The road trip was a success and the RX-7 is back in Colorado! And more importantly, the T100 didn’t self destruct on the drive.
Overall retrieving the RX-7 went better than expected. Other than a layer of mold and pine sap covering the surface of the car, it doesn’t seem to have suffered much from sitting outside. I put it down to it sitting on pavers in relative shade, but maybe I was just lucky. When prepping for the tow home, the exhaust and driveshaft even came off easily and the tires held air just fine. The interior is pretty much how I left it, no dash cracks or new smells (just the usual old Japanese car mustiness.)
The dolly turned out to be the right choice, the extra weight of a full trailer would have been a struggle once the T100 started gasping at higher elevations. Even with the lighter weight there was a moment in Iowa when the A/T Temp light came on, though that might have been down to user error. Overdrive had been working well earlier in the trip, but something about the heat, elevation, or gradual upward grade kept the torque converter from locking in 4th gear on that stretch of road. Turning off overdrive brought the temp back down for the rest of the drive.
It was a miserably long drive, but it was worth it to drag the RX-7 into a car wash for the first time in nearly a decade. The mold washed right off and it’s now looking like the car I’ve been daydreaming about since I was 19.
For a full walk around of the car, see the video embedded below. The first step, which will take a while, will be addressing the body damage and rust. So far everything looks fixable, though fixing the paint will eventually mean a full respray. For now that’s in the distant future and hopefully I can get away with spot repairs in the short term.