The Drouin Golf Club kitchen crew delivered another lovely 2-course meal to the 45 or so members and guests at our meeting this month. President Ray Youlden, dispatched the Club business with his usual flair between courses and then invited Ian Holdsworth to speak about his recently acquired 1992 Mazda RX7 turbo – a replacement for the one destroyed at a hillclimb meeting earlier in the year.
Ian began by explaining why he has this partiality to Mazda and the Rotary engine. In 1991 Mazda decided to take on the likes of TWR-Jaguar and Mercedes in the LeMans 24-Hour sports car endurance race with a car called the 787B. It was powered by a normally-aspirated 2.6 litre, 4-rotor Wankel engine capable of producing 900bhp, but detuned to just 700 for the 24-hour race. They entered a team of three cars, all of which finished in the top eight, with the Herbert/Weidler/Gachot car winning by a 2-lap margin at an average speed of 127mph. With such performance and reliability demonstrated, Ian?s initial thoughts of a 944 Porsche were shelved in favour of an RX7.
The white RX7 which Ian drove to several hillclimb championships, was written off following the accident at One Tree Hill, but many parts were salvageable and could be put to good use; so whilst on holidays in Sydney Ian decided to check out a couple of RX7s on CarSales.com. This particular car, which Ian subsequently purchased, was strangely advertised as grey with black interior, so hadn?t attracted much interest. Another red RX7, which had been used in burn-out competitions, looked promising, but it had too many in-your-face modifications for Ian?s liking. The owner of the black car continued to pester Ian on his return from holidays, so after another trip to Sydney to inspect the car, they agreed on a price and the RX7 was transported to Melbourne.
This black car is not as quick as the old white car, but with a bit of subtle tuning Ian is hoping to coax 380bhp from the turbo-charged 13B on normal pump fuel. The stunning-looking RX7 has a wide-body kit fitted and sits on 20?x 9? Simmons wheels. The relatively new paint job has a touch of purple in the deep black gloss and looks fantastic. Ian?s not sure if this RX7 will see any track action, but he says that it?s good to be back on the horse, and we?ve just got to be a bit more careful this time.