The Truth About Cars » Mazda RX-7 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:58:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Mazda RX-7 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1979 Mazda RX-7 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/junkyard-find-1979-mazda-rx-7/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/junkyard-find-1979-mazda-rx-7/#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 13:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=522273 06 - 1979 Mazda RX-7 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinFirst-gen Mazda RX-7s aren’t difficult to find in self-service wrecking yards (we just saw this ’80 with Flashdance-grade custom paint and this fairly solid ’85), and so most of them don’t make it into this series. During my recent trip to California for the biggest 24 Hours of LeMons race in history, I stopped at one of my favorite East Bay wrecking yards and found this utterly rust-free example of one of the few bright spots of the Malaise Era.
02 - 1979 Mazda RX-7 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSomebody has grabbed the complete dash, but the no-doubt-Quaalude-saturated driver’s seat is still present.
09 - 1979 Mazda RX-7 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 12A engine made just 100 horsepower in ’79, but that was pretty serious stuff at the time (keep in mind that the most powerful engine you could get in the ’79 Corvette made just 225 horsepower, and that the RX-7 of this period weighed less than 2,500 pounds). Sure, your grandma’s 11-year-old four-cylinder Camry will beat a ’79 RX-7 in a drag race, but the Malaise Era had different standards for cars.
07 - 1979 Mazda RX-7 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou don’t often see gas struts on junkyard cars that still work— someone will buy these for sure!

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Tales From The Cooler: TTAC Writer Buys A Cool Car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/tales-from-the-cooler-ttac-writer-buys-a-cool-car-2/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/tales-from-the-cooler-ttac-writer-buys-a-cool-car-2/#comments Thu, 20 Jun 2013 12:30:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=492598 ??????????????????????????????????????????

Car salesmen call buyers like me, “squirrels.” It seems like whenever I buy a new car, I pull a handbrake 180 turn at the last moment and purchase a completely different vehicle than originally planned. Last week I was so close to buying a new Mustang GT with the Track Package that a friend at Ford was poised to set me up with an insider deal. The only problem was I seemed to have forgotten that this will not be my daily driver so why was I analyzing SYNC Packages, luggage space, resale value and the like?

I regrouped and asked myself two questions: which vehicle will have the soul of the two most fun cars I have ever owned, the 1994 Mazda RX-7 and the 1988 Honda CRX-Si? Why do I live in sunny San Diego and have never owned a convertible? The halogens went off in my head. As fate would have it, a dealer I know had just traded for the exact car I wanted. Say hello to my little yellow friend.

 

S2000 1

 

I am now the proud owner of a flawless 2008 Honda S2000 with only 27,000 miles on its clock. It is an unmodified “little old lady’s car” that a middle-aged Arizona couple took amazing care of before trading it in. They told the dealer that they were sad to let go of their “baby.” And, yes, Rio Yellow was my first color choice so I could be seen by the distracted-driving, left-lane-blocking blockheads that infest our freeways.

After three days of ownership I can say that I made the right decision: the S2K is an absolute hoot to drive. It has the slickest gearbox I have ever rowed and the motor pulls like a V-8 above 6,000 RPM.  In the near future, and after a few runs up Palomar Mountain, I will write a “long-term test” story on my roadster.  I promise it will be the first review of an S2000 that does not include the phrases, “It handles like a go-kart.” or “It’s a four-wheel motorcycle.”

The GT would have looked great in the garage next to my wife’s 1968 Mustang, is a tremendous value and Jack Baruth says it is the best all-around ponycar ever built, but my S2000 is an affordable, no compromise, kick-ass sports car the likes of which may never be seen again.

 

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Generation Why: Demographics And The Insanity Of Japan’s Golden Bubble http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/generation-why-demographics-and-the-insanity-of-japans-golden-bubble/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/generation-why-demographics-and-the-insanity-of-japans-golden-bubble/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 13:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=481838

For anyone like myself – that is, a car fan who grew up in the 1990s and watched Japan’s sports cars disappear from the American market in one sudden swoop, news that Japan’s once mighty auto industry is being “hollowed out” might come as a shock. The cars that defined my youth – the RX-7s, Supras even the VTEC Honda compacts, are a distant memory. Most of what Japan offers on our shores are aimed at the mainstream, while at home, kei-cars and hybrids dominate the market.

