- Written by webmin
As we noted earlier in the Class of 1986 series, that year saw the ushering in of plenty of digital-age technology and the ushering-out of plenty of stone-age technology. Case in point: the Mazda RX-7.
Introduced for the American market in 1979, the RX-7 made prominent use of the company’s Wankel rotary engines, and that use would continue into the second generation, the FC, introduced for the 1986 model year. Though the size remained pretty much the same as the outgoing FB, Mazda’s stylists gave it more of a rounded, aerodynamic look patterned after the Porsche 944. The big change, however, happened underneath the skin, with a switch from solid rear axle to independent rear suspension, a switch from recirculating ball steering to rack and pinion steering, and the now-standard four-wheel disc brakes. The famed and long-lived 13B, (re)introduced in 1984, saw an increase in horsepower to 146 in 1986 thanks in part to new multi-point fuel injection, while Mazda simultaneously introduced the 182hp turbocharged version of the 13B, easily identified by the hoodscoop for the turbocharged engine’s air-to-air intercooler. Production figures vary, depending on the source, either 72,760 or 86,000 – either way, better than sales over the prior two years, which hovered around 63,000.
Much like some of the earlier candidates for the Class of 1986, the RX-7 seems like a gimme. However, one thing we’ve learned in this series is that nothing’s certain, so tell us: Would you consider the 1986 Mazda RX-7 collectible? Would you place one in your garage dedicated to 1986 vehicles, or take one on a VMCCA tour? Or would you pass on one in favor of something else from 1986?
While you’re forming your answers, here’s a little bit of James Garner to go with your Mazda TV ads: