Sucking At Something… is the first step towards being Sorta Good At Something.
I call up James Wood to talk about his RX-7. I ask him what he’s doing. And he says, “Working on my RX-7.”
If you own an RX-7… are you ever really not working on it?
But that’s what makes an RX-7 so spiritual. They are unique. Truly unique. Truly enthusiast. As modern vehicles get more inbred and applianced, true sports car enthusiasts are drawn back to the days where there was reason to be a fan. Reason to back a brand. A time when auto manufacturers made performance breakthroughs that were energizing… not smothering. Stuff that made fire, made ears ring, and made the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Factory-backed IMSA team cars that ransacked your senses like a drug. Rotary engines put me back in an era… where being an enthusiast required a little more sacrifice to your daily routine. But the sacrifice was craved.
And as transportation moves into the next realm of technology… oil-burning analogue cars like this become hobby & history. Time capsules representing forward & competitive thinking, in a past era of the internal combustion engine. Much like show horses… RX-7s have a temperament. They require maintenance, cost, and care. There are better transportation options… but that’s not what it’s about.
“People always reference apex seal failures with rotary engines. But coolant seals can actually be more of a problem. Coolant seals in a rotary are similar to your ‘head gasket’ in a piston engine. And if a rotary gets too hot, there is very little leniency… you’re done. So make sure your coolant & oil temps stay proper. Simple DIY oil-cooler ducting has been a huge help for me.” -James Wood
James Wood was partying too much at Clemson. His parent’s said, “Do something with your life, and get involved in a college club.” James found the Clemson Sports Car Club… the oldest collegiate car club in the country (founded 1968). They held monthly auto-crosses on campus, and for 10 bucks, they would let you drive the school’s 1st-gen RX-7. This is where James got hooked.