A lot of the criticism leveled at Japan is that their focus on the mainstream market and alternative powertrains is what sparked their auto industry’s current malaise. But this is a superficial and fallacious assumption that supposes that the glut of superb Japanese cars in the 1990s is a baseline for our expectations of what a Japanese auto maker should be building and selling. In fact, it is an aberration that will never occur again.

Japan, early 1990s. It is a boom unlike even the MBS-fueled manic episode that tinted the last days of my adolescence. Everything is expensive, but who cares, because everyone is rich! Contrary to what Detroit tells you, the reason nobody in Japan buys foreign cars is because of conformity. There is a famous phrase in Japanese business culture; “the nail that sticks up, gets hammered down”. You, the salaryman with cash to burn, will support the home team. You will buy one of these fabulous cars created by our all-conquering auto industry, and you will replace it every few years due to the shakken inspection system and because it is uncouth to drive an old, used car.

If 1950s American cars are a reflection of the optimism and prosperity of that era, then let’s look was offered by a country that saw its stock market plunge by trillions of dollars. Gullwinged-Mazda kei cars. Honda Legends with four-figure gyroscopic navigation systems. 1.6L V6s engines in D-Segment Mitsubishis. Why? Because they could. It was pure, unabashed hubris that led auto makers to field umpteen variations of the same mid-size car or open different sales channels for each model, like the Honda Accord, which begot the Honda Vigor, Inspire, Ascot, Innova, Rafaga, Saber and Torneo. All of them were only slightly different from one another but they were sold across three separate sales channels dubbed Primo, Clio and Verno. It was a scenario that made General Motors pre-bankruptcy sales strategy look lean by comparison.

The competitive nature of the Japanese auto industry and the “gentlemens agreement” limiting cars to 276 horsepower meant that an arms race of technology was being waged. R&D budgets were limitless. No technology was too complex or too expensive to implement on any given product. Twin turbo rotary engines at Mazda, four-wheel steering and all-wheel drive at Nissan, active aerodynamics at Mitsubishi, and of course, the all-aluminum, F1-inspired NSX at Honda. Even at the lower end, there were countless high-performance variants of the lowliest econoboxes: Type-Rs and Spec-Rs and Cyborg Rs and 9000 RPM, 1600cc VZ-Rs and BZ-R’s (not to be confused with our current, boxer-blighted BRZs) which were Corollas with 5 valves per cylinder and individual throttle bodies. That was technology that Ferrari never even saw until long after the BZ-R was introduced.

It was utter insanity, but Japan was in a unique position to support these offerings. Aside from its economic growth, its demographic picture meant that those born just after WWII, when birth rates were still high, were hitting their earnings peak. And since everyone was flush with money, they could afford to buy these cars.

When the bottom fell out of the economy, the cars mentioned above were already too far along in the development cycle to be canceled. The OEMs had no choice but to release them after sinking so much money into their development. And while the higher end product was pulled from our market, they soldiered on in Japan. With no foreign competition, there wasn’t much to lose. Everything was so advanced and over-engineered that they still felt – and in some cases, even looked – fresh and modern despite being a decade old.

Now fast forward to 2013. Nearly a quarter of the population is over 65, and Japan’s population growth is negative. The bulk of consumers are likely buying their last car, and young people are famously not interested in the automobile.  Now that there is no domestic consumer base, the product development ethos has irrevocably changed. What were once solutions to local problems and tastes must now be targeted at a global audience, with all of the peculiarities and regulatory demands and business cases that come with it.

Instead of the three-rotor Mazda Cosmo or the gorgeous Nissan Silvia, we have the Toyota 86, a car that was apparently so risky that a corporate behemoth like Toyota had to partner with a relative bit player like Subaru just to bring it to production. The one upshot in the economics of the current economics of the auto industry is that to maximize the ROI for this car, there will inevitably be more variants. Definitely a convertible. Maybe a sedan. Just maybe, if we’re lucky, a shooting brake.

