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My "New" 1979! [Long Read]

Old 04-28-16, 08:20 PM
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My "New" 1979! [Long Read]

Just wanted to share some pics of the yellow '79 I recently picked up. First, a little background.

I have a strong affinity for the 1979 Rx7, due to the fact that both of my parents were the original owners of two '79 GS models. My mom had a white automatic, and my dad had a Spark (later, "Corvette") Yellow 5-speed. Each of their cars were from the first shipment of Rx-7s to the US. They owned the cars for about a year before I was born, in November of 1979, and when they found out I was on the way, my dad added rear seats from the Pacific catalog. This meant that, for my childhood, anywhere I went with either or both of my parents was in an Rx-7. This included, of course, the trip home from the hospital, after being born.

The looks, the sounds, the smell... Literally from the birth, I'd been taking it all in. I remember watching my dad's every move as he shifted through the gears. The "song" that the engine sang through the revs served as the benchmark for for what a sports car was supposed to sound like, for me. Every "mod" he did, from louvers to mudflaps, bra, sunroof...I would try to mimic on my Matchbox Rx7, using cut pieces of electrical tape.

Due to someone backing into his front bumper in a parking lot, My dad had to get his car re-painted. The shop he took it to had a hard time spot matching the paint, so my dad looked into the option of re-painting the whole car a more pleasing shade of yellow. He ended up with 1981 "Corvette Yellow". I remember seeing the car for the first time afterward. It was the coolest thing to me.

Needless to say, Rx-7 is in my blood. As we all got older, and I got bigger, we began to out grow the Rx7s. My mom sold hers first. I was 8 years old, and I remember the night it left. She was literally holding me in my bed and we cried together, as if a family member had died, LOL. I remember locking myself in my dad's car in a Caldor parking lot, the day he told me that he would be selling his. The drama....

I became nearly obsessed with having my own one day, and I wanted it to be just like my dad's.

At sixteen, once I'd saved up enough cash bagging groceries, I bought my first car, a 1984 GSL-SE. Red (originally Cream) with brown interior. I couldn't wait to paint it yellow and "dress it up" just like my dad's. I kept that car for 18 years. In that time I also owned a 93 FD, which had become my dream car at the age of 11. I modded the FD and had a lot of fun being one of the fastest cars around. I was living out my car dream. Still, something was always missing.

After 20 years of FB and FD ownership, at age 36, I realized that it was time to go back to my SA roots. That was the car which, both literally and figuratively, started it all for me. I was ready to find and own one EXACTLY like the one I, and my family have such fond memories of.

A few months back, I was just doing some random searching on Google, when I came across this thread from 2 years ago; https://www.rx7club.com/build-thread...-find-1068772/

I showed my wife, and told her that when I found one, I wanted it to be like that one. I'd even forwarded the link to my dad. Keep in mind, I was looking at a thread which was already two years old...

Fast forward to a little over a month ago, I just happened to randomly do a search, just to see what was out there for sale, 1979 - wise.TWO came up on Ebay one red, and one yellow. I click on the yellow one, and lo and behold, it's the same one from the 2 year old thread! The one I'd made my benchmark. the one the owner said he'd never sell! And I found it about SIX MINUTES after he'd listed it!

I immediately messaged him, and shared with him, much of what I've shared here. He called about 10 minutes later and, following our conversation, he took down the ad.

About a week later, he delivered the car, from Ohio to GA, on a trailer. I finally had my '79 yellow Rx-7. It's an early 79 too, just like my dad's, with a 6/78 build date.

Now for some pics...
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Old 04-28-16, 08:50 PM
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Pics. Sorry about that...
Attached Thumbnails My "New" 1979! [Long Read]-20160402_190401.jpg   My "New" 1979! [Long Read]-20160420_123427.jpg   My "New" 1979! [Long Read]-20160416_154254.jpg   My "New" 1979! [Long Read]-no-plate.jpg   My "New" 1979! [Long Read]-img_0948.jpg  

My "New" 1979! [Long Read]-imag0149.jpg   My "New" 1979! [Long Read]-imag0137.jpg   My "New" 1979! [Long Read]-imag0145.jpg   My "New" 1979! [Long Read]-imag0131.jpg  

