My early introduction to cars as seen in the previous article My early introduction to racing cars had and still has an influence on me. In Saudi Arabia I had a Nissan 280ZX sports car, not very good for carrying diving equipment and driving in the desert. I replaced that car with a Toyota Celica. Still a little sporty, but I could just about travel in the desert with it.
It was my intention, my dream whilst working in Saudi Arabia to own a Mazda RX7. I wanted to drive the car from Jeddah, all the way back to the UK. That was not to happen.
But, syncronicity, the first garage I went to on my return to the UK looking for a car after years of working in the Middle East, was a Mazda dealer, and they were selling their managing directors wifes RX7 car, she had owned for six months and hardly ever used.
The car is still mine, all mine.
I have not used it, and it has not moved for nearly five years, as I have a Mercedes to carry all my sound equipment about in, but today I got the RX7 back on the road, taken it to a local garage for a full service, in the hope that I can drive it once again.
Mazda introduced the RX7 in 1978, although my car was first registered in 1988. It has a twin rotor rotary engine, also known as a Wankel rotary which it had licensed from NSU-Wankel, rather than having the conventional piston engine.
The rotary Wankel engine, with few moving parts, is quite and smooth, so smooth that Mazda had to put a buzzer alarm in case drivers over-reved above 7000 rpm. But it is very costly in petrol, only achieving some 18 miles per gallon. *
Very few RX7‘s, styled on the Porsche 944 but looking more like the Porsche 928, were produced, and have since been replaced by the RX8, still with the rotary engine.
* 1 mile per gallon = 0.425143707 kilometers per litter