2 January 2018

More than an old car #47: Mazda RX-7 FB

As mentioned previously, Mazda RX-7s are revered among Japanese Domestic Market [JDM] circles, mainly due to its unique rotary engine. It has made appearances in racing events and most notably in the Initial D manga/anime series. This 1984 Mazda RX-7 FB is a throwback to where it all started.

Mazda started out as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Ltd., founded in Japan in 1920. It was saved from bankruptcy in 1927 and in 1931, it shifted from producing machine tools to vehicles. The Mazda name only appeared in 1936: the name was derived from Ahura Mazda, the God in Zoroastrianism and the company's founder, Jujiro Matsuda. Mazda formed a partnership with German car company NSU in 1960, where it focused on developing the Wankel rotary engine. Mazda also partnered with Ford from 1974 to 2015, and it has been partnering Toyota since then.

The RX7 FB was first produced in 1978 and it took its wedge shape from other manufacturers of that period. The advantage the RX7 possessed was its low weight and centre of gravity, since the compact engine could be installed behind the front wheels. As with most cars, pop-up headlights was standard. It was noted for its good handling and acceleration at that time. There were 3 series of the FB, with the series 3 being produced from 1984-1985. It was powered by a 1146cc 12A rotary engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 199km/h with an acceleration of 10.1 seconds [0-100km/h]. It was 4.32m long and weighed 1080kg.

A total of 471,018 1st-gen RX7s were made, of which 97,521 was the series 3 model. I am aware of 1 other RX-7 FB which is decked out in Mazda livery. Interestingly, this specimen has gone through 3 number plate changes for some reason. To the untrained eye, it could be easily dismissed as just another old car, but I hope you will be able to see beyond its shabby look and appreciate this JDM sleeper here!

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