Picking the car up

Build Diary - Mazda RX7 FD

29th December 2022
3 min read
Picking the car up

Having finally sold most of the parts from a previous project that was being dismantled, I begun to get itchy fingers for a new project.

I've always lacked space to properly work on cars myself, however, we moved house earlier in the year - with decent garage space being high up on the search criteria.

The decision to buy an RX7 for the new project wasn't immediate, although it was only ever going to be a true Japanese sports car. I dithered between the likes of a 240Z, R33 Skyline and a MK4 Supra - although due to rocketing prices, a decent manual Supra was out of budget. Not wanting to deal with a whole lot of rot, I convinced myself it had to be from the 90s - which ruled out the dear old Z.

Remembering how much I loved the RX7 from Gran Turismo growing up - it was impossible to not be swayed by her curves. And so the hunt began.

The requirements were simple;

  1. Little to no rot
  2. Decent project base
  3. Mechanically in-tact (no missing parts to hunt down)
  4. Close to stock - as I wanted to build it myself
  5. Within budget
  6. Drivable - a bonus
  7. Black - a bonus

The factory spec, year wasn't much of a factor as I'd intend on upgrading most parts anyway. Plus I actually prefer the pre-99 front-ends.

A couple weeks passed, and I realised just how rare these cars come up on the market. Fast-forward to Christmas Day, and a deposit was put down to pick one up the following week.

Initial viewing

What can I say, there was a fair amount more negatives than was described in the ad. One of the arches had slight rust bubbling due to poor rolling. None of the interior HVAC controls worked. The speedo cluster didn't work. There was a loud buzzing coming from the cluster. The rear seats were heavily torn. Some exterior window trim was missing. No paperwork to be found besides the V5.

But hey, it was an RX7, it was black, it was pretty much stock, it was drivable, it had an MOT.

Getting her home

Despite the previous owner saying it had been off the road for over 10 years prior to it's MOT. I decided to drive it home, a near 200 mile journey - this would give it a good test!

Blocking out the cluster buzzing, I began the drive. Barely breaking 55mph through paranoia of a breakdown.

It got home almost in 1 piece - as twilight hit, it popped the headlights and said bye-bye to one of the headlight lids.

Good job it was to be parked in a garage, as it was now that I realised the locks didn't work.

Now for the fun to begin!