The Hairdresser’s Car

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General Information

My first rotary car was a 2006 RX8 231 PS Velocity Red Mica with black and red interior and all the trimmings. Bought as an ex demo car that hadn’t been used when the dealership decided to drop Mazda from its range. The following year my mate christened it a hairdresser‘s car, so I bought a BMW 635 M-Sport. I really missed the RX8 though, it was a daily and a weekend car rolled into one. I loved the simplicity of the engine and the quirkiness of the engineering.
Fast forward to 2013, I got a call from my brother ‘Do you want another RX8, local hairdresser is looking to scrap hers, the engine’s gone’. Oh the irony, my mate’s words immediately came back to haunt me and I swallowed hard.
Needless to say £500 changed hands and I was the owner of a pretty average looking car that had been around the block, body was decent enough, calipers painted red, slotted discs, previous owners had clearly tried to look after it, and it came with a spare wheel, battery, new leads and coils and a K&N Typhoon Air Box. I recouped a lot of my outlay by selling these bits off (couldn’t believe how many people bid on the air box) but not before I’d done the ‘de-flood’ procedure, right foot planted in the carpet to cut the fuel pump while I cranked it. It started! I had a bargain. But it had 78k miles, surely it was time to say goodbye and make a couple of hundred quid?
I then made the big mistake, maybe I should keep this one, and perhaps just bring it up to my standards, I could get the engine ported, have a play, it hasn’t cost me anything so know the rest!
The car then survived a scare; I was considering breaking it for spares for another RX8, a mint Evolve keeper which my brother decided to buy on my behalf in 2016, but I ended up keeping both.
I’ve now completed my second ‘big overhaul’ and it still puts a grin on my face. It’s an alternative daily for my twisty road journeys...............


Titanium Grey, replaced sills inside and out, arches required some work too; the early S1 RX8s had a couple of water traps under the centres of the sills where the ‘suicide doors’ meet and mine is no exception and gradually this started to come through but all signs of rot or rust have been cut out and fresh metal welded back in and painted (2020). A Mazda Aero Kit which was a dealer option back in the day has been fitted, just got the rear mud-flaps to fit, and colour coded PZ Mirrors have been fitted. Bosch Aero Windscreen Wipers do a good job of clearing the screen. Kudos to Prestige Vehicle Specialists DY3 1UP who did a great job of the paintwork.


The interior is black and complete, standard RX8 S1 spec with no sat nav, except the original black seats with plastic backs which were scratched have been replaced with PZ leather backed seats. Axial Flow six speed gear lever. LED interior lights.

Under the Bonnet

I succumbed to the ‘surely these cars can go faster’ brigade in 2014, but after lots of research back then I decided to spend my money ‘wisely’ as the cost of FI compared to longevity of components meant it was sensible to live with the NA car if I was going to put plenty of miles on it (I’m grimacing as I type, no one who buys a rotary has any common sense whatsoever).
So here goes:
231 PS Street Ported Engine
Racing Beat Lightweight Flywheel (bit more zoom zoom)
Excedy HD Clutch
Stainless Steel Exhaust Manifold and PZ Stainless full system (Have an R-Magic full system to try out)
K&N Panel filter
Genuine Mazda Coils
Clean oil feed adapter for 2 stroke injection
RRP 2 stroke tank and water bottle
RRP lightweight pulleys (second hand purchase, purple anodised so this meant me colour coding bits and pieces)
RRP engine mounts
Braided Oil Lines
Bennett Built radiator header tank
Anodized slam panel (bought with pulleys hence the colour choice)
Fully synthetic oil


Having sorted the bodywork I decided to refurbish the underside. So I purchased and refurbed and powder coated a rear subframe and diff, and gave the same treatment to to the front, then bought new coil overs and complete set of bushes, had the underside stripped back and re-sealed, and basically gave it another ten years of life. Brakes are standard; Mazda made a really decent platform for a much more powerful car and I have got an Atomic Rex BBK which I ran on my other RX8 but I would only be fitting them for show on this one and may yet fit them to my FD. Wheels are off a PZ which I had refurbed and powder coated Bronze Matt to contrast the Titanium Grey; I have never really liked the standard silver wheel colour on this car, but I’m really happy now that these do compliment the colour. The tyres came with the wheels but are as good as new. I’ve changed the ride height a couple of times now, trying to replicate the PZ stance which for me looks about right.
New or refurbed suspension arms (Bought a lot of Japspeed items but not fitted yet as I’m still waiting for them to make some out of stock items, not sure they ever will)
Bushes: Strongflex
Coilovers: MeisterR
Wheels: 18” Prodrive PZ 10 spoke

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