A List of Your Local NATOR Communities – What Makes Us Family

Ever wondered how to connect with your local Mazda crews and clubs?

Or have you ever gotten connected and then lost your ride somehow? For some of us it’s a crash, others of us sell our beloved Mazda and aim at our next dream car, or heck, even the necessary minivan.

What happens then? Not only did you lose your favorite car, but seemingly you lost out on the community as well. Does it make sense to show up to your favorite meets if you no longer drive the “proper” vehicle?

When it comes to the Nator groups, the love is still there regardless of what your next ride.

According to Micha Fullen, this is exactly how it goes; and it’s about so much more than the cars themselves:

“While at the annual Midwest meet this year in St Louis Missouri, washing my hair in the shower I had a thought, “Micha, why do you still come to this event when you don’t even own a Mazdaspeed anymore?”

I told myself, that being a Mazdaspeed owner past, present or future, is like being in a family. Especially when you involve yourself in the community and clubs that are offered throughout the country. Me, I’m a Nator Guy.

Year after year, we collectively travel thousands of miles to attend an event centered around vehicles that some of us don’t even own anymore. It’s crazy huh? Do the same thing, show up without owning the ‘correct’ Model Vehicle, at a VW or Honda meet and you get blacklisted and shunned.

Mazdaspeed owners don’t kick you out, or tell you that you shouldn’t be there. We just call each other; funny, and sometimes very rude, names. Then ask to race your new vehicle on a track, dragstrip or parking lot.  (More recently it’s been even helpful to all of them that I bought a truck… because we all know with spirited driving, and some showing off, something is bound to go wrong)

 I am closer to my Mazdaspeed family than I am to my own. This has been true since I bought my Speed 3 Jun of 2011. I had some problems with my car(s) and my Mazdaspeed (Nator) family came to my aid. But when that same family had problems of their own, I drove many miles or sometimes across multiple states to help them.

Corksport goes out of their way to attend these events. Not so much pushing parts, but to welcome family with open arms and stay connected to the grass roots of our community.

I met Barrett this year and even having never talked to him, he was the top 3 nicest dudes I have ever met. He got involved and talked shop with the majority of everyone in attendance. Kim is also a major voice in the community, listening to what the people want and bouncing ideas off of people to find how CorkSport can continuously push and evolve in this platform. She shows up to multiple events a year, stays in contact even throughout the winter and is always helping her “brothers and sisters” with their own endeavors, even if it doesn’t involve Corksport.

This year, if you were at the Midwest meet, you would see that a good majority of people have moved on to new platforms, specifically the new ecoboost options from Ford being very popular. Adrienne K with her Focus RS, Matt D with his FoST and Ryan P with his brand new FiST, and myself, I went way to the left with the new Raptor (Hey it has 2 turbos mmmmmkay).

It doesn’t matter what happens in your life, or even if you have moved on, we all got our start with Mazdaspeeds and we always stick with Family.”

As you see, being a Mazda owner is about the community, the family, the connection to other Mazdaspeed Enthusiasts.

And being an enthusiast isn’t always defined by the fact you still own a Mazda. It’s defined by being a car family. There may be groups that require you to own a Mazda to show up, but when it comes to Nator, once a Mazdaspeed Nator Family member, always one.

If you’re curious about where to connect, who to reach out to, or how to get in touch with your local Mazda club, check out the list below.

While we would love for this list to be exhaustive, it’s not, so if you’re currently involved in a club not listed, please let us know and we’ll be sure to make it easier for other CorkSport followers to connect with your group!

