Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Rotary Is Dead

Another sign of the times.

Mazda will stop making cars with its signature rotary engines after a 45-year production run that included powering the first and only Japanese car to win the 24-hour Le Mans endurance race.

I had an RX-3 with a rotary and a 4-speed mannytranny; had a lot of fun with it, although it chewed up tune-up dollars by the *cough* carload.

(Actually, the dealer's service department and I learned--the slow way--that the rotary just needs spark plugs a whole lot more than a conventional engine.)

But it was fun to push >8,000 RPM with no worries about blowing the engine and to out-race my room-mate in his Porsche 911 on late-night runs from downtown to the house.

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