The rotary car in various forms was produced by Mazda from 1967 until 2012. Critiqued often as some of the most unreliable and impractical, inexplicably there are still thousands upon thousands of these roaming the wild. The name RX sands for Rotary eXperiment and was something marketing picked up from this RX-500 pictured. Getting them together for a big party is a slightly more recent development, but it is catching on. NYC and Dallas have large rotary gatherings year over year.
I recently rebuilt a rotary engine and I wanted in on the action, so I decided to try it for myself.
I rented a local park in Fayetteville, Arkansas that hosts our local British car show because I wanted the concourse effect of grass parking, verifiable permission to do so, and the safety of keeping my home address off of Craigslist.
To get the word out I put together some graphics. I contacted some other locals who have these cars, joined some tuner car, rotary & mazda facebook groups, and posted an advert on craigslist. I contacted local auto-related shops, and asked for goodie bag swag, including the Mazda dealer (who re-verified with me that week they would bring two cars)
I even emailed Jalopnik’s Ballaban, and he (or some intern) sent this lovely note and some stickers for me to give away.
People came from as far as Little rock, AR, Neosho, MO and Tulsa,Oklahoma. 16 cars showed up to park on the grass and picnic and many more stopped by to have a look around.
The meet was nothing without the participants and their cars. One group of kids (14-18) had heard about the event and been anticipating it for three months. They drove 2 hours from Tulsa without AC, just to see these cars in person.
Those Tulsa kids were the first people there. In fact they had been there two ours before the event started. They were so endearing and committed I instantly made them event Judges. This task also meant giving out my home-made trophies with a straight face. they had a hard job.
After the ‘awards ceremony’, we ate triangle foods: Pizza, Doritos and Watermelon & a big cookie I provided. Then we went on a cruise.
Those Tulsa kids each snagged a co-pilot seat, too. The built FD ride along left one kids face permanently stuck in the happy position. He is now Tulsa’s #1 rotary fan, pictured rubbing his mind, which has been blown.
The thing I enjoyed the most was getting to see just how happy these cars can make people. Just look at that kid!
Special thank you to those who donated to our goodie bags or prize pool: JALOPNIK, FIRESTONE, State Farm, O’REILLY Auto Parts, and Local businesses Country Club Auto Body, Lewis Ford. Foghorn’s Chicken, Good Will Massage.
Footnote: For those of you waiting for the rotary’s return : Our MAZDA Dealer doesn’t seem that interested in rotary cars. They stood me up.
Maybe your best bet to see more of the cars you like is to have a meet and invite them yourself. I hope to see you at mine next year on 7/7/18.