And yet this swap wasn't mentioned in the sales ad.
Those of us who grew up in the 1990s had the privilege of living in the era of the greatest Japanese sports cars, among them the Toyota Supra Turbo, Mitsubishi 3000GT, and the Mazda RX-7. While the Supra will soon be making a comeback, Mitsubishi has given up on sports cars while Mazda has kept its MX-5 Miata but has dropped its rotary-powered RX series. Hey, we’ll take what we can get.
And fortunately, there are plenty of these 90s greats available on the second-hand market, though it can be tough to find one completely stock. Often times the aftermarket work was downright terrible, other times not so bad and even an improvement upon the original.
It’s the latter example that we’ve discovered up for sale on Copart, a site typically known for selling totaled remains of once cool cars. This 1993 Mazda RX-7 may at first come across as a regular ’93 RX-7 with some exterior modifications like new wheels and body kit, but there’s more. We almost didn’t even notice it at first but the secret, as they say, is in the sauce. Or under the hood. Instead of the original 1.3-liter twin-turbo rotary with 252 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque lies an LS V8. A single-engine photo makes the abundantly clear. Oddly, the advertisement itself still lists the rotary as the car’s engine, but one look at that engine will clarify it’s not a rotary.
The GM-built LS small block V8 dates back to 1996 and first saw duty in, among many, the C5 Corvette, Pontiac GTO, and the fourth generation F-body Pontiac Firebird and Chevy Camaro. GM has updated the LS V8 many times over the years, beginning with the LS1 in 1997 and continuing through 2013 with the LS9. It’s a long proven engine that’s not only reliable but quite powerful. When the LS1 debuted in the C5, for example, it produced 345 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.
Again because the Copart ad makes no mention of the LS engine, we don’t know specifics like its tuned output, etc. It is paired with a manual transmission, so that’s something. As of this writing, the highest bid was $10,300, which is darn decent considering the engine, the car itself, and that it appears to be in overall solid condition.