LainfordExpress New Reader
Sept. 30, 2010 3:34 p.m.

Interesting discussion today with my work neighbor (spilled over from previous evening discussion with my roommate)...

Mark III Toyota Supra


2nd Gen. Mazda RX-7


Porsche 944

All similarly powered, rear-wheel drive, roughly the same vintage, close to the same price (currently, with 944 being ~50-75% more)... so which is the best? Daily driver and/or autocrosser? I think the RX-7 is probably the better autocrosser and the Supra the better daily driver (gotta love a straight-6).

Bobzilla Dork
Sept. 30, 2010 3:36 p.m.


Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
Sept. 30, 2010 3:45 p.m.

The MkIII Supra is a nice GT car, but too heavy to be a great handler. It is more akin to a Porsche 928. The Turbos were pretty quick, and fun cars, but big and heavy. ( IIRC 0-60 in 6.3 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.5 or so) For those not big on Supra history, these were the single turbo cars, not the monster twin turbos that came later.

I'd say a RX-7 or 944 would be more fun to auto-x, but they each have their issues. RX-7 have magical triangles which are good (high rpm, smooth, light) and bad. (oil and gas consumption, sorter lifespan)

The 944s are nicely balanced, but a bit sort of oomph, and can be expensive to fix / maintain.

Of the 3 I'd go with the nicest RX-7 I could find. But that's just me.

triumph5 HalfDork
Sept. 30, 2010 3:46 p.m.

unwinnable discussion. That said, for DD a 944--handles best, has the low-end torque the Mazda doesn't; lighter than the Supra. And my personal favorite. That said, I don't have to maintain, insure or buy any of the above. Toy:Lotus Super 7 reread first line.

mad_machine SuperDork
Sept. 30, 2010 4:10 p.m.

I never cared for supras.. sorry, but in so many cases they are hype. Even the magical twin turbo cars that make 1000hp.. they just seem like more talk than walk.

Of the other two... I would be hard pressed to choose. Both look similar, but have similar power, and both handle very well.. as I see more 944s on the road than mk2 7s.. I am going to say the Porsche would be a better DD

RexSeven Dork
Sept. 30, 2010 4:13 p.m.
LainfordExpress wrote: I think the RX-7 is probably the better autocrosser and the Supra the better daily driver (gotta love a straight-6).

Pretty much. Like Joe said, the Mk. III Supra are great GT cars. They also make decent drag cars. The 7MGTE isn't as bulletproof as the 2JZ-GTE (pops head gaskets easily), but it's still possible to make some good power out of one.

The FC can be a decent daily-driver- my N/A FC was my DD for 4 months last year. In the two years I owned it the FC never left me stranded or gave me a major problem. The interiors are comfy and the rotary is smooth as silk at highway speeds. However, my average gas mileage was 21mpg and it would use up a quart of oil every 3,000mi (by design). The engine was also rebuilt 11 years ago and only had 10K miles when I bought it, so it is pretty healthy. Make sure you get the compression checked before you buy a rotary car, it is a good way to test its health.

racerdave600 HalfDork
Sept. 30, 2010 4:20 p.m.

I'd say 944, but I'd pony up a bit more for the turbo. I've owned both NAs and Turbos. Also, I autocrossed a friend's RX7 GTU quite a bit, and although I liked the car, it wasn't anything like the 944 in terms of feel. Even with rack and pinion, it doesn't feel as lively as the 1st gen cars. The 944 is simply more fun and drives better. Maintenance isn't all that bad if you do it yourself and by the book. Also, RX7s at this age aren't exactly maintenance free either.

The Supra is another matter. I think they are ok, but big and heavy and they feel it. They will be by far the easiest on the wallet assuming it is in good shape, but the least attractive in terms of fun to drive.

My list is:

  1. 944

  2. RX7

  3. Supra

If you could step up to the next generation in terms of all three cars though, I'd reverse the list with the Supra first and 968 last.

Platinum90 SuperDork
Sept. 30, 2010 4:21 p.m.

Having recently restored a supra, while selling porsche parts every day, the Supra is definitely the one I want to front the bills on...

I don't have much experience with the Mazda, but having driven first gens, that is the one I want to autocross.

93celicaGT2 SuperDork
Sept. 30, 2010 4:58 p.m.

Depends... are we talking top of the range for each?

If so, the RX7 gets my huge vote. You get the lightness and the nimbleness. You get the power. You can have it all.

