Being a motorsport enthusiast I have owned my fair share of toys. My first car was a 1973 Chevy Camaro that was not only a lesson in mechanics but also in finance. After spending quite a bit of cash to make a fast car, I realized that my passion wasn’t to go fast in a straight line, but I loved the feel of being pushed into the side of the driver’s seat as the car danced around a corner. Motorcycle racing seemed to be the perfect answer. It was in some ways, but in others (broken bones and trips to the emergency room) it took its toll. I sold all the bikes I had (4 in the end) and purchased a used, and I should say extremely used, 1990 Nissan 300ZX. It looked somewhat exotic although it wasn’t very safe to drive, and it had problem after problem, and expense after expense. Finally after being neglected from frustration, I limped it to the local Mazda dealer and bought a proper car.
Enter the white 2005 Mazda RX-8. We called it “Rex” and it was FUN. It was a demo car so when I took it home it had just over 5,000 miles ticked on the odometer. Six gears and a new rotary engine whose red line was just shy of nine thousand rpm’s. Leather interior, sunroof, heated seats, were just some of the wonderful nuances that I cared little about. My excitement centered somewhere between the accelerator pedal and the feeling that tingled in my spine when the hammer fell. The grip of the tires in the curves begged for more speed. The purr of the engine just before the next gear was like beautiful music. The bone jarring grip of the safety belts, Rex could halt on command, was reassuring and inspiring. It was the perfect car for me, well at least it was everything I wanted in a car.
Alas, time marches on. I didn’t spend nearly enough time caressing the steering wheel, or waxing the paint job. I didn’t rattle enough neighbor’s windows with the stereo, or blacken as many patches of asphalt as I should have. But it was fun. Today I sold Rex. Time to say “Goodbye”.