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Old 04-29-16, 04:46 AM
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Cool story and nice find. Spark cars hold a unique place with most 1st Gen enthusiasts. They came w/either the 2 tone brn or straight blk interiors, did your dads car have the same? Cars have a way of transporting you back in time, normally to a place where things just seem better than the reality of present day.
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Old 04-29-16, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Cool story and nice find. Spark cars hold a unique place with most 1st Gen enthusiasts. They came w/either the 2 tone brn or straight blk interiors, did your dads car have the same? Cars have a way of transporting you back in time, normally to a place where things just seem better than the reality of present day.
You're absolutely right about the transporting thing. It's like sitting in a time capsule. And yes, my dad's had the 2 tone brown.
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Old 04-29-16, 09:06 AM
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Nice, what condition are those seats in under the covers? I assume its the plaid inserts in all
their glory.

Great story, have you shown it to your parents yet?
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Old 04-29-16, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by t_g_farrell View Post
Nice, what condition are those seats in under the covers? I assume its the plaid inserts in all
their glory.

Great story, have you shown it to your parents yet?
The seats are the perforated beige, so no plaid. The passenger seat is perfect, driver's is pretty torn up on the base.

My mom has seen it, and loves it. We're keeping it a secret from my dad. He lives in Vancouver WA, and comes to visit a couple times a year. He has no idea, and is going to flip! We plan to capture it on video. He just recently lost his long time girlfriend to cancer, so this will be a good treat for reminiscing.

Side note: Tim, you and I have actually met in person and talked a bit about my parents' cars. It was about 6 or so years ago, and you had come to one of the OGTA meets. I was driving my FD at the time. My wife looked at me like I was crazy when the Zoom-Zoom magazine came in the mail, and I turned to the back and said "hey, I know this guy!!"

Last edited by YELLOWGSLSE; 04-29-16 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 04-29-16, 10:30 AM
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Wow, great story and great find!

Any chance of getting to see this beauty and seeing you again in person? Like at the May 3 OGTA meeting next Tuesday?

(I'm sure I've met you at an OGTA meeting as well, but if you were driving an FD I probably wasn't paying sufficient attention - but I'll remember you this time!)
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Old 04-29-16, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ray green View Post
Wow, great story and great find!

Any chance of getting to see this beauty and seeing you again in person? Like at the May 3 OGTA meeting next Tuesday?

(I'm sure I've met you at an OGTA meeting as well, but if you were driving an FD I probably wasn't paying sufficient attention - but I'll remember you this time!)
That would mean you have to show up Ray. I understand the not remembering FD owners. It happens.

Originally Posted by YELLOWGSLSE View Post
The seats are the perforated beige, so no plaid. The passenger seat is perfect, driver's is pretty torn up on the base.

My mom has seen it, and loves it. We're keeping it a secret from my dad. He lives in Vancouver WA, and comes to visit a couple times a year. He has no idea, and is going to flip! We plan to capture it on video. He just recently lost his long time girlfriend to cancer, so this will be a good treat for reminiscing.
Sounds like a great surprise, make sure to post the video back into this thread
when it happens.

Originally Posted by YELLOWGSLSE View Post
Side note: Tim, you and I have actually met in person and talked a bit about my parents' cars. It was about 6 or so years ago, and you had come to one of the OGTA meets. I was driving my FD at the time. My wife looked at me like I was crazy when the Zoom-Zoom magazine came in the mail, and I turned to the back and said "hey, I know this guy!!"
I have to plead guilty to not remembering like Ray, we are old after all.

Nice to hear someone saw me in that magazine before I brought it to DGRR. I guess
I'm famous now.
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Old 04-29-16, 01:28 PM
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We could refresh everybody's memory if YELLOWGSLSE and Tim both show up at OGTA next Tuesday. I'll be there for sure.

Sounds like there'll be lots of folks and new projects, like Billy's Project X and Crit's Project Y.

Plus SA's and FB's galore along with throngs of FD's and FE's, maybe even an FC or two.

What'd'ya say YELLOWGSLSE?

In the mean time, could you post some more pictures? Like under the hood and seat covers?

That yellow car looks like a real gem!

