Great Moments in $2000 Challenge History: `79 Mazda RX-7

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Jul 5, 2019 | $2000 Challenge, Mazda | Posted in Features | From the Dec. 2018 issue | Never miss an article

With registration for our $2000 challenge presented by CRC Industries now open, we think it's a great time to highlight some previous entrants. 

Why the fendermount mirrors on this 1979 Mazda RX-7? Because it’s a legit JDM model, purchased by Robert Ritchie and Thomas Alexander for just $500. “The scummiest car lot in town is the Salvation Army’s,” they explained, “which has a nice supply of vehicles they took in as donations. Most of these cars are barely suitable to be even a parts car, but some of them run, and on rare occasion something nice turns up.” The RX-7 was one of those gems, but Robert and Thomas they didn’t realize it at first.

After doing the paperwork, we whipped out the cellphone to call for a tow truck,” they continue. “As we did this, the attendant said he thought it might run and tried jump-starting it. It fired right up and we drove it home. On the way I tried all the switches and everything worked, including the a/c.”

Make your own low-buck memories as the Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge presented by CRC Industries returns October 25–26. Visit for details.


Robert Ritchie and Thomas Alexander





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View comments on the GRM forums
_ HalfDork
7/5/19 3:26 p.m.

A legit Japanese import? For $500? Something isn’t right. 

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela GRM+ Memberand Digital Editor
7/5/19 8:41 p.m.

In reply to _ :

Well, it was back in 1999. 

Knurled. MegaDork
7/5/19 11:52 p.m.

I STILL don't believe that someone donated a clean, running, right hand drive SA.



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