If you could use only one word to describe the Mazda RX7, it would have to be ‘legendary’.
There are very few performance cars that can lay claim to such a cult following, especially years after production ended.
But why are Mazda RX7s so expensive?
If you’ve looked to buy one, then you will have noticed that they simply are not available for a low price. Even poor condition examples with plenty of faults/flaws seem to sell for silly money.
Why is this the case?
Let’s look at why RX7s are so expensive.
Note that for this article we are looking specifically at the 1990s RX7 (FD generation) – not any other generation – as this is what most potential RX7 buyers are interested in.
Mazda RX7s Were Expensive When New
For starters, it’s important to remember that RX7s weren’t exactly affordable when new. For example, according to ‘Sports Car Color History – Mazda RX-7’ the 1993 base RX7 was $32000 USD.
Remember that figure is 1993 dollars.
According to calculator.net, that means that in 2020 USD the base price of the FD RX7 was $58,300 (rounded).
That basically means you were paying BMW money for a Mazda, and was one of the reasons the car was relatively slow selling.
The author recalls reading an article in one publication (which he cannot recall the name of) that in the UK a well-specced RX7 was comparable in pricing to some models of the Porsche 911!
It can be easy to think of all Japanese cars as being “cheap”, but this clearly demonstrates that was not the case with the RX7.
Good Examples Are Increasingly Hard To Come By
One of the biggest reasons why RX7s are so expensive is that they are increasingly rare.
FD RX7s were never produced in massive numbers, and they are now getting on substantially in years (almost 30 years old for the earliest examples).
Over time RX7s have been destroyed in accidents, died from neglect, or become uneconomical to repair and been sent to the scrap heap.
Basic laws of supply and demand therefore dictate that the RX7 will become increasingly more expensive over time (provided the bottom does not fall out of the classic car market).
Classic Car ‘Rising Tide Lifts All Boats’
Classic car values have gone a bit silly in the past decade, with classics of all types increasing drastically in price. While the RX7 has not experienced price inflation to the same extent as say the Porsche 911, there is no doubt that Japanese classics have also gone up in value. This is especially so for any clean, tidy examples.
The “rising tide that lifts all boats” has led to cars like the RX7 climbing in price in recent years.
With potential economic challenges on the horizon courtesy of Coronavirus, a recessionary environment may trigger a decline in the classic car market, which could in turn lower prices. However, there is also a chance that if central bank activity causes inflation (to try and counteract the deflationary nature of an epidemic) then you might see money “flee” to assets like classic cars, in which case RX7 prices could go further.
The Mazda RX7 is a car with a cult following, which has also been enhanced through its appearance in popular culture (e.g. the first Fast & Furious movie, where Vin Diesel’s character drove one).
Because of its unique appearance, incredible performance, and interesting nature (rear wheel drive, rotary, lightweight etc) it was a car that was always going to have a high chance of attracting a dedicated cult following.
This – in turn – serves to drive up prices.
The good news here is that the presence of a passionate community of owners makes it easier to get advice and access to good specialist mechanics etc who can work confidently and comfortably on your RX7.
Mazda RX7s are expensive for a combination of reasons. Firstly, they were always a relatively rare vehicle – certainly not mass produced like a Corolla or a Camry. Secondly, they were an expensive vehicle when new (and remain expensive to maintain thanks to costly parts and generally dubious reliability). Thirdly, as more examples fall victim to age and neglect, the pool of candidates shrinks and so supply and demand dictates the price will go up. Finally, due to the cult following and explosion in demand for classic Japanese vehicles (especially 90s performance cars) there is a “rising tide lifts all boats” element.
We love the RX7 and would love to own one. Make sure you read our buyer’s guide here for more info.