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Kurt Robertson Enterprises

                     Wankels' to Offenhausers'

My Blog

Blog

Rotary Review

Posted on November 3, 2013 at 1:56 AM
 
Look closely at the picture 
 1978 Cosmo
 1974 Cosmo
 1990 RX7 Convertible
 1979 RX7
 2004 RX8
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1974 REPU
1974 RX2 Coupe
1976 RX3 Sedan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RX3 Coupe
RX3 wagon
RX4 sedan
RX4 Wagon
R100
RX4 Coupe
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Having owned no less than ten of every model except the R-100 (6), FD (0) and the new fangled RX8 (2) I would consider myself an enthusiast and would like to tell you about my driving experience in these models as they appeared stock
 
 69 -70 R100.
The R-100 had a hard time starting with the origional 10A, but would they wind out.  Most of us retro fit a 12A into them by 1973 because of startup & failures, but with a 10A the car was quick and fairly fast. Handling was nimble but squirley with leaf spring suspension in the rear. The split case 4 speed gear box was short geared like the RX8 and lended a hand to its quick feel. The car had a high center of gravity , but the whole package was ahead of its time. I loved all my R-100s and had two with every engine 10A,12A &13B. The one TRADGEDY that happened to a lot of them was when people would put a 12A or 13B in many times they would cut the shifter hole! These little cars also tended to bend across the seat rail, starting at the shifter hole mid ship after years of launching and by 1980 most good chassis were gone- destroyed. The same rev increase a 12A has over a 13B was the same increment as a 10A so 9000 RPM for a 10A was very realistic. Hmm  . . . maybe thats' why they didn't start or last?
 
71-74 RX-2.
The RX2 Started ! Yay the 200 cc displacement increase made this car reliable after mid of 1973 when the triple tie rotor housings were cast, we had a great car.
I loved all my RX2s. These cars were quick and fast. Handling was excellent compared to the R100 due to the four link and pan hard rod, this cars' suspension, brakes and platform was later brought back in the 1979-1985 RX7. An RX2 was basically a boxy prototype of the RX7 and if you had a 2/7 sitting next to each other  and you were on a creeper you couldn't tell the difference! The coupe was a pain for getting in & out of the back seat, but the sedan was a way to get your buddies out to go elephant (V8) hunting. The RX-2 was a delightful handling functional whip that would impress and scare even the most staunch rotary skeptics.
 
1973-1978 RX3
Back to squirley with a leaf spring suspension! Fast, Quick and light I never "clicked" with my RX3s. In fact I think I only bought about twenty and most of them were wagons! I described them back then as tin ee (as in tin can).  The coupes were again hard to access the back seat. The four doors were used for high speed demos and the wagons were just awesome with a ability to fold down and sleep two, host four person road trips and yet still could threaten a 5.0 mustang :).
The last SP I had I sold for $500 in 2003 because everybody had raced it to the point of strutural compromise of the unibody (again tin ee). I also never liked the two piece nose/hood arrangement and felt it was ugly on the Cosmo and 1976-78 RX4 as well. I beat all my coupes and cared for my sedan and wagons. In 1978 I was a passenger in a sedan that rolled at 110MPH in third gear trying to pull thru a corner -we all walked away unscathed! I always thought Mazda went wrong on the RX3 in amenities, HP, weight and suspension
 