It is fashionable nowadays in the automotive press to stake out a position that brands oneself as the vanguard of automotive enthusiasm, defender of all that has “soul” and “character”, while admonishing the manufacturers for offering bland pablum instead of the exciting enthusiast machines that once existed. Ultimately these are just the ignorant ramblings of those who are unable or unwilling to understand the external forces that shape cars; macroeconomics, government regulations, demographics, geography, trade policies.  The auto industry is not a charity that produces widgets for driving enthusiasts. It is a business like anything else, and its output is directly related to the input.

Meanwhile, you can go to the dealer and buy an MX-5 that has barely risen in price, when taking inflation into account, since being introduced nearly 25 years ago. You can still buy an honest-to-god Made In Japan European-market Accord, or a sublime rally-derived Mitsubishi. You can finally buy a new Z car or a GT-R, two products we clamored for in the late 1990s. Now they’re here, along with the WRX , a product that we also cried out for not too long ago. Are things really that dire? Or are we so dissatisfied with our present that the only escape is to romanticize an era that should have never been?

 

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Junkyard Find: 1980 Mazda RX-7, with Incredibly 80s Custom Paint http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1980-mazda-rx-7-with-incredibly-80s-custom-paint/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1980-mazda-rx-7-with-incredibly-80s-custom-paint/#comments Tue, 20 Nov 2012 14:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=467493 First-generation RX-7s aren’t uncommon Junkyard Finds, even though the youngest ones are 27 years old now. However, not many full-on early-to-mid-80s custom paint jobs show up at junkyards these days. Here’s one I found in Denver last week.
Purple, pink, and gold with pinstripes!
With a 5-digit odometer, there’s no way of knowing how many miles this car traveled during its 32 years on the planet. 88,000? 188,000? 288,000? It seems pretty clean, given its current parking space, so the first figure could be the right one.
It’s possible that this wild paint job got sprayed on while Jimmy Carter was still in the White House, or perhaps it was applied five years ago. So many mysteries with a car like this!

28 MPG in an early RX-7? Ah, for the days when highway fuel economy was calculated at 42 MPH… down a steep grade… drafting behind a line of tractor-trailers.

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Capsule Comparison Part 2: 1993 Mazda RX-7 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/capsule-comparison-part-2-1993-mazda-rx-7/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/capsule-comparison-part-2-1993-mazda-rx-7/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 18:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=465458  

 

Deciding what to do with a 662 hp muscle car was hard enough. Deciding what to do with the last pristine nearly new RX-7 in the country is even harder — because you can’t do anything with it, really. You certainly can’t street park it. I left it in an open lot the first night, only to discover that someone had put out their cigarette on the decklid. That was it. I ended up paying prices that would make a Manhattanite blush just so I could leave it in a covered multi-story garage visible from the bedroom window of my condo. Night after night I would stare at the slippery yellow shape under the glow of the cheap halogen lights, like a father staring at his premature baby in the neo-natal unit, checking and re-checking despite the near zero probability of anything bad actually happening.

“We’re having a kegger tonight, if you want to come.”

The text message is from my brother, who was born in November, 1992. The same month and year that this RX-7 was delivered to Mazda Canada. It’s a weekday night and I’d have to drive 125 miles to get there, on an empty, mostly straight highway.  But here’s a chance for us to spend some time together, in a car as old as he is, without parents or peers around. It doesn’t happen as often as it should. I throw a change of clothes and my laptop into a bag, then make a beeline for the garage.

My old Miata, shod with slim tires and shaped like a bullet at both ends, lent itself well to being wheeled around parking garages. Not so with the RX-7. The air dam has the same profile and effective clearance as a bulldozer’s blade, and the 255-width front tires mean lots of clenched jaws and bicep work. Exiting the angled ramp of the garage requires popping the door and angling half your body outside the car, Valentino Rossi-style, to make sure you’re not scraping the front end on any curbs.

