Some things are just so blatantly wrong that they somehow end up being fabulously cool. This chopped, widened and modified first-generation Mazda RX-7 might just be the perfect example of that.
In my recent article, Topless! – or not?, I made it quite clear that I pretty much always prefer the coupé version of a car over the convertible. To my surprise, a very large number of our readers agreed. Furthermore, as regular readers will of course know, Claus and I own a first-generation Mazda RX-7 Elford Turbo together. At this point, it probably goes without saying that I think the RX-7 is a rather good looking coupé – and that I wouldn’t normally support the notion of chopping off the roof. How about a typically eighties wide-arch bodykit then? Well, sometimes they do actually work alright, but that rarely applies to the low-volume aftermarket tuning kits that were dreamt up by various small companies. And a garishly eighties custom paintjob then? Naaaah, probably not the epitome of fine taste. So if neither works on their own, how about just combining all three elements in one? Well, you might just be surprised at how well it actually works out. I know I sure was!
During the early eighties, a California-based company called Pacific Avatar had made themselves specialists in converting RX-7’s into convertibles. At the same time, they also had various other accessories on offer – such as a full widebody kit with deep front airdam and all. As long as you weren’t of a shy nature and you had the necessary cash to splash out on your RX-7, then combining the two would have really rocked back then in the days of Flashdance and the like.
Needless to say, they didn’t sell tons of these, and one figure suggests less than 150 RX-7’s left Pacific Avatar. However, while scrolling through all the crazy projects that are always on Barnfinds, I was amazed to see one for sale. Not just that, but the first owner of this one seems to have really pulled out all the stops! This little RX-7 is a total overdose of Californian early eighties extravaganza.
Not just has this RX-7 lost its roof and been treated to that widebody kit, but there’s also a set of gorgeous three-piece split-alloys to fill those new, wide arches. It even sounds like there’s a period high-end Alpine soundsystem in the car, so it’s probably time to crawl into the attic to dust off those old Def Leppard and Billy Idol cassette tapes. And to top it all off, there’s the custom paintjob over all custom paintjobs! Who after all doesn’t like black with gold detailing? It’s just iconic. However, us Europeans probably have a tendency to immediately tie it to JPS colours and most likely Lotus too. But there’s nothing Colin Chapman about this Pacific Avatar. Quite the contrary, this is a very different kind of black and gold. This is clearly what the Bandit would have driven if only Burt Reynolds could have ever been persuaded to ditch his V8 Trans Am, and instead blast across the US in a free-revving Japanese rotary with Sally Field by his side and Sheriff Buford T. Justice left in his dust.
Here are a few pictures from the advert:
There is one little caveat though. As mentioned, this Pacific Avatar is currently on Barnfinds, so as is usually the case with cars on that site, it’s a bit of a project. The RX-7 has been off the road since 1991, but the seller claims that it has been driven a couple of times a year on dealer plates, so the car starts and runs. Nonetheless, the carburettor needs to be cleaned and adjusted, just like the cosmetics could do with a little tlc here and there. Most of all, the softtop has practically rotted away and will need to be replaced by a new one, which will of course have to be a bespoke and fitted item.
The Pacific Avatar is currently for sale north of Boston in the USA at an asking price of US $ 8,500, which currently equates to approximately £ 6,750 or Euro 7,500. Have a professional pre-purchase inspection done, buy it now, and you’ll have all winter to bring this eighties statement back to its former glory. I’m positive that Burt Reynolds – may he rest in peace – would be proud…
Here’s a link to the advert on Barnfinds: 1982 Pacific Avatar Mazda RX-7 Convertible
With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
Just remember – Any Classic is Better than No Classic! We obviously invite our readers to help prospective buyers with your views and maybe even experiences of any given model we feature. Further to that, if you stumble across a classic which you feel we ought to feature as Prime Find of the Week, then please send us a link to firstname.lastname@example.org