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Considering a 2nd car... FB Rx-7 or NA/NB Miata

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I'm starting to look for a second car, and my top choices are a FB(79-85) RX-7 or a Miata, probably NA, but I would consider an early NB if I could find it cheap enough.  I would be using it as a sunny day driver and autocross car about once a month.  I'm hoping to spend in the $2-4k range.

Logic says miata is the way to go.  Many more cars available, 'traditional' piston engine, more parts available.  These things play into my thoughts as a logical person, but I don't want this choice to be entirely logical.  I like the fact that it's a convertible (I wouldn't consider an RX-7 'vert.)  But miata's are so commonplace.  I do like the NB(99-05) a little better style wise, but NA's(90-07) are more in my price range.  Once I'm driving it though, I probably won't care about what it looks like or how commonplace it is.

The RX-7 is a little quirkier, and I like that about it.  This is a second car after all.  At first I liked the FC(86-91), but after looking at a lot more pictures, I decided I like the first generation better.  The FB's are lighter too.  I don't know if the Wankel is really any less reliable than a piston engine, but it sure scares people away.  I've been reading up on rx7club, so I know they need to be run regularly and they need high revs regularly.  As long as you're doing these, the rotary nuts say they they should be pretty reliable.  I rode in one last weekend which was a project car that did not have a/c and the pwr window switches were mia, so the 'practicality' of having a convertible on a summer car is at the forefront of my mind at the moment.

I really think I will be happy with either.  Both are known to be great handling cars. A normally operating RX-7 will have windows that roll down, or maybe even a/c, but it's still not a convertible.  And a miata is a great practical sports car, but it's kind of generic.

Any thoughts or comments?


ive got an 88 vert sans engine. ( it went to hell and back) but its goin piston. when funds allow. similar weight and similar power but at a lower rpm. that aside. they are FUN to drive. if one rotor ever loads up, a couple ways of dealing with it, either remove fuse from fuel pump if injected or if carbed, disable fueling, or have someone tow you with plugs removed to clear it. this DOES happen sometimes. i THINK some FC's were of the 13b injected variety. and many were carbed as well. enjoy. if it were me, as a second car id say rx7. but as a primary, NOOOOOO. they have pretty much no redline lol. nothing to break no valves to float etc but high HP engines, can blow the apex seals ( 3 in each rotor) stock seals are around 56 each. last time i checked, which was a while back lol

I auto-crossed with my 85 RX-7. Wonderful car. But in those years they used the 12A engine. It's equivalent to a 1.1L and is carbuerated. Unless you're the original designer most attempts to fix that damn NIKki carb is futile. The 13B is a far superior engine with much more power, available in the 85 GSL-SE. I swapped my 12A for a twin-turbo 13B and it was an incredible car. No miata could touch it.

A carb swap for the 12a seems pretty common.  I do like the idea of fuel injection though.  The FB I rode it last week had a 13b swapped in from a FC. 

The 84-85 GSL-SE seems like the way to go, but everyone else has figured that out too, so they tend to go for a bit more money.  I suppose it'd be worth it though.

Miata for sure, for reliability and decent power and handling. Most fun car I've ever driven in an auto-X event. Plus you can get a used turbo kit for like $500 or piece meal one and make it even more fun to drive!Don't get me wrong the RX-7 is great but the apex seals on a rotary engine are not know for reliability. Just my 2 cents 


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