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I'm thinking of buying a 3G RX-7, and I'm just wondering if certain years were superior to other years of production. I'd be grateful to the members of the forum for any insight you can give me into the differences between the various years and options.
I would go for a 1994 or 1995.... In 1993 the paint on them wasnt all that great. And the interior from what I heard flaked. 94 and 95s have a passenger side airbag. mmmmm what else... Someone help me here its late...
Just most of the tweaks have been fixed up in the newer models (94-95).. there's nothing wrong with a 93.. they all have the same engine setup.. but year doesn't matter.. just look for how the engine has been kept.. the condition.. etc..
i want to say there were some very MINOR things done underhood to the 94-95, but not enough to be consequential. mainly the difference between the 93s and the 94-95s is the paint on the 93s was thinner and didn't last too well. the R models also had a different number, 93 was "R1" and 94-95 was "R2" but basically the same thing.
My advise would be to get a 94 or 95. The paint on the 93's is not thinner but actually a high quality paint that has a softer finish that the 94-95's. Also, the door panals on all 94-95s should be black and the read storage compartments are black, which I think looks nicer than the tan. In 94-05 they put in more sound dampening material and different door shutting equipment to make the car seem more structurally sound and quiet. The wheels on an early 93 were weaker than those on a late 93, 94, and 95 and The 93's had some factory recalls too. The bushings progressively got softer with each year, so a 94-95 would be less harsh riding than a 93. BUT the 93 R1 is the best handling RX-7 out of all the models.
I personally do not believe that there is a "best year" for 3rd Gen Rx-7's and I would recommend that you not give the "year" issue very much importance in making your decision.
Keep in mind that you are going to be buying a "used" car in any case. I believe that for used cars, the service/use/repair history of the vehicle is one of the most critical factors to focus on. That is especially true for RX-7s because of the way some owners tend to push them to extremes, fail to perform routine maintenance so critical to this vehicle, and/or modify them beyond their appeal to others.
In addition, you need to decide the features you want in your car such as: automatic or 5-speed, sunroof or not, Bose or not, leather or cloth seats, rear spoiler or not, etc. Also, do you have a color preference or dislike: Red, Black, White, Silver, Blue, CYM?
This is not a matter of deciding what you want and then "ordering" the car from the dealer. Once you decide the features you want, you will have to search to find a car that is acceptable to you. You are dealing with the "rare vehicle market", and the numbers speak for themselves. There were only 13,879 third gen RX-7's originally brought into the USA. Here's the link to the numbers breakdown:
No one seems to know for sure how many of these cars still exist in the street legal form since you can assume many have been wrecked/totalled/parted out, and others converted to track racing. I've seen posts suggesting only 3000 "registered" third gens still exist in the USA. I find this number too low to be credible, but in any case it is fair to assume there has been a substantial number of these vehicles permanently "retired". The number of available cars gets lower every day!
If you eliminate consideration of the 1993 model year, you just eliminated 9976 cars (again without factoring in "retirement") from consideration. Focussing only on 1994 & 1995 leaves you with only 3903 cars (again without factoring in "retirement"). For example, if you want a black, 5-speed 1994 or 1995 there were 690 originally made. Get ready to wait awhile for your car to showup.
Understand the market you are entering and go in with your eyes open. I believe there are a lot of very desireable third gens out there and with patience you will find what you are after and never regret the decision.
Go 94 or 95, so many less problems cosmetically, interior or exterior wise. But a lot more diffucult to find and you have to pay a prettier penny. I know SCC did a article about buying a 3G Rx-7 a few months back pretty insightful. Also use the SEARCH!
I searched until I found a 94 touring. The only year with the glass moonroof. I was also looking for black interior. Real sports cars have black interiors IMO. I was also looking for silver. They only made 118 silver stone metalic 5 speed models in 94. Sort of like finding a needle in a haystack. But I found one.
I purchased a '93 knowing the differences in the interior/exterior. Why? I figured I was gonna mod it and change most of its internals/externals anyway. I'm planning on repainting it soon so it doesn't really matter. I say buy whatever your budget allows. If you don't plan on messing with the car, definitly go with a '94+.