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10 months ago

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johna added 10 months ago

My brief ownership of a rotary-engined car

johna posted about 1976 Mazda RX4 10 months ago

This was my first manual car, a 1976 (or was it 1974?) Mazda RX4 that I bought in the early 1990s for around $4,700. It was freshly painted in pearl white and I think it was a 13B engine.

The body and paintwork looked good but it had a few mechanical issues. It was also missing some interior parts. It wasn't running too well, partly because the spark plugs wires (two plugs per rotor) were swapped around so not firing in the right order.

After buying it I took it to a local rotary workshop and paid them around $2,500 to replace the gearbox, differential and various other parts that I don't recall.

I also bought and fitted many of the missing interior parts.

I didn't end up liking the car too much and put it up for sale after six months. I think it was a combination of exhaust leaking into the cabin, noise (not unexpected), difficulty to drive due to its mechanical state (it still needed engine work), and just being overall an unpleasant car to own and drive.

It didn't sell and soon the water seals failed and the car belched enough white smoke to cloud the entire street I lived in, and then the motor stopped working all together. A rust spot or two started appearing about that time too.

I eventually took whatever I could get, which wasn't much (under $2,000?), and that was my last and only rotary car.

NB. Photo is of a similar-looking car.

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