Mazdax605 Reader
Sept. 28, 2009 4:52 p.m.

Hey guys,

I have found a 1974 Mazda RX-2 that I am very interested in,but I have a friend that thinks I am crazy to buy it because it needs re-assembly,and and engine/trans combo. I have maybe three spare running 12A's in the garage,along with several SA chassis RX-7 trannies,so that should be easy enough. The car has had a fully stripping,and new fresh paint,but is only a rolling shell at this point. The suspension has been fully rebuilt,and repainted/powder coated,but it needs the rear brakes to be plumbed in. The seller has loads of rare parts that are included like the 5 way adjustable Koni's on all 4 corners,new carpet kit,new headliner,new door panels,and full suspension bushings,and weather stripping.

Now I know this isn't a weekend project,but I also know the hard stuff like body work(had rust in front,and rear glass corners) has been taken care of,so it is mostly a re-assembly project. Would this sort of project scare you guys away? My friend says I should just buy his TR8 instead,but I don't want another two-seater(I already have two of those).

Am I nuts to spend $4500 on a roller with most of the stuff to put it back together,plus many rare parts?


78 SA22C 74 PA136 78 KHLA10

aussiesmg SuperDork
Sept. 28, 2009 4:55 p.m.

It is a good car and easy to rebuild but in pieces it is not worth $4500.

SVreX SuperDork
Sept. 28, 2009 4:55 p.m.

Q#1: Are you kidding? Do you really think most folks around here would be scared of a car in pieces? Many of us have never seen a COMPLETE car.

Q#2: Yes, you are nuts to spend $4500 on a roller.

My $.02

pinchvalve SuperDork
Sept. 28, 2009 4:59 p.m.

Not scary in the least, I have a few vehicles in boxes around here somewhere. The issue is the price. You know you are going to need some things, and nuts, bolts, and wires can nickle and dime you into the poor house! Considering no engine, no tranny, and 100% needs assembly, that price is WAY high. You can be in a nice Civic ready to roll at that price.

When the seller realizes that it's worth $1000, jump on it.

Mazdax605 Reader
Sept. 28, 2009 5:03 p.m.

Well the car is worth way more than $1000 that is for sure especially with the body work,and paint,plus the parts.

SVreX SuperDork
Sept. 28, 2009 5:07 p.m.

You asked our opinion.

If you are happy with the price, go for it.

I don't think bodywork adds to the value of a roller. I think it detracts. It is difficult to see the true condition of the body on a vintage car that has just been painted.

If you are paying a premium for a vintage roller because the bodywork is complete, make sure you spend a lot of time going over it carefully with a strong light and a magnet.

SVreX SuperDork
Sept. 28, 2009 5:08 p.m.

Bodywork is cheap.

SVreX SuperDork
Sept. 28, 2009 5:10 p.m.

BTW- I once paid a premium for a newly done body on a vintage car. After a year, the rust was showing through and the bondo was popping out.

oldtin Reader
Sept. 28, 2009 5:12 p.m.

Except for a DD all my cars seem to have come in boxes - that's not scary it all. I'm not up on rx2 pricing, seems more cost-based than market-based

Junkyard_Dog Reader
Sept. 28, 2009 5:14 p.m.

Price is way too high for a full sized model kit. While a good paint job over a repaired body is expensive you're better off doing it yourself so you know its done right.More importantly how do you know there isn't a ton of bondo under that shiny new paint? What if the seller's/body guy's definition of "right" isn't the same as yours? How many trips will it take to get everything home and how do you know you have it all? Unless you have another car in the garage just like it for reference or have done ten of these cars before you're going to run into more than a few instances of head scratching, or worse. I'd offer $1500 max, and thats pushing it. For under a grand I'd jump on it, because then its worth the trouble plus you could sell it on and not lose your shirt. Cars in boxes are a great way to get a cool car cheap, just don't pay more than what you could buy a finished vehicle for.

RexSeven Dork
Sept. 28, 2009 5:18 p.m.

If it's mostly reassembly, as you say, I'd go for it but try to drop the price. I don't know how much RX-2s go for, but juding from RX-3 prices a decent RX-2 runner is around $4500. I wouldn't pay that much for an RX-2 in pieces unless it was exquisite enough to eat off of.

If you do buy it, let us know. I could lend you a hand with reassembling it.

aussiesmg SuperDork
Sept. 28, 2009 5:28 p.m.

An RX3 holds much higher value to those that know than an RX2, if the body is perfect and there is no bondo it might be worth $2K in pieces, at a push.

If it was an R100 it would be worth $4500 in pieces.

Mazdax605 Reader
Sept. 28, 2009 5:50 p.m.

In reply to SVreX:

I did ask for your opinions,but to say it is only worth $1000 is not really a true assessment. The guy paid $1000 alone for bushings,and weatherstripping,and I looked it up he isn't lying. I agree the price is high,but I don't think it is way high. On one hand I agree because I paid $2000 for a near perfect one owner SA22C that needed virtually nothing,but those aren't as rare.

The RX-3 is more popular than the RX-2,but in my opinion the Italian body on the -2 is way cooler,and the suspension is better as well. The nicest of all of them in my opinion is the RX-4 though.

