A 1984 Mazda RX7 with only 15,000 miles moves into Lakeland Motor Museum
The latest attraction at the Lakeland Motor Museum is a Mazda RX7 which was first registered back in January 1985 – making it now nearly 40 years old – but that has just 15,000 miles on the clock and is in mint condition. It has been donated to the museum by the family of Sheila Sides, a former Cheshire hotel owner who drove it for just six years after buying it new from a dealership in Warrington for £10,995.
AS GOOD AS NEW
Her son, Chris Sides, said: 'Throughout her life my mum always had a love of stylish cars and had owned a Morris Minor, a Vauxhall Viva HB GT and a Lancia Fulvia. But when the Lancia started rusting, she looked round for a new car and fell in love with the Mazda. She loved its lines, and of course it was quite fast as well, a common theme with her cars!'
Sheila snapped up the RX7 and even used it in advertising material for the Highlands Private Hotel which she ran in Helsby, Cheshire. 'She loved it, but there were a few issues which she hadn’t really considered,' continued Chris. 'Firstly, she wasn’t very tall and the Mazda had a long bonnet she couldn’t really see over! We partly resolved this with the addition of a cushion to sit on, but the car didn’t have power steering and was very heavy to drive. With advancing years, this became too much for her and it was used less frequently as the months passed.'
The Mazda was stored in the garage at the family home at the end of 1991 and left unused until 2020 when the family decided to donate it to the Lakeland Motor Museum. Chris Lowe, curator at the museum, said: 'We were delighted to accept the generous offer, and have spent time carefully cleaning and restoring the car before giving it pride of place in the museum. It’s a first-generation 3rd series RX7 with a twin rotor Wankel rotary engine. It is in a wonderful condition and a great addition to our collection. We'd like to thank the family for donating such a lovely example.'
The Mazda joins a collection of over 140 classic cars and motorbikes at the museum in Backbarrow, Cumbria. The museum also has thousands more exhibits of automobilia, historical displays and a riverside café. Nestled in the scenic Leven Valley and open seven days a week, the museum is about more than just cars as the entire collection is presented in a social context, with a host of rarities to awaken some special motoring memories. Find out more by visiting the museum's website at www.lakeland motormuseum.co.uk