Although highly costly and time consuming, going through the multitude of cars that I did in the past few years has at least gained me valuable insight and experiences. I have cultivated my tastes enough to finally be able to conclude and assess a verdict. I am returning to my roots, I am returning to the one car that felt most right out of them all.
I know I may have clashed with my own opinions before, and even reached a point of exasperation after the Miata where I shunned everything I did. That was wrong due misdirection – the Miata was the wrong car. I was too conservative in ambition and thought that a cheap car could be made to work. I later flipped my outlook and decided to chase the other end of the spectrum, and picked up the modern and relatively expensive 135i. The BMW was a welcome change of pace, albeit only briefly. It was certainly nice to experience finer, more luxurious amenities in a car… but the novelty soon wore off.
I learned an important lesson with the BMW. I’m not the type that can settle with a newer, “everyday” sort of car. I definitely do not want a fancy German car anymore, because the image it entails does not appeal to me. More substantially, I feel that cars of today lack soul and lack a sense of obscurity – characteristics that are fundamental in making a car worthwhile.
I need a car that is uncommon, a car that has its quirks and character adding problems… and most of all, something that I can craft and mold. There is an explanation to my pattern of switching cars so often. It is not because I am easily bored, but because I have been searching for the right fit all this time.
My old RX-7 was easily the favorite of them all. It is hard to illustrate in words what it is like to drive and own an FD3S RX-7. While these cars have their challenges, at the same time, they just feel so right. So why did I sell that car in the first place? I loved it, but there were too many things off mark: Blue paint, Tan interior, and a sunroof. I was able to accustom myself to these features during my ownership, but unfortunately there is no way I can live with them for long-term.
I am picky, but you have to be. Here are what I consider the 3 Golden Rules to car ownership.
- Take into consideration all aspects of the car’s manufactured specifications, the model year, color, package, mileage, etc. These are obviously not easy to change, so it is imperative you get it right from the beginning. Save your money and wait. Otherwise you will simply be “settling” in exchange for immediate gratification, and it won’t last.
- Spend the money, invest in the best. Buy the best car you can and never cheap out on parts if you’re modding it. There is no substitute for quality, do it right ONCE.
- Try to never sell a car. Think long and hard about what you want (initial trial and error at this part may be unavoidable), and then stick with it through thick and thin. If Rule #1 has been achieved, then it will be easier. Keeping a car for many years will save you the heavy costs associated with swapping cars periodically.
With all that said, I knew I wanted an RX-7 again… but this time under more stringent criteria. The car needs to be an R package. The only 2 colors I like on an RX-7 are White or Black. Well, since White is only available in Touring/PEP, that color was out. I also preferred the later ’94-’95 years, as a lot of minor improvements were made and the production numbers were far lower than in ’93. Lastly, I only want low mileage cars.
Finding an exact match, in clean stock condition is virtually impossible. With these cars being almost 2 decades old, I doubt such an example even exists. I scoured the classifieds by every region and through many facets. There was ONE car available, on the RX7Club classifieds, that was a low-mileage 1994 Black R2. After weighing my options, I decided to pick it. The car wasn’t perfect which is why I didn’t immediately jump on it. The original owner had installed a set of disagreeable sideskirts and a rear spoiler. I also had to shell out top dollar for this car, but in the end decided this choice was necessary. The Rule #1 qualities of the car were what I wanted, which is the most cogent and crucial factor. In an ideal case, I would have bought this car and been ready to move forward as is. Unfortunately, this is not reality, so I will have to invest in a few more steps to correct the car to fully meet my standards first. Otherwise, I would’ve had to wait indefinitely to find that unicorn car, and life is too short to wait on luck.
Buying an older, rare, and very specific car is not an easy affair. This RX-7 was located in Virginia and I had to wire the seller the full amount. The car was then later picked up by a small-name transport company, and all I was left with was a cellphone number to a driver with a heavy Southern accent. No contract papers or an escrow. I only endeavored in this leap of faith because I knew that the seller was highly reputable, and that I had little choice (can’t exactly buy this car from the local auto mall). The total shipping time took over 2 weeks. All I could really do was wait. It became especially stressful when I eventually found out that the transporter’s truck broke down near the California/Nevada border. Thankfully the situation was resolved quickly and my car was brought to my possession via a 1-car rollback tow truck.
Now the real fun starts…