Prices of all of the vintage Mazda's are climbing even in a bad economy.

John Brown SuperDork
Sept. 28, 2009 5:52 p.m.

Any assembled car is worth 10x the car disassembled. If the guy 100% reassembles everything minus the drivetrain for $4500.00 then it might be worth your while BUT I still say he would be off by about $1500.00.

My $.02

bamalama Reader
Sept. 28, 2009 6:47 p.m.

I want to see pics of said RX-2. I love those things. I bought (and subsequently sold) a one owner 73 RX-2 sedan and a trailer full of parts for $200.

(I'm stupid, I know)

924guy Dork
Sept. 28, 2009 6:48 p.m.
SVreX wrote: Q#1: Are you kidding? Do you really think most folks around here would be scared of a car in pieces? Many of us have never seen a COMPLETE car. Q#2: Yes, you are nuts to spend $4500 on a roller. My $.02

Amen brother... poster

plance1 HalfDork
Sept. 28, 2009 7:10 p.m.

Didn't Johnny Cash have something to say about a car he assembled from pieces?

keethrax Reader
Sept. 28, 2009 7:18 p.m.
Mazdax605 wrote: In reply to SVreX: I did ask for your opinions,but to say it is only worth $1000 is not really a true assessment. The guy paid $1000 alone for bushings,and weatherstripping,and I looked it up he isn't lying.

Essentially: So?

Spending $X on a car rarely makes the car worth original value + $X.

Not being up on my old mazda prices I have no idea if that's a reasonable price or not.

But I do know the "I just spent X on it" doesn't mean much, even if perfectly true. Look how many various project cars you see selling for well under the price list of the parts already installed. And in those the car is at least put together (sometimes)

Again, I'm not familiar enough with old mazda prices to say whether it's a reasonable price or not, just that that sort of reasoning doesn't generally hold much water for car values.

wlkelley3 HalfDork
Sept. 28, 2009 7:26 p.m.

I'm with the others. A car is one piece that runs is worth it but a car in pieces that has to be assembled isn't. Just cause all the pieces are there doesn't make it worth anything near full value. FWIW, often restorations cost more in parts/labor than the finished product can be sold for. It's sometimes cheaper in the long run to buy a finished product. Just my opinion. Maybe the right price is between 1000 & 4500, I don't know. But it's only worth what someone will pay for it.

aussiesmg SuperDork
Sept. 28, 2009 7:55 p.m.

Black Dragon will sell you a 1st gen RX7 interior mirror assembly for about $400, my last 2 1st gens cost a total of $250. Oh and they were drivable and one had brand new weather stripping in the bag on the floor.

famous New Reader
Sept. 28, 2009 8:06 p.m.

Here's the irony I see in this question. Sell each individual part on it's own, it probably worth more than the value of a running car. The same parts, as a partially assembled roller, with all the extra parts in boxes, never even gets close to the value of a running car.

That's the way it is.


Jensenman SuperDork
Sept. 28, 2009 8:12 p.m.

Much as I like old rotary cars, yeah, $4500 is outrageous for a car in pieces.

SVreX SuperDork
Sept. 28, 2009 8:20 p.m.
Mazdax605 wrote: In reply to SVreX: I did ask for your opinions,but to say it is only worth $1000 is not really a true assessment.

It would appear that every single poster in this thread disagrees with you.

I really don't have any problem with you spending your money however you choose. Please enjoy yourself.

But there is a lot of wisdom and experience here. The consensus of the group appears to have a differing opinion than you do.

Maybe we should have clarified your question. When you asked, "Am I nuts to spend $4500 on a roller with most of the stuff to put it back together,plus many rare parts?", did you mean, A) "Will I likely recoup my investment?", or, B) "Will I have fun?".

If B, perhaps. You clearly have a lot of love for these cars, and that's a great start. If you've never done a resto project, be warned that the love almost always wears off, but that is usually OK. So, I would conclude, yes, you can have fun.

If A, then I'd go with the consensus. It is highly unlikely you will ever get your money out of it.

For the record, I've got lots of projects I never get my money out of. But I DO have plenty of fun.

Sonic Dork
Sept. 28, 2009 8:30 p.m.

A disassambled roller, even with the body done and all the parts, is worth some small percentage of the value of the finished car. An RX2, even when finished and restored in great condition, is worth how much more than $4500?

As an example of a similar situation, my stepfather bought his 62 Jag XKE coupe in similar condition. The previous owner had put $30k into the body, paint, and some parts. We bought it for $9k, and proceeded to sink lots more into it, and in the end it was a 98.5 point car and absoutely gorgeous and amazing, but the original purchase price of the "box of Jaguar" with a perfect body was about 10-20% of the finished value of the car. If the RX2 was worth $30k when done, then $4500 would be a good deal for the package you described.

Dav New Reader
Sept. 28, 2009 8:38 p.m.

IMHO, a car in boxes better include 2 or more cars. I have bought a car with "everything there" only to find out that tons of little obscure items are gone--forcing me to buy another model of the same car to find all of the stuff that was supposed to be in the boxes... . YMMV

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