KIDNEY, ANYONE?: 48k-mile 1989 Mazda RX-7 Turbo II

As JNCs become bona fide as collector vehicles we’re beginning to see more well-preserved examples come out of hiding and onto the market. 15 years ago, a well-preserved JNC was usually owned by some little old lady who drove it to the grocery store and back once a week. Today, the well-preserved cars hitting the market were owned by people who have been storing and caring for them for years, waiting for the right time to sell them to their next caretaker. This RX-7 Turbo II for sale in the San Francisco suburb of San Carlos falls into the latter category.

The seller of this 1989 Mazda RX-7 Turbo II states that he has cared for the car for the last 26 years, washing it weekly and waxing it every 6 months. Driving the car a mere average of 1,700 miles per year means that he has been able to keep the mileage to a low 48,651 miles. Somehow it missed the 90s Tuner Era, the Fast and Furious craze, and has avoided becoming a drift car.

All things being disclosed, at some point in the last 26 years the car did receive an HKS exhaust and Cibie headlights, but originality doesn’t seem to have the same effect on JNCs as it did on classic sports cars or pre-war cars. Usually, if the modifications are era correct and don’t detract from the original vision of the car, you’re usually pretty safe for holding your value.

The only controversial modification to us here at the JNC office is the chrome face on white wheels. Personally I feel that they fit the car but I can understand how someone might not like it, luckily wheels can be repainted, and they’re not trashed with 50 coats of runny matte black paint.

Up front, all of the glass and plastic looks good, there is a little bit of condensation on one of the light housings but overall it looks really good. There are also some rock chips on the bottom of the front bumper.

Under the hood, you would be fooled to think this just came off of the show floor and isn’t the better part of 30 years old. No chrome bits or pastel-colored radiator hoses, either. It’s nice to see the black plastics in such good condition. There isn’t even oxidization on the fasteners to the air intake.

The rotary engine is pretty high in the running for my personal favorite engine ever made, partially due to its rev-happy nature and also because it’s one of the only engines that actually rewards you for taking it up to redline from time to time — you have to get those carbon deposits off the apex seals somehow.

Moving inside you see that car is not only white, but also has a blue leather interior. Arguably, this is the rarest color combination for a Turbo II. The seats appear to be in as near to perfect condition as possible. The owner has plastic coverings he uses while storing it, as seen behind the seats on the parcel shelf.

The shift boot and all plastics look perfect, and it has the factory head unit as well. I am a sucker for original tape decks in the FC; the orange glow looks so cool at night. One thing worth mentioning: the input at the top of the tape deck. Yes, that is a CD player. I personally don’t recall having ever seen the fabled factory CD player for an FC in person.

If you want one of the best preserved FC RX-7s on the market today, this would be pretty high in the running. One can only imagine the attention this would receive at JCCS Neo-Classics or SevenStock. The owner is asking $17,500 and states he is mildly flexible on price. That’s FD money, but you have to ask yourself would you rather have a C+ condition FD or an A+ condition FC? Personally, I’m in the latter camp. If this car has your jimmies all rustled and you want to add it to your garage, check out the Craigslist ad.

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10 Responses to KIDNEY, ANYONE?: 48k-mile 1989 Mazda RX-7 Turbo II

  1. Jerry Harding says:

    That’s an incredible find. I’m not a fan of the wheels. While it is reminiscent of the 10th AE white monochromatic look, I don’t feel it works here. It doesn’t really detract from what is an amazing car though. Interesting that you’ve never seen the factory CD player in an FC. My first FC was a 1991 non-turbo and had the factory CD player. Sadly that car was destroyed in a fire (set by thieves), but I still have the head unit and plan on putting it in my 1991 TII when finished. However, I am modifying the head unit to have the CD player be an auxiliary input.

  2. Pete wong says:

    I’d want both. Loved my fc turbo II, proably my favourite rx. That said I loved them all, and my current fd is as it left the factory, well it is, but with the daily blemishes a vehicle earns for its street cred. It’s a 1992, running all original gear. Fantastic cars. Mazda just needs to give us the option of buying a new rotary, preferably across the current model range. Personally I’d like a new rx4 wagon, and it’s a no brainier that the vision will hit the market, and mx 5 will be offered with a rotary. Mazda needs to embrace top level Motorsport with the motor that matters, well, the motor that made Mazda, yep, we’re talking rotary. Mad mike has done wonders to introduce the joy of rotary to new generation of motor sport fans, Mazda needs to utilise this, and get back into a wec and wrc program, all with rotary. That is the Mazda DNA.

    • Mar Newton-John says:

      As much as I would love to see a Renesis Miata (RX-5?) it’s not going to happen. We would have already seen it now in Japan, if anywhere.
      I’m sure their engineers clamored for a rotary MX-5, but the bean counters ill always say no.

  3. Ben Hsu says:

    I would take this over a beater FD too. Ryosuke knew what was up.

  4. Greg says:

    Seeing the photos with original interior, engine bay, and exterior brings back memories. Other than a bit of trouble with flooding, mine was absolutely reliable and driven daily. I only sold it due to needing the money, and the new owner quickly added a bunch of modifications then crashed it. You just can’t find a tidy one anymore, until now I guess. Someone buy it and keep it as Mazda intended.

  5. Paul says:

    I’d take an FD.. reason being is because I already owned a TurboII for just 2 months shy of 12 years.
    As much as I want an FC when I see clean ones for sale, I know what awaits me if I do buy one… the feeling of joy would fade in about a week, and then after that it would just be me feeling like “Why the hell did I buy another one of these?” Because despite the condition it’s in, in the end, it’s still an FC and would still give me the same driving experience as the one I used to own.

  6. Mar Newton-John says:

    Here’s a new topic. Fab older model over crap modded one.
    Clean TE51 over a fart canned AE86? Preserved MA70 over a unpainted body kitted JZA80?

  7. Aaron says:

    “There isn’t even oxidization on the fasteners to the air intake.”

    -That’s because they’re stainless from the OEM 😉

    Beautiful S5 and a steal at 17.5K. Job well done to the caretaker.

  8. Jorge Espada says:

    It was sold?

  9. Alan Canbinsu says:

    Can anyone tell me the owner?

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