If as you say the engine was virtually impossible to get started, what did you buy it for?
If you buy a lemon without test driving it, you only have yourself to blame.
The early RX-7's WERE notorious for being hard to start due to the manual choke, and they also were very prone to oil leaks (the review says LEAKED, not USED). The frames and major structural components of early Japanese cars were built of flimsier materials, and frame rail warping was not unheard of under normal use after a number of years. Since Ford took over Mazda, however, the quality level has risen dramatically due to Ford's much better quality control and Mazda is now a very good car.
The quality of Jaguar went way up after Ford took them over too. They went from being one of the most unreliable cars in the world to being a very good and dependable car.
The early RX-7's were some of the worst cars ever built. That's why you can get a used one for next to nothing (provided that you can find one that has survived this long).
That's hardly the case with Corvettes. The RX-7 will NEVER be a classic.
I don't doubt you had a bad experience with your RX-7. Just as with any model of car there are good ones and bad ones. What I would caution everyone about is forming an opinion on an entire model of car or an entire country of imported cars ("I will NEVER buy another Japanese car again...") based upon experience with one or even a few. The first girlfriend I ever had is not the woman I'm married to now. The first car I owned broke down and has since been junked, but I still drive cars. My point is, I didn't give up on females in general because of a bad experience with one. I didn't give up on vehicles in general because of the first one not running properly. Just as allowing one bad experience with the opposite sex to cause me to write off that gender completely or giving up on vehicles entirely is ridiculous, so is writing off Rx-7's or Japanese vehicles in general because of one bad experience or even a collective few bad experiences compared to the tens of thousands of RX-7's sold over the years.
I love the rotary engine and have had great service out of them; my first being a 1977 RX3SP purchased in 1987. One must bear in mind the rotary is an entirely different type of engine from a reciprocating piston engine e.g., oil mixes differently so the more gas the engine burns the more oil it burns too, it has no head (therefore no head gasket) and if it's overheated you're most likely looking at a rebuild. Consequently, one must keep clean oil in the engine and keep the cooling system in good functioning order. If you take care of your rotary engine it will take care of you.
One final point. Did you buy the car new (most likely not)? What am I saying here? I'm glad you asked Ü. I'm saying we never can truly know how a used vehicle was treated (or abused) before we bought it. Even if we are not abusive once it's ours. Especially a sports car that has such a powerful, high-revving engine that racing circles had to redefine the classes it raced in time and again because it blew the doors off of anything close in engine size to it. Many people with rotary powered Mazda's can't responsibly handle that kind of power and end up simply abusing them.
I sincerely hope you consider my words carefully just as I have considered yours.
"their obvious platform sharing is what killed GM..."
Ford's platform-sharing isn't what killed GM; this is what's killing GM, and will eventually kill Ford too: http://georgereisman.com/blog/2006/04/where-would-general-motors_114546924375859992.html
A powerful engine is NOT what the early RX-7's had. They were actually pretty underpowered. My '84 RX-7 was slower than my current 4-cylinder Pontiac Grand Am by a huge margin. About the only thing it would "blow the doors off" was a mo-ped. The turbo versions of the early 90's WERE very fast, but by then the poor build quality and lack of reliability had done in the RX-7 line.
I don't think any of you guys have ever owned an RX-7, and I seriously doubt that you've ever heard of a rotary engine. They are the most revolutionary motor I've ever seen.
I have an '84 GS which has the small motor in it. It is pushing 135hp out of a 70 cubic inch motor! That is equivalent to a 350 motor pushing 675 horses -- stock. Anyone ever heard of one of those? You do the math. I just don't know how any of you could dog on the RX-7. They are hot little cars. Let's remember folks, every car has its own problems, and the RX-7 is no exception. I smoked an 03 civic yesterday without even trying!
This is for the mustang guy.......
Have a nice day... in your garage. :)
Smoking a Civic is kind of like outrunning your grandmother's wheelchair with your tricycle. Neither the older RX-7 nor the Civic is exactly a "performance car". As for rotary engines, I've had a little experience with those oil-leaking, underpowered and horribly unreliable little pieces of scrap iron. I'll take a good 4-cylinder Ford or GM engine any day. My one (and ONLY) Mazda was the RX-7 and it had to be the worst performing, most unreliable and poorly built car ever made. It at least gave me a hobby. I had to work on it every week just to keep the thing running. Those rotary engines are useful though. You can put a chain on them and they make great boat anchors for your fishing boat.
- I have to agree with this person, I recently purchased an 84 RX7 GLS and the thing runs great. Didn't get special treatment aside from basic maintenance and care (OK maybe a fresh coat of paint), but overall the car runs good as new (or close to it). Just because the vehicle you purchased wasn't in great condition and/or was mistreated doesn't mean you should condemn the vehicle and most certainly not the company/country that built it. I have 4 friends who also own RX7's and they haven't had any problems or complaints. Sounds like it was a bad purchase, sorry to say. But truth is I hear from more folks saying they love the cars than folks saying they hate em.
135 horsepower is less than just about any car made today except for little cheapy sub-compacts like the Aveo, Hyundai Accent and Toyota Yaris. I think it would be stretching it to call a non-turbo RX-7 a "performance car". Just about any 4-cylinder GM, Ford or Chrysler made now puts out right at 150hp or better. My current car (a 4-cylinder Pontiac Grand Am) would literally blow the doors off the RX-7 I owned a few years back without even breathing hard.