- the top bid for this rod millen-inspired 1984 mazda rx-7 rally car is currently $13,777 on bring a trailer, with bidding open until sunday, february 13.
- despite a clean carfax record, this rx-7 has been raced, bumped, rolled, and refurbished. it has lived most of its life as a rally car with stages completed at rally events including the missouri show me rally, 100 acre wood, and a six-hour nasa enduro race.
- in addition to the obvious rally-car modifications, a few of the car's original gsl-se options, such as electronic fuel injection and power windows, have been removed.
the most attention-grabbing stuff at auction is typically a low-mileage this or a one-of-one uber-rare celebrity-owned that. if the photo of it upside down wasn't obvious enough, this 1984 mazda rx-7 gsl-se rally car fits in neither category. it's been flipped on its lid. bodyslammed by a tree. and, later, had its engine's electronic fuel injection removed in favor of a carburetor.
what made the 1984 rx-7 gsl-se special was its bigger, better, electronically fuel-injected 135-hp 1.3-liter rotary engine. the 13b had 34 more horsepower than the engine originally in previous rx-7s. among other improvements, the gsl-se trim had bigger brakes, an updated suspension, and larger wheels.
the current owner, who has filmed several parts of the car's restoration process on his youtube channel, admits the freshened-up engine doesn't have much run time. it starts and drives fine but hasn't been given a proper flogging in any sanctioned event since the resto. the car shows roughly 127,000 miles on the odometer, but its little rotary engine recently went under the knife for fresh apex and coolant seals. other engine mods include a larger radiator and a higher-output alternator from a second-generation rx-7, likely to help power the big light pods mounted to the nose.
the livery is especially eye-catching. the design was inspired by the four-wheel-drive prototype rx-7 driven by pikes peak hill climb champ rod millen throughout the early 1980s scca pro rally series. among the giant striping and tokico gas shocks logos are 2wd stickers that parody the ones found on the winning 4wd prototype car.
the interior is also a tribute to rallying. the carpets and accessory wiring harnesses have been gutted in favor of simplicity and a six-point roll cage that has been welded to the chassis. the original red dashboard and keyed ignition are still intact. the radio and doors have been recovered with aluminum panels, and bright-red sparco bucket seats have been installed. there are also new led interior service lights for the cabin and another service light under the hood that you can move around should you need it. if you're someone who really likes rx-7s and really wants to compete in rallycross, most of the work is done for you.
under the chassis sit extra bracing and supports to help protect the shocks, front control arms, and rear axle. the cat-less exhaust is pure race car with plenty of brap out back thanks to a custom-built setup with mandrel-bent tubing.
there's plenty of well-placed skepticism when buying someone else's project car, but why chop, gut, paint an otherwise clean low-mile first-generation rx-7? this one's already hit trees. now it's back and ready for more trees, er, racing. and good luck shopping for a race car if buying something barn-engineered makes you flinch.