Last edited by ray green; 04-29-16 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 04-29-16, 02:46 PM
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Great find,your dad is going to love it
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Old 04-30-16, 04:29 AM
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Great story, and a nice, known history from the previous owners too, which is a rare treat.
Thanks for sharing. Always a soft spot for a Sparky SA! -and you obv seem to have SA-DNA from your parents....

Stu Aull
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Old 04-30-16, 05:22 AM
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Its funny how fate works out. The seller of the spark yellow 79 is a friend of mine. He messaged me before he listed the car and asked me if I wanted to buy it. Of course I did, lol, but financially it was not int he cards for me as I had recently purchased an all original 91 MR2. I urged him to keep the car but he had other plans, lol. I decided not to buy the car. There was some feeling inside of me that said do not buy this car. So I held off. And after reading your thread, I'm very glad I passed on buying it. It sounds like the car has found a great home. Keep us posted on how your dad reacts to seeing it and how you enjoy driving it!
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Old 04-30-16, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ray green View Post
We could refresh everybody's memory if YELLOWGSLSE and Tim both show up at OGTA next Tuesday. I'll be there for sure.

Sounds like there'll be lots of folks and new projects, like Billy's Project X and Crit's Project Y.

Plus SA's and FB's galore along with throngs of FD's and FE's, maybe even an FC or two.

What'd'ya say YELLOWGSLSE?

In the mean time, could you post some more pictures? Like under the hood and seat covers?

That yellow car looks like a real gem!
Thanks Ray. I'll do my absolute best to make it on Tuesday.

Also Ray, I believe it was you who snapped the shot below. It was taken on I-85 South, as I was coming up beside you in my FD. We gave each other the thumbs up. This was about 5 or so years ago...

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As for more pics of the yellow, These are all I have for now. I like the way the seat covers fit, both physically, and in terms of design. The pattern in the center is brown, and exactly matches the brown on the door armrests. I haven't taken any shots of the engine, as I haven't been able to clean it up yet, so there's really nothing to show...

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After the first wash:

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Home with my daily ('15 Mazda6 GT)

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Old 04-30-16, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mazdaverx713b View Post
Its funny how fate works out. The seller of the spark yellow 79 is a friend of mine. He messaged me before he listed the car and asked me if I wanted to buy it. Of course I did, lol, but financially it was not int he cards for me as I had recently purchased an all original 91 MR2. I urged him to keep the car but he had other plans, lol. I decided not to buy the car. There was some feeling inside of me that said do not buy this car. So I held off. And after reading your thread, I'm very glad I passed on buying it. It sounds like the car has found a great home. Keep us posted on how your dad reacts to seeing it and how you enjoy driving it!
Thanks a lot for saying that. It certainly is in a good home, and I'm incredibly grateful to Chris for being as understanding and accommodating as he was. It was a pleasure dealing with him.
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Old 04-30-16, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by YELLOWGSLSE View Post
Thanks a lot for saying that. It certainly is in a good home, and I'm incredibly grateful to Chris for being as understanding and accommodating as he was. It was a pleasure dealing with him.
I'm from Ohio recently located to Savannah but I recall a story in the forum of s guy that happened upon a yellow "barn find" that ended up a real gem. I can't help but think that this is the same one. Is it possible this is the same one?
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Old 04-30-16, 10:00 PM
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Very cool story and great find! Would be super awesome when you share with us the footage of surprising your dad!
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Old 04-30-16, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mazdaverx713b View Post
Its funny how fate works out. The seller of the spark yellow 79 is a friend of mine. He messaged me before he listed the car and asked me if I wanted to buy it. Of course I did, lol, but financially it was not int he cards for me as I had recently purchased an all original 91 MR2. I urged him to keep the car but he had other plans, lol. I decided not to buy the car. There was some feeling inside of me that said do not buy this car. So I held off. And after reading your thread, I'm very glad I passed on buying it. It sounds like the car has found a great home. Keep us posted on how your dad reacts to seeing it and how you enjoy driving it!
Dave, paul from Akron area here now in Savannah. The buddy that you mention that sold this spark yellow, did he get it a couple years ago from a guy who approached him at a meet and talked about an old "rx7 in the barn" that turned out to be a gem..? I saw pics of it right out of the barn and later when he finished cleaning it all up. Just wondered if this could be that one..(?) btw this is a great wankel story!!! Thanks to ray for bringing it to our attention.
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Old 04-30-16, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tool and die guy View Post
Dave, paul from Akron area here now in Savannah. The buddy that you mention that sold this spark yellow, did he get it a couple years ago from a guy who approached him at a meet and talked about an old "rx7 in the barn" that turned out to be a gem..? I saw pics of it right out of the barn and later when he finished cleaning it all up. Just wondered if this could be that one..(?) btw this is a great wankel story!!! Thanks to ray for bringing it to our attention.
Yes! It's the same car. Here's the link: https://www.rx7club.com/build-threads-293/1979-spark-yellow-barn-find-1068772/