Download PDF of List:  NATOR Clubs List

CorkSquad https://www.facebook.com/groups/1634041806878345/ Savannah GA
Southern Street Crew https://www.facebook.com/groups/454444514600458/ GA
MMOC https://www.facebook.com/groups/MIMazda/ Michigan
ClubMPS https://www.facebook.com/groups/clubmpsnz/ New Zealand
LVMazdas https://www.facebook.com/groups/LVMazdas Las Vegas
NoVA Mazdaclub https://www.facebook.com/groups/321399927926454 VA
Mazda Miata Mx5 WA/OR https://www.facebook.com/groups/1698103380420298 WA/OR
Mazda Militia https://www.facebook.com/groups/mazdamilitia WA
Nothern Mazda Militia https://www.facebook.com/groups/286006598276940
Texas Mazdaspeeds https://www.facebook.com/groups/TexasMazdaspeeds TX
PNW_Mazda https://www.facebook.com/groups/PNWMazda WA/OR
Mazda 3 Owners Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/Mazda3OA AUS
Mazdas of Killeen/Fort Hood https://www.facebook.com/groups/texasspeeddemons TX
Nator Oregon https://www.facebook.com/groups/NatorOR OR
Nator TN/KY https://www.facebook.com/groups/206647016088166 TN/KY
Nator Oklahoma https://www.facebook.com/groups/NATOROK OK
Nator NC/SC https://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Carolina/104083326294266 NC/SC
Nator Minnesota https://www.facebook.com/groups/NatorMinnnesota MN
Nator Georgia https://www.facebook.com/groups/163448653866393 GA
Nator Florida https://www.facebook.com/groups/1298072073575997 FL
Nator Missouri https://www.facebook.com/groups/natormo MO
Nator AR https://www.facebook.com/groups/708796579135806 AR
Nator New Mexico https://www.facebook.com/groups/270637012974823 NM
Nator San Diego https://www.facebook.com/groups/natorsd/about/ CA
Nator DC metro https://www.facebook.com/groups/147772498652109 DC
Nator WA https://www.facebook.com/groups/948847285235072 WA/OR
Nator WI https://www.facebook.com/groups/379868465454404 WI
Nator Chapter E https://www.facebook.com/groups/176597409073225/ FL
Nator New England https://www.facebook.com/groups/255796874460817 New England
Nator Houston Miata https://www.facebook.com/groups/446031202177809 TX

We want YOU to help us design the next CorkSport Branded Ride!

As if it wasn’t obvious, we have a plethora of vehicles to work with around here. True to fashion of course, we at CorkSport have gone and done it again: We went and filled some of the last remaining shop space with ANOTHER CAR.

Not just any car. Say “Hello” to our newest addition: 2018 Mazda 3 Hatchback, touring 2.5L SKYACTIVE-G. Equipped with an automatic transmission and some of the nicer creature comforts.

We love the sparkle of the Eternal Blue Mica and of course her 18” gunmetal dancing shoes. However, as with all things good and standard in the world, we couldn’t help but think that the potential for upgrading is endless.

Do we strip it and go full race car? Perhaps something crazy and AWD swap of sorts? Or maybe we take it way out of left field and go rally-style with it?

With the opportunities being endless, it was starting to make our heads hurt, so we decided to take a step back and start with the basics. We asked ourselves:

“How would our average customer who just picked this car up dream of modifying it?”

And that is exactly what we are doing.

If you guys are anything like us, then you have several hobbies that extend beyond just cars. Some of our team’s personal favorite other hobbies include hiking, camping, traveling, water sports, chilling at the beach, and has recently included obstacle course racing. With all these interests taking up different aspects of our time, we would need a ride that can accommodate our lifestyle. While it would be awesome to have a 6-second drag car, we’d probably have to lose some creature comforts or find a pot of gold to cover the cost, and that’s just not what the average Mazda enthusiast is about.

This project, like we said, is for YOU. And if it’s for you, then we need your help in putting it together.

PIC: NWAPA – Vinnie Nguyen

This car, or as we are designating it: “Project CBR” (CorkSport branded ride), will be built by the people for the people.

We are going to take you with us on the full journey of this car; from the basic mods to the full on weekend task. From the daily driver to the long road hauler. From the car wash to the full service details. We are going to show you everything and anything on this car.

And through the whole process, everything is going to be built with your help.

