RX-7

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Sir,

Your article in the February issue about the RX-7 Mazda was of great interest to me since I have enjoyed owning and driving one (albeit in US type “California” emission configuration) since June 1979. Perhaps some comments might be of interest to your readers.

My RX-7 replaced a 1976 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL, purchased new. As sold in the US, the RX-7 is a two-seater (why that rudimentary UK back seat?). In 1979, the many electric assists you describe on your test car were not available here. My car is equipped with a very efficient refrigeration system as are almost all of the cars sold in California, since this is, of course, a semi-desert climate.

The RX-7 has been a delightful car, agile and swift, and is driven every day except for weekends when I often run my restored 1964 Morgan +4 Tourer. The Mazda has been relatively inexpensive to operate, since routine maintenance costs for it here run at about a third of what they did for the 450 SL, not even considering the effects of inflation. It is also in so many ways a much nicer car to drive than the Merc., although the Merc. was competent enough after its own fashion. The RX-7 has been trouble-free, with none of the problems of maintaining tune you describe with your test car.

My oil consumption is pretty much what your article describes, about 500 miles per pint. This may seem rather high for a modern car, yet our Audi 5000S (in Europe known as the 100 series) acceptably consumes nearly as much within its five cylinders. Fuel consumption has worked out at about 24 miles per UK gallon.

I have been told I am more appreciative of the RX-7 because of also driving a Morgan, but I think aficionados will understand when I say that the two cars have a great deal more in common than in contest, if decades apart in concept, particularly at speed. There are two Mazda RX-7 clubs in the United States, one of them reputedly much the largest club of its sort in the world. The car does seem to attract devotees!
Pasadena, California
John L. Benton

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