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Old 05-01-16, 11:58 AM
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I've been following the Saga of the Spark Yellow Barn Find for years myself, a perfect specimen and now a perfect story.

The Rotary Gods are smiling today!

Thanks for posting the pics, when you show up at the OGTA meeting on Tuesday we'll be taking a close look under the hood, so you might want to hit the engine bay with a little degreaser and a garden hose (if you don't get to it, I'll bring along a can of degreaser).

I still can't remember exactly who you are, although I'm sure we've crossed paths over the years, probably several times. I do remember the FD however, both from out on 85 and at the OGTA meetings, it's exceptional example itself, pure sex on wheels (and I'm not an FD kind of guy).

And yeah, the picture you posted (reposted below) does jog an almost gone memory cell, I don't remember taking the picture but I do remember the thumbs up!

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Old 05-01-16, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ray green View Post
I've been following the Saga of the Spark Yellow Barn Find for years myself, a perfect specimen and now a perfect story.

The Rotary Gods are smiling today!

Thanks for posting the pics, when you show up at the OGTA meeting on Tuesday we'll be taking a close look under the hood, so you might want to hit the engine bay with a little degreaser and a garden hose (if you don't get to it, I'll bring along a can of degreaser).

I still can't remember exactly who you are, although I'm sure we've crossed paths over the years, probably several times. I do remember the FD however, both from out on 85 and at the OGTA meetings, it's exceptional example itself, pure sex on wheels (and I'm not an FD kind of guy).

And yeah, the picture you posted (reposted below) does jog an almost gone memory cell, I don't remember taking the picture but I do remember the thumbs up!

The story goes something like this. The previous owner went to a meet and a guy that was kinda quiet and seemingly reclusive hung around and eventually started talking to him but didn't seem worth the conversation so he kind of politely blew him off. He saw him again some time later and again was approached by him but this time got a little more specific about what he thought he had in the barn. It peeked interest so the previous owner started making a little bit more concerted effort to dig a little deeper and decided to take the old guy up and at least drive there to see what he had. The rest of story is obvious. I saw the pics of the car right out of the barn and it looked great and well preserved. As I recall I think he even gave the guy more than his price out of sheer desire to get a good nights sleep. I think he still ended up stealing it..whatever the case.. The right guy ended up with it.
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Old 05-03-16, 09:35 AM
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i remember reading about the barn find SA and love the continuation of it's story. glad to know it went to a good owner. have fun with it and enjoy the new memories it will bring.
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Old 05-05-16, 04:47 PM
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The previous owner posted the car for sale on, I think, the Ohio Rotaries FB page. I remember seriously considering it but don't have room in the garage.

It doesn't surprise me that he took the ad down on ebay because he definitely wanted it to go to a good home. Glad to see it go to someone who it means so much to.
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Old 05-05-16, 05:09 PM
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Not sold on that plastic thing on the back. The SA's look better in the rump than FB's from the factory. Followed the other thread too. Real nice car and good to see a passionate owner.
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Old 05-26-16, 12:31 PM
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A few updated pics...

The wheels are 15x8 Rota Shakotans.From what I was told, they were one of the last sets in the country in this size, with the 4x110 bolt pattern. Next is the suspension...
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Old 05-27-16, 07:22 AM
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Wow, those look great and exactly what you were looking for, Old School deep dish chrome.

Nice find!
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