Not all who wander are lostSo start by asking yourself a few questions. What are you going to use the car for? Do you plan on keeping it stock or modifying it? How much money can you afford to spend on an RX-7? Are you buying it for your pleasure, or do you intend to resell it for a profit? How much time are you going to spend behind the wheel? These are some good ones to consider before making any decisions.
Mazda built the RX-7 between 1978 to 2002. The first generation is the most common, with Mazda producing 471,018 units. 272,027 units of the second generation were up next. The FD is the rarest one, with just 68,589 ever made. There is a direct connection between these numbers and the current pricing for the RX-7. As a rule of thumb, if you're budget is about $20,000, try not to spend more than $10,000 on the car.
Turbo Rotary: The only replacement for displacement?Now, if you aren't running on a tight budget, I would advise you to go straight for an FD RX-7. The Spirit R is amazing if you can get your hands on one, and you can also make a profit by selling it in a few years. Keeping stock will help with the resale value. But if you want to take things to the next level, I suggest looking into a single-turbo conversion. FD's can start as low as $15K, but don't expect it to be running flawlessly.
Prices for these cars have soared, and this year a 1994 model went for $67,500 on Bring a Trailer. The FD works great as a street weapon or a time attack vehicle, but if drifting is more to your taste, why not look at an FC? You can get a rolling shell for a few thousand dollars and build it up from there. I've seen grassroots drifters using the naturally aspirated 13B unit, while still having fun.
If I'd have to drive 10 hours straight in a Mazda RX-7, the FC would be my number 1 choice for sure. A top-notch, stock FC RX-7 is going to set you back less than $30,000. But if you're on a tight budget, have a look at either the convertible variants or the naturally aspirated ones. You're not going to gap any Mustangs soon, but they might provide a more exciting overall driving experience.
While prices for the first-generation RX-7 have started increasing as well, you can still find some solid cars for less than $10K. Finding the rare, turbocharged one can be quite tricky, but if you're not after power, the naturally aspirated engine will do just fine. These could be perfect for historic racing series or even for rallying if you can summon the courage. I would even go as far as using one as a daily commuter if you don't mind the smell of gasoline and oil.