All of those picayune concerns evaporate once you’re out on the road. The width is still there, but the low hood and near 360 degree glass canopy offers amazing visibility when trying to change lines or dart in and out of traffic. The clutch takeup is beefier than that of the Miata, but has the same intuitive takeup point. Once I’ve escaped the urban hell of rush hour gridlock, the empty highway ramp beckons, and I can finally see what all the fuss is about the rotary engine.

Clarkson likened the Audi R8′s performance to smearing honey inside Keira Knightley, another example of his frequently bestowed, but rarely deserved,  superlatives. In the RX-7′s case, the 13B twin-rotor engine really is so smooth, so thrilling and so unlike anything else today that it could accurately be compared to twisting the adjustment knob on Bertel’s favorite adult novelty while it’s inside two of your favorite female celebrities at once. It really is that satisfying.

There is no real perceptible noise or furious forward thrust like that found in a Boss 302 Mustang  - in fact, it’s about as fast as a brand new V6 Mustang. Then again a protein bar and a steak can have similar nutritional value. The cable throttle itself is a welcome change from the lifeless servo units in every other car today, and every millimeter of travel translates into a bit of forward thrust that is undeniable and tangible. From 0-4500 rpm there’s a decent shove forward that feels perfectly adequate itself. Once the second, larger turbo comes in, however, there’s a hellfire blast of power, more Tesla than Mazda, and the scenery starts to move very quickly. The 7000 RPM upshift is punctuated with a crisp wastegate ppsshhhtttt and before you know it, you’re at the point of “I really didn’t know how fast I was going, officer”. The RX-7′s effortless ability to warp time and space belies the 255-horsepower rating until you consider that the car weighs 2800 lbs.

And yet before I can non-ironically give this old Mazda a non-ironical “greatest car in the worrrrrld” award, I’m harshly interrupted by its glaring flaws. The seats were apparently designed by the same people who ran the Hanoi Hilton and by mile 75, my lower back felt like it had an awl punched through it, repeatedly. The Bose Acoustic “WaveGuide” stereo also seemed to work on its own schedule; sometimes there would be radio reception, sometimes it would play very well out of one side of the car.

At mile 110, there is a bang and a clunk as the car begins to sag and thump on the driver’s side. Pulling over on the busy 401 freeway isn’t the life-threatening nightmare it usually is, on account of the light traffic at 10 P.M., and there is a Highway Patrolman situated on the shoulder a mere 25 yards behind me. The friendly constable shines a flashlight on the wheel, and it’s apparent that I suffered a full blowout. The sidewall is still attached to the rim, but the rest of the carcass hangs limply off the rim like a badly broken limb. “Holy shit bud,” he says with an almost too stereotypical Canadian accent, “I don’t know how you didn’t end up in the rhubarb.” We are not in Toronto anymore.

 

 

The plan is to get the car to my brother’s house on the temporary spare, and somehow get a tire sent down from Mazda HQ. It’s doubtful that the small college town will have the 255/45/16 tire in stock anywhere, so Mazda’s Chuck Reimer agreed to deliver one himself – apparently Mazda has a second RX-7, and they’ll simply borrow a wheel and tire from it to get it there. Of course, the temporary spare has gone flat overnight as well, and a flat-bed truck is now required to get to the dealership just a few miles down the road. It wouldn’t be an RX-7 if things didn’t go wrong.

The next day, after all impediments are removed, the drive back is less eventful. Pouring rain gives way to clear skies. My brother and I pig out on fast food, pour nearly $100 of premium gas in the tank, and stop to get parts for a beer funnel. We curse the poor seats and crappy stereo as he takes in what a car from his birth year was like. He’s incredulous that the RX-7 cost $47,000 Canadian dollars in 1993, roughly $100,000 in today’s money. “You’ve got to be kidding me. With this interior? This is so crappy. I get it on the Miata, but one hundred grand?” The quirks of the car are totally foreign to him too. “I’ve never been in a car that needs to be warmed up and cooled down. Or one where the exhaust gas can get too hot [there's a warning light for that on the center console].”

We’re in suburbia now, stopped at a long traffic light. The timing is right. “Get out of the car,” I say. “Drive it. You tell me if it’s great or not.”

