Cohort Outtake: 1987 Mazda RX-7 Turbo II – Another One Calls For Sanctuary


For the last couple of months (because I am a pathetically slow reader) I’ve been reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This doesn’t connect to anything to the article, but I just wanted to make some small talk before moving on to something important. If you ever see a car like this…buy it.

Use man maths, rationalize the purchase as an investment, say that you’re doing it for altruistic principles, I don’t care. This car needs a place to be safe, to be protected from the hordes. Hordes that will not think twice about making it their next stanceworks project by some (dis)tasteful camber and silly wheels.


Or a drift car. Which I’ve really got nothing against of but I’ve always imagined them being made from either a factory fresh car, which means there’s a ready available supply of them yet, or from an absolute crapcan made into something amazing by sheer ingenuity and lots and lots of ballsiness.


The FC Mazda RX-7, especially in award-winning Turbo II guise as this beautiful example shot and uploaded to the Cohort by William Rubano, is a pretty good base to make a drift car. Later models would get a bump to 200 horsepower, but when this was introduced to the public at the Chicago Auto Show, it was still just a 40-horse bump over its naturally aspirated brother in the lineup. And with only 1,291 kilograms to move about and a 50/50 weight distribution, it was enough.


When new, they’d do 60 in 6.7 seconds and a top speed on the right side of 140 MPH. That put it around the same specs as the much more expensive Porsche 944S and made it quite a bit faster than the 924S, which was more on par with the normal RX-7 when it came to performance.


As far as the interior was concerned…unmistakably Japanese would be the description to most accurately describe it. It’s actually somewhat more interesting than other Japanese interiors to me because of the orange-on black dials. For many years I’ve associated orange-on-black dials and A/C faceplates with Nissan. So to see that color scheme on the RX-7 was one of those things that would make you go “Huh.”


The FC-Generation RX-7 would last until 1991 when it was replaced by a much more ambitious successor. Sure, the entire 11-year run of FD’s didn’t even match the sales volume that the FC had manage in the U.S in a single year. But it was much more of a flagship with its sensuous curves and twin-turbo rotaries for propulsion. This one, again thanks to drifters, rarity, pop culture and the fact that it’s just such a damn good car, is very sought after and generally commands the same high prices as the likes of the Mk IV Supra. But that doesn’t mean that the FC is unappealing to modders.

Mazda RX 7 FC gen2 red

So this one, with its shiny paint and all the signs that it hasn’t lived a particularly stressful life, could quickly be snapped by someone looking for a very solid base. So I have to repeat the urging I made to you dear reader. If you ever see a car like this on the street, with a For Sale sign, buy it; save it from becoming a base. Then, in a couple of years, you can feel pride in having taken care of it so well as well as the fact that you seem to have the only one that’s still stock.