200 HP
150 LB-FT
Curb Weight
2450 LB
Rear wheel drive
Engine Size
1.3 L
Transmission Type
5 speed, limited slip

The Rx was purchased new in mid-1981 by my dad in Virginia, Minnesota as his first second car.  It was a base S model finished in star dust blue metallic with a black interior.  I have to believe this is one of very few Rx-7s fitted with a block heater.  It was so basic that it didn't even include a stereo let alone fuel injection,  electric windows or electric door locks.  Dad added a radio immediately after purchase. I was 8.  A couple of days after he bought it, I was playing in the yard near the car and provided it with it's first dent.  A nice big hit from a rock to the front plate between the headlights.  It was quickly repaired. After about 3 months of ownership, my dad started up the car, moved the car a short distance, and turned it off.  This is a big no-no for the rotary engine as cold, dislodged carbon bits can get wedged between the rotor housing wall and apex seal.  We know this now, in 1981 it wasn't so widely known.  This is what happened and the first engine was replaced before the car was 6 months old.  The Rx had a bumpy early life.  It survived four Minnesota winters before we moved to Colorado.  There it became his primary use vehicle for the next 6 years it accumulated about 180,000 miles.  It was the car on which I learned to drive a stick shift at 15 and took to high school when it was available for the day.  In early 1990, he replaced The Rx with a 1991 MR2 Turbo and the Rx-7 became mine. As a young kid with a sports car, I spend some time unintentionally going in circles and backwards while learning the skills of vehicle control, but luckily, The Rx survived.  If anyone doesn't believe that a car with only 100 horsepower can't be dangerous (and hilariously fun), they're wrong. After graduating college and getting a decent paying job, I started to make the car my own.  I used the Rx as a second car, using a string of other fun cars as dailies while the Rx would remain preserved.  Throughout the next ten years I touched just about every part of the car.  First the car was repainted in Radar Blue Metallic, a GM color with a blue/purple flop.  Rust, resulting from the winters that it served my dad, was removed and the car was cosmetically returned to excellent condition.  Mechanical modifications came slowly with the large majority of the work being done by Louie Rivera of the Mazda-Honda Shop in Littleton, CO.  The suspension was replaced with mostly Racing Beat components. the rear end was replaced with an LSD unit.  Newer, lighter, wider wheels and tires were added.  The interior was fitted with a Momo steering wheel and seats from a later model Turbo II.  The engine was also replaced with a later model rotary, slightly ported, producing 170hp to the rear wheels at 5280 feet using a weber carburetor intake, which translates to approx. 200 wheel horsepower at sea level.  To improve drive-ability and pass emissions, the carb was later replaced with the intake from a 1991 Rx-7 and a Haltech engine management system. The Rx has been in it's current form since about 2000.  In the years since, I have been enjoying it for it's purity, rawness, capability and nostalgia.  It was the first car I ever owned and I plan to make it my last.

Discuss this build

See whose at the top of the Wheelwell RX-7 Leaderboard