“Nah, I better not. Don’t want to risk it.”

In truth, I’m tired from the ordeal of the last 24 hours and my back is aching from the uncomfortable seats. My brother is one of the better candidates for this task. He is responsible and dispassionate enough not to test the limits of the RX-7. “It’s ok. You’ve driven my car, you’ve driven the EVO, you’ve driven the Boss and the GT-R. You’ll be fine. And you need some context.”

After the driver change, my brother approaches the car with a mix of joy and trepidation as if he were nervously cradling a newborn. I urge him on. “Go ahead, lay in to it, nothing’s going to happen. My warnings about no traction control and double the power of my Miata may have spooked him.

The smile on his face broadens in time with the sweep of the tachometer needle. “I’ve never felt anything like this before. I love the torque – and I always love a real cable throttle.”

He continues. “I’s like watching sports highlights from the same period. If you watch hockey then versus now, they game is still great, but the players are so much bigger, faster and stronger. It’s weird, because this car is 19 years old – but it’s brand new, and I’m judging it like it’s a new car.”

As he speaks, I’m listening to his argument while examining his technique behind the wheel. For someone who doesn’t live and breathe cars, he drives well. Hands at 9 and 3, steady with his movements, eyes looking well ahead. His friends have all grown up ensconced in marshmallow-soft luxury crossovers loaded with every active safety feature known to man, but he’s been in a few real cars and understands that “sporting” doesn’t just mean a trim level on the BMW X5.  Somewhere in the four years that separates us, however, things changed irrevocably and the appeal of an elemental, eccentric sports car faded. At least the driving skills needed to enjoy one have been imprinted on him, should those cars ever return. Fortunately, driving adventures with your loved ones never require context.

photo (15) DSLRDump-465-450x300 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler 1993 Mazda RX7. Photo courtesy Derek Kreindler
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Mazda’s MX-5 Guru Reveals Details On The Next RX-7 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/mazdas-mx-5-guru-reveals-details-on-the-next-rx-7/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/mazdas-mx-5-guru-reveals-details-on-the-next-rx-7/#comments Wed, 31 Oct 2012 17:41:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=465537

Putting an end to the vicious cycle of rumors and conjecture, Mazda’s sports car chief revealed that they will bring back the RX-7 in 2017, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Cosmo sports car.

Nobohiru Yamamoto, who is now head of the MX-5 program, told Australia’s The Motor Report that the RX-7 will use a stretched version of the Miata platform, and weigh roughly as much as the 2775 lb Toyota 86. Japanese market versions will have a small rear seat, while North American versions will be two-seaters.

Power will come from the new 16X rotary engine, a naturally aspirated unit capable of nearly 300 horsepower. Yamamoto said that a large single turbo caused too much lag, and a sequential twin-turbo setup like the previous RX-7 was “not ideal”. But Yamamoto didn’t rule out a turbo either for future production. But even in naturally aspirated form, the power to weight ratio should exceed the last RX-7 sold in North America.

Also absent from the RX-7 will be any kind of KERS or hybrid system. Mazda currently doesn’t have any sort of technology in that space, and according to Yamamoto “”…a pure sports ca…must be internal combustion.” Lightweight aluminum body panels and special catalysts will help the car meet tough emissions and fuel economy standards.

Unfortunately, all that will come at a price. The RX-7 will apparently be more expensive than something like a Nissan 370Z or a Toyota 86. All that engineering comes at a price, and the RX-7 will be positioned to reflect that.

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Junkyard Find: 1985 Mazda RX-7 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1985-mazda-rx-7/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1985-mazda-rx-7/#comments Thu, 16 Aug 2012 13:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=456771 Back when I reviewed the final Mazda RX-8, I ranted on at some length about my envy of my RX-7-driving college classmates who were the rich sons of high-ranking South Vietnamese military officers and government officials. Still, except when I was shopping for a Mazda rear end for my 20R Sprite Hell Project, I haven’t paid much attention to the many RX-7s I’ve seen in wrecking yards over the years. First-gen examples aren’t uncommon even today; here’s an ’85 I found in a Denver yard last week.
It didn’t quite manage to get to 150,000 miles. That speedometer looks more 2000s than 1980s; Mazda wasn’t as much into Mars Base-style instruments as the other Japanese manufacturers of the era.
The interior is worn, but not nearly as beat as most mid-80s cars I see around here.
The good old Mazda 12A Wankel engine.
You’ll find one in every car, kid. You’ll see.

