Early Mazda Rotaries

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Early Mazda Rotaries

Post by tobytronicsterophonic »

From around the age of 13, I'd haunt the local car auctions. By the late seventies, there were loads of mint Mazda Rotaries going through, selling for around £200. Nobody wanted them.

The only one I can remember actually being driven was, from memory, an RX-2 with a Ford V4 conversion. This was in early 1980 and was owned by a mechanic at the local Ford dealership.

The earlier rotary engines, according to contemporary magazine articles, would outlast many 'normal' engines of the time.

I can well remember having to do piston ring and valve work on loads of Ford crossflow engines well before 50k miles.
The Datsuns I served my apprenticeship working on seemed to be a paragon of reliability.

But when I started my own business when I was 18 (really) those Datsuns weren't quite so great when they'd gone through a few owners and reached around the 80k mile mark.

By the way, I passed my City & Guilds in two years, rather than the three or four as I was simply obsessed with cars and motorcycles.
This enabled me to be made redundant just before my 19th birthday.

I worked at two Mazda dealers in 1985 and 1986. The RX-7 was a superb car when new and beyond for that matter. I can remember it was the price of genuine parts that soured ownership...

A complete exhaust system for one was well over £1,000 and a driver's seat frame was about the same price.
But the Mazda cars of the time really were a beautiful and reliable marque in general.
So easy to work on and only Honda matched them in terms of quality and reliability.
I can remember the Vauxhall cars in the early eighties were an absolute joke in comparison.
As were the MK1 Fiestas. The absolute base model having a dreadful three-bearing crankshaft engine, a foot operated rubber bulb for the screenwash and a cooling fan which ran continuously in order to save the price of an electric washer pump or thermostatic switch and relay.
Mazda must have got a lot of things right over the years in terms of product desirability and quality. They simply wouldn't still exist if they had not.
I think there will always be a market for technically innovative cars. I went on a Citroen course in 1988 for the introduction of the CX's replacement: the XM. The opening comments from the lecturer was: customers will no longer buy anything which is in any way oddball or strange. I think and most would agree, the XM is the epitome of ODD!
The dreadful foot-operated 'handbrake' being just one example...
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brad_wil (Mon Nov 20, 2023 2:03 am) • Michael73 (Tue Nov 21, 2023 9:13 pm) • Lucky7 (Sun Nov 26, 2023 10:37 pm)
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Re: Early Mazda Rotaries

Post by goodeggbob »

This all sounds very familiar, back in the seventies my old man owned an rx3 and i had a go around an airfield by us . I was already familiar with motorbikes and the likes of escorts and viva's even though i was only twelve or so at the time.
The difference was chalk and cheese .
Rob :thumright:
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