Some know of my RX-4 and the story of why I wanted this car also I thought it was about time I got an update out here on the club.
In 1973 when I was just 16 and had started work with Mazda at Bourne road garage and even as an apprentice they used to have me doing pre delivery inspections (PDI\'s) before the new cars went out to the customer and at the time we had RX-3\'s and 4\'s in the show room so along with the boingers I used to work on I also got to work on these exciting new Rotarys.
At a time when a British car was lucky to have a heater as an extra and dashboards that just about had a spedo fuel gauge and ammeter it was the at the time super futuristic RX-4 that I fell in love with and little did I know that one day I would end up owning one of these rare cars with only 400 ever being imported and that included the, I think ugly 4 door and estate versions.
This was a time when the Japanese auto industry wanted to show the world just what they could do in the new gadget and gimmick world that was just getting going and with Mazda the RX-4 was it\'s flagship and full of tricks that cars outside of America had never seen.
As a kid this big two door pillerless coupe with an array of gauges before me when I got behind the wheel while working on them was a car that had so many toys unheard of in British cars at the time like a radio and stereo cassette player as standard, Ariel in the window-screen, posh reclining front seats, heated rear screen etc,etc.
But most importantly to me sitting in one, it had this big wrap around dashboard and a console like another dashboard in the roof above my head with fuel, seat belt and door lights in it and also a funny shaped steering wheel in front of me which to me as a kid made the RX-4 seem like sitting in an airplane!.
Imagine my astonishment then when finding out recently when I got an RX-4 brochure to find that Mazda themselves described getting into an RX-4 as being akin to climbing into an aircraft cabin.
Buying the RX-4 came about after chatting to an ex-works Mazda rally driver who had not only raced RX-3\'s in the RAC rally but had also been the son of a Mazda dealer who at one stage owned 5 dealerships.
While talking to him it came to light that he still owned a stored away 30,000 mile RX-4 that his dad owned which was taken off the road 22 years earlier when his dad reached 72 and decided to stop driving.
After telling him what I have told you above about wanting one of these since I was a kid an agreement was arrived even though the car was not for sale at the time with the stipulation being that I didn\'t just get the car out and just sell it on, and here we are 2 years on and I still have the car.
The reason that I have only shown this car once is because whilst the car itself was not rotten with rust and only the front wings had died due to wing mirrors being fitted many years previous, the paint had deteriorated very badly and gone like undercoat.
As you will see from the floor pan picture this car is not your normal put a new floor in it restoration and I am pleased to say that absolutely no repair work has been needed to the bodyshell at all and it has litteraly been prepped and painted like it was a 3 year old car after I stripped it bare.
The car will be getting put back together with the origonal 12A and the decision has been made that nothing will be cut on this car if ever l decided to modifiy it with maybe a different engine should funds permit in the future.
This way the car can always be put back to stock from a Heritage point of view, however flying in the face of purists it will get some RX-8 wheels on it if I can adapt them to fit!.
Below you will see the pictures of the car in storage then onward through till this week when the car was painted,------------------------My colour
It\'s now RX-8 Lightning yellow so I can mix the Old with the New :Giggle