Books about Mazda RX-7, RX-8 and Rotary Engines

This page lists some of my favorite books on Mazda RX-7, RX-8 and rotary engines.
Most of the books are old enough to have a 10-digit ISBN so I listed both the current 13-digit ISBN and the original one (which can be found in the book or on its cover).
The links to should give an indication of availability and price for each book.

Mazda RX-7

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TitleRX-7, The new Mazda RX-7 and Mazda rotary engine sports cars
AuthorJack K. Yamaguchi
PublisherSt. Martin's Press, 1985
ISBN9780312694562 (0-3126-9456-3)
AvailableOut of Print, check Bookfinder

This is undoubtedly the definitive book on the 2nd generation RX-7 (FC, P747).
In between the first three chapters of the book are sets of large full-color action pictures of 2nd gen's in their natural habitat. Some of these pictures were also used for the various RX-7 sales brochures.
The book starts with notes on driving the P747 RX-7 by Paul Frere (automotive journalist and former F1 racing car driver).
The first chapter describes the process of designing a successor to the popular first generation Rx-7.
The second chapter details P747 development and discusses many design details such as the complicated rear suspension.
The third chapter describes and details the design of earlier rotary powered Mazda sports cars: not only the Cosmo Sport and the first generation Rx-7, but also the R16A, X810/RX500, RS-X/X020A, X020G and the MX-03 concept car.
The fourth chapter has a look at the people behind the design and development of the rotary powered cars.
Chapter five details the history of rotary powered race cars from the early days until the mid-eighties.
The book ends with an overview of the development of rotary engines, both production and experimental ones.

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TitleThe Targa Florio Route - Experts meet the RX-7 -
AuthorsPaul Frere, Nino Vaccarella, Tsunero Komaki & Yuko Aoki
PublisherAtelier Publishing Co. Ltd. (Japan), 1989
ISBN9784751800720 (4-7518-0072-8)
AvailableOut of Print, check Bookfinder

An interesting book about driving the famous Targa Florio route on the island of Sicily in an RX-7 Turbo II (Japanese GT-X, late model). Driving impressions are by famous racing drivers Paul Frere and Nino Vaccarella (three times Targa Florio winner). The book offers loads of beautiful and often dramatic full color pictures by Haru Tajima who also did the photography for the "RX-7, The new..." book.
Of particular interest is a 6 page interview with Takaharu Kobayakawa (program manager for the 2nd gen RX-7 project) about the improvements made to the RX-7 for the 1989 model year.
Included are tables with detailed specs for all 1989 2nd gen. RX-7's (Japan, US and EC models) and 1988 japanese RX-7 specs for comparison.

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TitleRX-7 the Mazda RX-7: Mazda's Legendary Sports Car
AuthorsJack K. Yamaguchi & John Dinkel
PublisherRing Ltd. (Japan), 1992
ISBN9784947659019 (4-947659-01-7)
AvailableOut of Print, check Bookfinder

The definitive book on the 3rd generation RX-7 (FD).
The book follows the same layout as the one on the 2nd gen.: first half just contains loads of color pictures, then a detailed story on the development of the car, followed by an in-depth analysis of the 1992 RX-7.
John Dinkel (former technical editor for Road&Track and Sports Car International magazines) discusses the dynamics of the car and Paul Frere did the road testing once again.
The book ends with a full account of the 1991 Le Mans Mazda victory and an update on Mazda rotary sportscars and IMSA GTO Championship, 1991.

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TitleRX-7 Mazda's Rotary Engine Sports Car
AuthorBrian Long
PublisherVeloce Publishing, Dorchester, 2001;
updated 2nd edition 2004;
updated 3rd edition 2017
ISBN9781787111332 (1-787111-33-4)
Availablecheck Bookfinder (3rd edition)

This is my favorite RX-7 reference book. It is the only non-japanese book I know of that also has a look at the japanese domestic market and the many versions and developments that were exclusively offered there.
It covers the entire range of RX-7 models and also offers a brief look at its predecessors and at Mazda RX-7 achievements in international motorsports.

The first edition of this book was written and published before RX-7 production ended, so in 2004 a 2nd edition was issued which also covered the final RX-7 types. A third edition with yet more information was published in 2017.
The editions are easy to tell apart by the base color of the book cover: tan for the first edition, red for the second and blue for the third.
First and second editions came in hardcovers, third edition comes with a softcover.

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TitleMazda RX-7: The First Generation
AuthorJohn F. Ball
PublisherGoldstar Enterprises, 1990;Goldstar Enterprises, softcover rerelease 2000
ISBN9780929214047 (0-9292-1404-8)    9780929214108 (0-9292-1410-2)
Availablecheck Bookfinder check Bookfinder

This is a practical reference guide for any owner of a 1st generation Rx-7 (SA/FB).
It covers all kinds of topics from 'what to look for when buying a second-hand Rx-7' to general maintenance and how to deal with any typical rotary idiosyncrasies.
The black cover of the original hardcover release quickly got tattered in daily use, so a revised softcover edition was released in 2000.

