Owner: Devin Famulare, Automotive Photographer
Those shiny STR 601 wheels have been traded for a set of gorgeous bronze MB Battles, a popular choice among drift cars and other RX8’s.
Not a big one, but enough to change the appearance of the car: Eyelids!
Some cars you see on the road today are stock tools to get people from A to B. Some are bought to represent a person’s style and interests. But some are bought with much more in mind. For some people, a car is a best friend. It watches out for you, wants to have fun, and takes your money. Great care and appreciation goes into choosing a car for these people, and for a smaller amount of people, cars are life.
Dare to be different. Unique. Rare. Dare to challenge to automotive world with simplicity, smoothness, reliability, and a high power-to-weight ratio…
Life’s too short to drive boring cars.
Brace yourselves: this is unlike anything we have ever shot here at Naples Speed.
A four-seater two-door sports car? As Car and Driver once wrote, “It’s easy to say four-seat sports car, but what does it mean? In this case, it means feeling light and nimble, turning in like a race car, and resisting roll in corners.”
You may or may not recognize this car. It is a very well-preserved member of a dying breed: rotary engines. Wankel, rotary, renesis; call it what you like, but this engine is a true piece of art. This is not your standard piston engine that is in 90% of the cars you see on the road. You can, however, find rotaries in other unexpected machines like aircraft, go-carts, jet skis, motorcycles, snowmobiles, chain saws, and auxiliary power units! Crazy right? Kinda. But, contrary to some beliefs, rotaries are pretty reliable. They just need lots of love and care, like any other engine.
I won’t go into detail about how the engine works exactly (most of you would probably lose interest), so let me just say this: it’s basically two rotating doritos -you know, like the Lay’s chip- in combustion chambers. That is my engine.
We have German engineer Felix Wankel to thank for this amazing working machine. Although his prototypes were much different than the rotary you can find today, he paved the way. And to that, I thank you sir.
A hybrid of German intelligence and Japan ingenuity.
This beauty is a Mazda RX8.
More specifically, my 6 speed 2008 40th Anniversary Edition.
It’s a special edition, celebrating 40 years of Mazda’s rotary engines. A bit of a hybrid between the first gen and second gen RX8’s. It comes in a special Metropolitan Grey Mica paint (which I love) and Cosmo Red leather interior.
This wasn’t my first car, but it was the first car I truly fell head over heels with when I first saw one nearly 6 years ago. While shopping around for RX8’s, I came across this one at a dealer in Gainesville and immediately jumped on it. Low mileage, manual, special edition? I knew I had to have it and made the trek up to Gainesville with boyfriend in tow. And so here I am with my affordable dream car. This car is unlike anything else I’ve driven. It is an absolute blast to take around corners and bury the throttle, watching it creep up to its 9000rpm redline. The sound that accompanies acceleration is beautiful.
The transformation since January.
So far I’ve done an exhaust, which did wonders for the sound of the rotary. Not too obnoxious, but just enough to let people know I’m there. Did a little tweaking to the stock intake. She has Megan Racing coilovers installed, which makes a big difference. It looked like a truck at stock height! Some debadging. New purple & black shift knob and boot. And the biggest difference is the wheels. I love the stock wheels my car came with, but I also fell in love with the BBS LM wheels on the RX8. However, since I’m “ballin’ on a budget” I opted for a wheel that has a similar design, but didn’t break the bank (I won’t die a little inside and lose half their worth if they get scuffed). I wanted the rear to be a bit wider than factory for better grip and handling, so I went for 18×9.5 in the back. They’re wrapped in fresh Nexen tires.
This car is nowhere near done. But for now, it’s pretty close to perfect. And I love it.
Stay tuned for updates!