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Down On the 1993 Hayward Street: Ripped-n-Stripped Victims http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/down-on-the-1993-hayward-street-ripped-n-stripped-victims/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/down-on-the-1993-hayward-street-ripped-n-stripped-victims/#comments Fri, 09 Sep 2011 13:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=410698 When scanning old negatives for the most recent installment of the Impala Hell Project series, I found these Ansco Pix Panorama camera shots that I took in gritty, grimy, industrial Hayward, California in 1993. They didn’t add anything to the Impala Hell Project story, so I’m sharing them in a separate post.
The Fish Driver Warehouse was not far from the site of the now-defunct Hayward Pick Your Part, a yard I’d been visiting since the mid-1980s, and the stretch of West Winton Avenue right outside the junkyard gates was a popular spot to yank parts off stolen and/or unwanted vehicles. Nowadays, with scrap metal prices so high, you wouldn’t see a scene like this.
A de-fendered first-gen RX-7 parked in front of a scissors-jack-suspended Pinto wagon. One thing hasn’t changed: old beater RX-7s still aren’t worth much.
I took this shot through the fence of the Pick Your Part holding area. Look, it’s a Rover P5! Anybody want to take a shot at identifying the ancient truck in the foreground and the sedan in the background?

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And the Winner Is… http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/and-the-winner-is-16/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/and-the-winner-is-16/#comments Mon, 11 Jul 2011 01:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=402114
At the end of yesterday’s race session, it appeared that we had a Stealth-626-Supra battle for the B.F.E. GP win on laps. All day today, however, the Ghetto Motorsports Mazda RX-7 (winner of the 2010 B.F.E. GP, not to mention the LeMons Mountain Region championship) kept creeping up on the 1-2-3 cars.

Late in today’s race session, Ghetto Motorsports took the lead, grabbing the second-quickest lap time of the race in the process (the quickest lap was turned by the heavily-BS-lap-zapped turbocharged B18C-engined Civic of Casino Racing). When the checkered flag waved, Ghetto Motorsports had a little over a one-lap lead on the second-place car… and needed every bit of that lead, because its ignition coil crapped out right at the end. Congratulations, Ghetto Motorsports!
Note: For more B.F.E. GP adventures, check out Longroofian’s coverage over at Hooniverse.

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And the Real Winner Is… http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/and-the-real-winner-is-8/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/and-the-real-winner-is-8/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2011 07:50:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=392876
The Index of Effluency, 24 Hours of LeMons racing’s top prize, goes to the team that achieves beyond all expectations in an unspeakably terrible car. That means, most of the time, something like an MGB-GT or Chevy S10. A 1987 Mazda RX-7, a pretty quick and reliable car in most cases, wouldn’t qualify for IOE status… under normal circumstances. In the case of the lunatic Texans of Team Sensory Assault, however, we’ve got a silk purse that’s been turned into a sow’s ear, then shot full of holes, fed through a shredder, and boiled in chlorine triflouride.

After about 10 LeMons races, Sensory Assault had managed to achieve Ununhexium Legend of LeMons status, mostly due to to antics such as their unsafe-n-insane LeMons Line-Lock and their exhaust-heat-operated rib-cooker. That didn’t mean that they did so well in the standings at any of their races, with black flags and busted RX-7 parts keeping them down in the celler of the standings, race after race. Adding a junkyard turbocharger to the car served to make the car even worse, a feat we didn’t believe possible. Their best performance, prior to the North Dallas Hooptie, was something like 39th place. This weekend, however, Sensory Assault managed to get their horrid pink hooptie into ninth place. Will they ever manage to do such a thing again? Probably not. For now, though, IOE glory is theirs. Congratulations, Sensory Assault!

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