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This Ford 5.0-Swapped RX-7 Makes Rotary Fans Cringe, Engine Swap Junkies Sing
The first-generation FA Mazda RX-7 is a landmark vehicle. Why? Because it was the first time that many North Americans got a good look at Mazda's flagship rotary engine. It may not have been the first, but it was certainly one of the most memorable.

This Ford 5.0-Swapped RX-7 Makes Rotary Fans Cringe, Engine Swap Junkies Sing

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Rotaries will always have a place in the petrolhead fandom, but in 2022, they're somewhat of a non-factor. Turns out there better ways of cranking out big horsepower than a fuel-thirsty spinning rotor in a box. Then again, a Ford 5.0 V8 isn't exactly eco-friendly either. It's not like we're talking about a Prius here.

But hey, the virtues of big power and low weight will always be mighty appealing. Assuming you can afford to keep gas in them these days, that's always a dubious assumption. This particular engine swap comes to us via the Bring a Trailer User twan374 out of Stony Brook on Long Island, New York.

Rest assured, this is not one of those beaters you slap a ridiculous engine into at the end of its life as one last hurrah. Compared to most cars that are 42 years old, there's hardly a blemish on the thing. The exterior restoration that makes it look like this is no doubt a fair bit newer.

But In any case, this RX-7's Solar Gold paint with matte black impact bumpers and silver-finished 15″ AT Italia wheels make for a look entwined with the late 70s and early 80s. The original 13-inch wheels from the car came from the factory with are available with the price of the car. So much so that we're surprised a Mariya Takeuchi cassette doesn't come included.

This aesthetic is equally present with this RX-7s interior. In most cars' interiors, brown is an ugly color. But in a four-decade-old sports car, these brown stitched-leather bucket seats turn any Millenial into Tom Selleck right out of Magnum P.I. If any Millenial that actually understands the reference, our hats are off to you. This brown theme is everywhere, from the door panels to the steering wheel and the dashboard.

Safe to say, the first-gen RX-7 is one of the only classic cars on the planet that can rock this look and not look completely ridiculous. The only blemishes appear to be a non-functioning odometer and a Quartz clock in a questionable state of affairs. It's all in support of a drivetrain quite unlike anything Mazda ever intended.

It's the mighty "Five-Oh" from a 1991 Fox Body Mustang and adapted to fit under the puny engine bay of an SA RX-7 with a Granny's Speed Shop conversion kit. A fair bit of engine work was done before the installation, with things like piston rings and rod bearings. Once the big hunk of an engine was safely nestled under this RX-7s hood, the real fun could begin.

We're talking about Holley 600 CFM Street Brawler carburetor with "shorty" exhaust headers, aluminum rocker arms, cylinder heads from FLOTEK, and a COMP Cams roller camshaft for a bit more intestinal fortitude deep inside the internals of this three-decade-old engine. The burly Ford engine is paired with a rebuilt Tremec five-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential from a later model 1983 RX-7 GS-LE.

Considering the largest engine, the first-gen RX-7 ever came from the factory with was only 1,308 cc, it's a real feat of DIY engineering to have the end result look so clean. If the seller weren't being honest about the minor surface rust on the car's undercarriage, we would only suspect the thing was in mint condition.

The price for this horsepower-per-ton monster? Well, with four days left in the auction, the current bid stands at $5,600. Considering all the blood, sweat, and tears a build of this caliber needs to become what it is, anyone who takes it home for less than five figures can successfully say they made off like a bandit.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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