MisterWrigley New Reader
Sept. 30, 2010 5:01 p.m.

I don't have much (any) experience with the Mazda or the Porsche, but I owned an 86.5 Supra for a few years. The n/a cars are not fast. They had double wishbone suspension mounted to separate subframes front and rear which made for a nice smooth ride, and lots of weight. They had all the bells and whistles, including electronically adjustable dampers, whic just added to the excessive weight. I think mine was almost 3600 lbs and was about as light as you could get one.

The head gaskets are very fragile, but I'm sure most have been replaced by this point anyway. Other than that, the only thing that gave me any trouble was the clutch hydraulics.

Appleseed SuperDork
Sept. 30, 2010 9:01 p.m.

Which one will swallow an LSx easiest?

Yup, your answer is RX-7.

Vigo HalfDork
Sept. 30, 2010 11:41 p.m.
If you could step up to the next generation in terms of all three cars though, I'd reverse the list with the Supra first and 968 last.

Wow, if you move it a gen forward it kinda seems like the 968 isnt even in the same league..

I honestly think i am more attracted to the 'celica supras' than the late 80s ones.

In the original comparo, i think id go for RX7 because of the weight and the looks, honestly. The rx7 is sort of bland but can REALLY be sharpened up with the right bits (wheels, stance, etc). As far as the motor, if i ever got tired of the rotary it is a good lsx candidate.

EricM Dork
Oct. 1, 2010 9:36 a.m.

Are you trying to drive in E Stock?

I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. This one is a toss up, I would look for the cleanest one locally to me for the right price. That is IF I were looking for a car like that.

I would vote for the 944 though, just 'cuz I have had a 924S and a 944.

Otto_Maddox Reader
Oct. 1, 2010 11:35 a.m.

The Supra was in effect the first version of the Lexus SC300. Nice, refined heavy GT.

The RX-7 was a copy of the 944, and not quite as good. Maybe it is better for the money now.

junkbuggie New Reader
Oct. 1, 2010 12:03 p.m.

Having owned a 1st gen rx7 and a 77 924 I would go with the rx7 hands down. The supra is to heavy.

mad_machine SuperDork
Oct. 1, 2010 12:07 p.m.

I look at it this way.. taken from a purely emotional driven statement.. If all three cars were presented to me and I had to choose one and only one.. I would take the P-car every time.

I always liked the Mazda.. but the 944 just looks right

paanta New Reader
Oct. 1, 2010 12:20 p.m.

My first car was an '80 924, and my dad had 4 944's of different flavors. They were all great cars and awesome DDs, but the 944 felt completely solid and planted vs. light on its feet like the 924 or any RX-7. I'd take an RX-7 for autocross duty and a 944 for everything else.

81gtv6 Dork
Oct. 1, 2010 12:25 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: I look at it this way.. taken from a purely emotional driven statement.. If all three cars were presented to me and I had to choose one and only one.. I would take the P-car every time. I always liked the Mazda.. but the 944 just looks right
  • 1
coll9947 New Reader
Oct. 1, 2010 1:39 p.m.

MKII Supra

itsatrap New Reader
Oct. 1, 2010 2:53 p.m.

I'd have to go with the Turbo Supra, engines with triangles in them scare me..

Where's the Starion/Conquest on this list?

Lugnut HalfDork
Oct. 1, 2010 3:39 p.m.

No losers in that trio. I'd go RX7. In fact, I'm looking for a turbo FC right now.

Platinum90 SuperDork
Oct. 1, 2010 10:40 p.m.

The Starquest is below all three in my opinion.

My Supra projects are really easy to work on, these things are like Legos... I have yet to drive either one, however, so I really hope I don't hate the cars I have been working on for almost a year!

m4ff3w SuperDork
Oct. 2, 2010 12:04 a.m.

Alfa GTV6?

Oct. 2, 2010 2:36 a.m.

Funny to see this posted up as I am DEEP in thought as to buying either a 944 or a second gen RX7 to drop an LSx into.

Any thoughts from you guys as to which one is going to stand up to abuse while giving me parts availability?

The RX7 had the lead but all the love for the 944 has me second guessing.

(sorry to thread jack)

LainfordExpress New Reader
Oct. 2, 2010 7:31 a.m.

No worries, I started the thread because I'm looking for a little '80s coupe to play around with. I've started looking at the later 924S, which has the same engine as the base 944 and seem to generally be a little cheaper.

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