothness. What other car needed a warning buzzer to alert the driver that they were getting close to the 7,000 RPM redline? Not many, we’d wager. These first-gen RX-7s are difficult to find in any condition anymore, let alone as a clean driver, so locating one that fit the Rough Start budget is a bit of an eye-opener.
This is a car that has been cared for. New parts include a clutch, brakes, fuel pump and filter, and a pop-up headlight motor being added within recent history and some rust spots were cleaned up and taken care of. It’s not perfect but whatever isn’t perfect, we can look past. The question is what to do with this bright yellow car. Do you cut it up? Do you play with what’s there? Or do you accept the fact that at least one first-gen RX-7 managed to make it unscathed this long and leave it more-or-less alone? It’s not everyday that we’d suggest leaving a car be, but for this rotary rocket, that’s our stance. Keep it running, put some miles on it here and there, and enjoy it for what it is.