And the engine died.
The cries of a thousand forum experts echoed silently through the car as the mirrors filled with light blue smoke and the engine vibrated like a brick in a tumble-dryer. Somehow we were already bouncing over the grass and trying to stop. Within seconds the Mazda was parked behind a barrier and I was running down the safe side of the guardrail. No sign of oil or coolant on the floor or on the car itself. Upon returning to the car, I found the sudden stop had boiled it over.
Firstly, remove engine, rebuild it, install it. This option could weigh in at less than a grand, but I’m not really capable of any of these things. I don’t have the time and I certainly don’t have the talent.
Second option would be to get a pro to do the above. Prices range from £1,250 for a 14-day warranty eBay motor to several thousand pounds for a guaranteed race motor from somewhere like Haywards or Rotechniks. I don’t have that much money, and I wouldn’t want to put myself in the same position again. Thinking that my motor is perfect, then watching the oil smoke appear on a bike-filled Nordschleife. No, never again.
Luckily for me my friend Jens has a crashed RX-8. It’s a no-expense-spared dedicated track day car, but he had an argument with barriers. Now it needs a front-end transplant. Well it’s got one.
A painful decision, but the right one.
From my initial investment of around £3,000, I have only a thousand. But using the rather nifty options drivetrain and power options of the new Pistonheads Classifieds, I think I’ve found myself another 200hp, rear-wheel drive ’ring-toy to replace the Mazda.
Now you can all say it: “I told you so.”
Car: 2004 Mazda RX-8
Run by: Dale Lomas
Bought: December 2011
Purchase price: £2.800
First month: Ignored the critics, bought a Wankel, made grand plansfor modification but secretly hoped the mod budget won’t be spent on a re-con motor...
This month: Blew the motor. Didn’t have the budget for a re-con motor, sold the whole thing as a wreck. Gutted.
A lap of the 'ring on a BMW S1000RR reminds Dale why he really needs the Mazda back
It hasn't been a good month for Dale's Mazda...
Ordering pieces of paper to pass the German MOT
Dale makes a new RX-8 mate
PH fleet intro: Mazda RX-8