Hooniverse Weekend Edition – A 1974 Mazda RX-4 Wagon

Welcome to the Sunday Edition of the Hooniverse Interesting Project Car Weekend. This is the weekend posting that finds unusual and sporty affordable cars that once fixed up can participate in events like the one our own Jim Yu wrote about a few days ago. (By the way, you can click here to read that article.) Anyway, it occurred to me that there are a lot of unusual cars that almost anyone can afford that you don’t see everyday anymore, and they could be used for cruising around, or with enough skill they can be turned into track cars. On the other hand, if they are beat-up enough you can always Lemonize them. With this in mind, take a look at this Mazda RX-4 Wagon and then ask yourself this: When was the last time anyone has seen them? The Mazda RX-4 is called the Mazda Luce Rotary in Japan, and made its debut here in the states for the 1974 Model Year. It was available in a 2-Door Coupe, a 4-Door Sedan, and a Wagon version. This model was sold here for only four model years, and was replaced with the original Mazda RX-7 as Mazdas only Rotary Powered Vehicle offering. The engine was the 13B twin rotor engine that produced 110HP in US emission guise, along with 117 lb·ft of torque. Road & Track Magazine tested the 1975 RX-4 Wagon and found it to be quite spirited compared to the five other wagons in the test. They also names the RX-4 Sedan the Best Sports Sedan, $3500-$6500 in 1975. Cut to 2012, and here we have a 1974 Mazda RX-4 Wagon offered on eBay. The seller states that the body is in great condition, and the interior is serviceable, but wait a minute… There isn’t an engine or transmission installed. So it appears to be a rolling chassis. So, what do you get if you buy this wagon? Well, the seller states that all the electrical systems work, ready for a quick engine connection. The suspension has received a lot of work with an RX-7 GSL-SE front suspension transplant with Eibach coil overs, while the original rear end received the GSL-SE adapter, and all brake lines are steel braided units. There is a new exhaust system, with a header meant for a 13b rotary engine. There is a set of vintage 14″ American Racing Rims. So, you buy this car and all you have to do is install an engine and transmission… and the current bid is $1,525, with an unmet reserve. Yes the RX-4 is cool, but this places the car into unacceptable territory because you still have to source an engine and tranny. At least it was originally a car equipped with a stick. See the eBay listing here, and tell me what you think about this car.

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