18. Mazda RX-7
The popularity of Japanese sports cars from the ’70s to the ’90s is one of the biggest stories in the classic car world in recent years. However, if you are looking for a genuine JDM car, you are probably too late. Today, prices are stratospheric and the choice of models is limited. However, there is an alternative in the form of the Mazda RX-7. The first generation of the compact Mazda sports car has all the right ingredients to become a cult classic. It’s 40 years old and comes with rear-wheel drive. The Mazda RX-7 is inexpensive and plentiful. Also, it achieved some racing success.
The first-generation RX-7 debuted in 1978 and stayed on the market until 1985. During that period, they built almost 500,000 RX-7s, selling most of them in America. Under the hood was a 1.1 to 1.3-liter Wankel rotary engine, which was the RX-7’s most notable feature. The Wankel was extremely compact and light. Also, it produced 102 to 135 HP, which was more than enough for a lively performance. However, the rotary engine was also the biggest problem for the RX-7 since sourcing parts and service for them was a problem. The Wankel rotary engine was a constant headache for thousands of Mazda owners. It’s an unreliable powerplant famous for failures to this day.