Brookland Books

These softcover books contain reprints of magazine articles on Mazda RX-7 such as first looks, testdrives and multi car comparisons.
All pictures are reprinted in grayscale, no color.
Very useful as reference books.

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TitleMazda RX-7 Collection Nr.1 1978-1981
Compiled byR.M. Clarke
PublisherBrookland Books, 1981
ISBN9780907073345 (0-907073-344)
AvailableOut of Print, check Bookfinder

This volume covers the first generation Rx-7.
The book contains articles from Road&Track, Road Test, Autocar, Modern Motor, Motor, Motor Sport, Car and Wheels magazines.

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TitleRoad&Track on Mazda RX-7 1978-1986
Compiled byR.M. Clarke
PublisherBrookland Books, 1986
ISBN9780948207785 (0-948207-78-7)
AvailableOut of Print, check Bookfinder

This volume covers both the first generation and early versions of the second generation RX-7.
Apart from articles from Road&Track there is also a road test included from Sports&GT Cars magazine.

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TitleRoad&Track on Mazda RX-7 & MX-5 Miata 1986-1991
Compiled byR.M. Clarke
PublisherBrookland Books, 1991
ISBN9781855201187 (1-85520-1186)
AvailableOut of Print, check Bookfinder

This volume covers both the second generation RX-7 (FC) and the first generation MX-5 Miata (NA).
Apart from articles from Road&Track there are also some road tests included from Sports&GT Cars magazine.
Some highlights: testdrives in a the GTU and 10th Anniversary edition and a testdrive in a japanese Infinity IV version of the RX-7 FC.

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TitleMazda RX-7 Gold Portofolio 1978-1991
Compiled byR.M. Clarke
PublisherBrookland Books, 1996
ISBN9781855203334 (1-85520-333-2)
AvailableOut of Print, check Bookfinder

This volume covers both the first and second generation RX-7.
The book contains articles from Car and Driver, Road&Track, Road Test, Autocar, Autosport, Modern Motor, Motor, Motor Manual, Car, Motor Trend, Sports Car Mechanics, Automobile Magazine, What Car ?, Performance Car, Fast Lane and Sports Car International magazines.
Some highlights: a testdrive in a japanese FC Infinity IV and a feature on the 1981 Kent Racing IMSA GTU Rx-7 race car.
Many of the articles in this volume have been published before in other Brooklands Books on the RX-7, making this the most comprehensive book in the series.

Mazda RX-8

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TitleMazda RX-8
AuthorJack K. Yamaguchi
PublisherRing Ltd. (Japan), 2003
ISBN9784947659026 (4-947659-02-5)
AvailableOut of Print, check Bookfinder

This book covers the long development of the Mazda RX-8, the world's first 4-door, 4-seat sports car, followed by an in-depth analysis of the 2003 Mazda RX-8.
In a style similar to the RX-7 books by Yamaguchi, the book begins with a large collection of dramatic page sized color pictures of the RX-8.
The book ends with a complete history of Mazda rotaries.

Rotary Engines

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TitleRotary Engine
AuthorKenichi Yamamoto
PublisherSankaido Co. Ltd. 1971 (japanese),
Society of Automotive Engineers 1981 (english)
ISBN9789997341174 (9-9973-4117-1)
Availablecheck Bookfinder

This book is an official Mazda publication, the english version used to be available through SAE ( and through the former "Rx-7 Club of America".
This book offers a highly technical discussion on the Wankel design and all improvements Mazda added over the years.
It also presents a brief overview of other applications for rotary engines, ranging from a single rotor 5cc model engine to a 41 litre dual rotor industrial power plant.
Also useful if you want to know why so much auxilary equipment is crowding the engine bay of your RX-7.

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TitleThe Wankel Engine
AuthorJan P. Norbye
PublisherChilton Book Company, 1971
ISBN9780801955914 (0-8019-5591-2)
AvailableOut of Print, check Bookfinder

This book was written at a time when 'oil' and 'crisis' were two distinctly separate words, when the future for Wankel engines looked bright and a lot of car manufacturers were working on Wankel engine powered vehicles.
The book consists of three sections: Design, Development, Applications.
Some of the manufacturers covered include: NSU, Curtiss-Wright, Toyo Kogyo (Mazda), Daimler-Benz and Citroën.
Lots of b/w pictures, drawings and diagrams.
The author explains that this book is not the definite work, however it can arguably be regarded as one of the best books on Wankel engines.
There were at least two reprints made in the seventies (1972, 1975).

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