The history of my car.

In the beginning - June 1996
I purchased my car in June of 1996 from a guy who lived 2 miles from my house. I had hunted for 9 months for a CYM (Competition Yellow Mica) car but found nothing but 1 extremely worn example that was over priced. All the other CYM's were in CA. However, in hindsight I am very pleased with what I bought. It is, to be complete, a 1993 Vintage Red (VR) R1 model with a 5 spd transmission. The build date was April of 1992! The 3rd generation models were sold from 1993 through 1995 in the US and are commonly referred to as FD3S models. For those who may not know, the R1 model came with 2 oil coolers (base and touring models have only 1), z rated tires, stiffer shocks, a front strut bar, suede like seats, a front 
lip spoiler w/dedicated front brake ducting, a rear wing, and from what I can gather slightly different indications on the tachometer. I wanted just the stuff to go faster and chose to do away with the namby-pamby add-ons like leather seats, cruise control, sunroof, and the high-end Bose Acoustimass sound system. I did, however, retro-fit an OE CD player in the dash that I picked up used. At the time of purchase it had a little over 20,000 miles and had been freshly repainted as one of Mazda's factory repaints so it looked in mint condition. It was also completely and utterly stock! The seller told me he had purchased it and had it serviced locally so I was able to get a record of all the warranty and recall work. The car was also still under its original 3yr/50,000 mile warranty. Immediately after purchasing the car and having read of the many minor annoyances that infected the 1993 model year I showed up at the dealership and had them address them all. The work order was over three pages long! All were covered under the warranty. With the basics taken care of I began to enjoy my new car.

Things were not all roses

A few things began to crop up - like the 3000 RPM hesitation and clunking in the right front suspension (of which the dealership could not diagnose) I also discovered the hazards of owning such a car - that is, how much of a target you are for the police and other drivers. Other drivers just don't seem to see you or are totally clueless when it comes to estimating your speed. I can't count the number of times people have pulled out in front of me or the number of trucks that have tried to run over me! And the police, well lets just say that 72 in a 35 isn't something you would typically associate with my driving. The power and speed of the car is both infectious and frustrating. Too much of a good thing -for the street at least.

What to modify?

MADS Rotary Expo - 1998: I'm 3rd from the right
Photo courtesy of MSCW
Well it wasn't long before I felt the urge to tinker. So I dropped in a  K&N air filter and installed a used  Borla cat back exhaust that literally was given to me, and bought a  factory front end cover (which I'm glad Idid because they don't sell them anymore) to protect the new paint. I was happy for a while but I needed more. So I began to explore the aftermarket and whattaya know - want parts? There was more than I could have imagined and afforded. For all my efforts so far I have won awards in all car shows that I have cared to enter. First place at the April 1999 and March 2001 MSCW Rotary Exposition and a second place in the May 1998 Rotary Exposition both in the modified rotary division. For all the specifics on what I have done so far, go to the THE HEART OF THE BEAST, STOPPING AND TURNING, and THE COMFORT ZONE and then come back to see what's next on the agenda.


Rear Fender Flares - a desire for more rubber in the rear with the given power has now become more important. Spinning tires in 2nd and 3rd gears is no fun. Well ok it is a little but not when you are after forward motion. Pettit rear flares and a number of other options are ont he table but I've yet to decide what I like the best. And then there is the irreversible bodywork that must be done. Scary.
Widened rear wheels - with wider rear arches wider wheels can be installed. The Kinesis 3 piece wheels are mdolular and rebuildable. I have a source who can supply wider lip section to add another 1-2 inches of with to the wheel and go from the existing 18x10 to an 18x12 wheel. The only drawback is a need to buy new rear tires.
Gearing - gearing is the easiest way to make you car faster. Go with shorter gear and the torque multiplication will make any slug a rocket. not that my car is a slug but the 5th gear ratio is very tall and useless at anything other than saving fuel. Since my car is a toy only fuel mileage while cruising isn't that important. So I currently have a set of short drive 5th gears cogs and coupled with a new 4:30 rear differential ring and pinion gears it will add a more useful 5th gear both on the track and driving around those country lanes in the lower gears.
Improved Suspension - The old tried and true Koni "yellers" with the Ground Control coilover conversion was the shiznit in it's day. It still performs amicably to this day but the products on the market far exceed the now 10 year old performance of the adjustable Konis. Hence I'm in the market for something better and the Stance GR+3way look like a pretty nice setup with reasonable US technical support.


This page last updated January 4, 2006
rotorphiles have visited this page since April 17, 2001

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