1974 -1978 RX4
My favorite Rotary of all period. First year of the 13B with a five speed transmission type that was used later in the Turbo II and FD. Mazda had produced a car that was the fourth fastest tested in 1974 only beat by 3 exotics from 0-60.  Simple car, simple design simply fast with futuristic interior styling, overhead console, no window "B" pillars and a one piece hood. The coupes were still a pain to get into the back seat , but these cars were solid. Much heavier than the RX2/3 the RX4 had a port configuration the size of a 91-94 FD. These cars were just flat out fast. I drove a stock 1974 RX4 to 145 mph- did I mention stock! how about Automatic! with the AC on! RPM 6800! The RX4 was heavy enough to hold the road above 130, powerful enough to go 130 and you did not feel you were going to die in it like the previous models at 130, in fact it would eat 120 for 4 hours and your mom would just ask " why is everyone going so slow" but in a R100 & RX3 you knew very well anything over 110, but the RX-2 sedan with four people was "OK" at 120 but took a while to get there.The 74s were my favorite as Mazda cut down the port size in 1976 as well as the intake manifold runner sizes in anything past 1975. Why? because they were passing everything on the road . . . . but the gas station! I would argue that the 1974 RX4 wagon was the best driving and most comfortable rotary ever made and have taken more than one of those cross country with a trailer on back to go pick up an RX7. The RX4 Sport Coupe , and RX4 line is by far my pick for the best Rotary ever made. The FC,FD and RX8 are light duty "knock off" versions of this early 13B in terms of basic engine engineering and further undermine reliability and design simplicity with expensive proprietory fuel management as well as pressurized induction. The sedans were ugly as far as styling , but were a delightful way of sharing a wankel experience in comfort.
 
To Be Continued . . . . . .
 
 
 
 

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121 Comments

Reply Juan Carlos Lopez
12:42 PM on November 21, 2013 
Great Site, I am a retired US ARMY VET and have had Mazda Rotary vehicles for the last 40 years. Right now I have a Mazda RX3SP and a Mazda Cosmo that I just bought on EBAY that should be here around Dec. 1976 Cosmo. Will be looking forward to your parts list. Also will be looking for some Cosmo Rims if you will be selling these once the list comes on line. I am located in Kissimmee, Fl. Thanks for keeping the Rotary Alive. Blessing
Reply Juan Carlos Lopez
8:15 PM on November 21, 2013 
Just share your site with Central Florida Rotaries and on my timeline on Facebook. Once again glad to have read about you and the history you have with the Mazda Rotary. Got a new fan and looking forward on your parts page once it is up on line. How much are the R100 going for if you were to sell one.
Reply ecift
5:41 PM on March 9, 2014 
Rich in content, specific, every point is very good, is to this article, thank you. By the way, could you see our goods, you will like it.
Reply Timur Sener
7:43 AM on March 19, 2014 
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Reply rhett
5:37 PM on July 27, 2014 
I bought an FC3s, and was having fun with it. I went on a spirited drive, parked when I got home and the car never ran right again. I called many shops and after I researched it everything pointed to either apex seals or injectors. Because both repairs are beyond my ability, I called Kurt. I ended up towing my car to his shop, and no kidding, it was running BETTER the very next day after I dropped it off. He says he replaced grommets and injectors, I say he's a miracle worker. . . . Kurt, thank you for fixing my baby!
Reply sport
10:58 PM on August 12, 2014 
Oh, sie sagte berichteten.Diamond (AKA 2betdsi) - das Sportwetten wurde is in fuer ein umfangreiche und besonders gezeigt mit a Tonne unterschiedlicher hat im Internet Websites .
Reply Mukta
7:15 PM on April 23, 2016 
Mazda had delivered an auto that was the fourth quickest tried in 1974 just beat by 3 exotics from 0-60. Straightforward auto, basic plan just quick with cutting edge inside styling, overhead reassure, no window "B" columns and a one piece hood. The roadsters were still a torment to get into the rearward sitting arrangement , yet these autos were strong. Thanks!
Reply Lillian
10:28 PM on April 23, 2016 
we had an awesome auto. I cherished all my RX2s. These autos were speedy and quick. Taking care of was fabulous contrasted with the R100 because of the four connection and dish hard pole, this current autos' suspension. Thank you so much.
Reply repliche orologi rolex
5:52 AM on May 25, 2016 
The split case 4 speed gear box was short geared like the RX8 and lended a hand to its quick feel.
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