Over the next several months as we put some miles on our test mule, we will want your guys’ feedback.

  • Do we put springs and shocks on it or full coilovers?
  • What type of wheels should we get?
  • Tint the windows, wrap it, get rid of the chrome?
  • The list goes on!

Every couple of weeks, we will keep you updated on where the car stands and what you think we should do next.

We will create a section on the CorkSport site so you can follow along, ask questions, provide suggestions, and fully immerse yourself into the car. Ever so often, we will also host a poll and you guys will vote on what happens next!

Think reverse sponsored: Instead of CorkSport’s name being the only one on this ride, we will be giving Sponsorship Cred to the Mazda Enthusiasts who give us the ideas for our mods. (first come, first credits).

We’ll put YOUR NAME on the CorkSport Branded Ride.

If you have a Dream Mod, and We pull it off on the CBR, you’ll get the credits… Remember: The CBR is By the People, For the People!

Stay Tuned, we’ll need your feedback soon!

CorkSport

Welcoming Our New Partners of The CorkSport Shop Program!

What is CorkSport Up to?!

We know you’ve been seeing the social media posts calling for US Performance Installation Shops to contact us. So, as a customer, you have likely been reaching out to your local shop and telling them to call in or head to our link in order to get more info!

First off: A big THANK YOU to those who recommended their favorite shops, and to those Shops who have understood what we are about and got started in an awesome community partnership with CorkSport!

We’re excited to experience the support that has been passed along to the community, as well as to other small businesses through these partnerships.

We’re continuing to work with the Mazda Community to build, expand, and grow the number of enthusiasts out there. In doing this, the partnerships we are building will help the ‘newest generation’ of Mazda enthusiasts to get started somewhere. With the help of a local shop, they can learn what they need to know, have a trusted place to take their car, and find themselves inspired by the work they do.

PIC: Mazdas247.com

CorkSport’s Community Partnerships will allow for Mazda Enthusiasts to have a place to go for installation help, questions, concerns, and inspiration on what their car is capable of.

If you know of a Performance Installation Shop near you, or are one yourself; get in contact with CorkSport to see what we’re capable of accomplishing together!

Contact Us by clicking HERE

 

Shout out to the following companies for being the earliest adopters of CorkSport’s Shop Program!

You’ll see below some of these Performance Shops are run by well-known Mazda enthusiasts, which is why we’ve chosen them as trusted community partners!

This is not an exhaustive list of our partners. We are building that list and you will soon be able to see which Shops we are partnered with on our website. This resource will provide you with a quick guide to where to go for installation help in the future!

We are looking forward to what we can build together in our expanded CorkSport family!

CorkSport Community Partnerships: building the Mazda Community, one enthusiast at a time.

Cheers,

Kim Russell,

Corksport Performance

RX-9 Rotary Engine Puzzle: Confirmed?

Mazda hasn’t done anything to squash the rotary engine rumors flying around the possible new RX-9. In fact,  as of a few days ago,  an executive from Mazda confirmed in more or less words: Yes we are working on it, and it is moving along to a more advanced stage.

Let’s review what we have seen so far.

Hybrid Drive Train Patent dated September 2016

Mazda basically penned out a drivetrain setup for the next generation of Rotary vehicle. There was also a rotary specific i-stop type patent entered as well. The only problem is we have seen something contrary to this in the next topic which makes this puzzle interesting.

Rotary Turbo Patent dated August 2015

This patent got everyone (including myself) really excited. Top exhaust ports, a turbo mounted to the top, rear wheel drive, and it is screaming for a huge upgraded turbo to be sticking out of the hood….

One can dream right? I digress with that path but looking at this patent Mazda was working on a different variant of the engine and thought it was important enough to file a patent on it. It should be noted once again this patent was from 2014.

Dorr Support Structure January 2017

The last patent popped up recently and it suggests a lower slung sports car as it moves the door up at a 15% angle and uses a torsion rod to hold it open. The only use a car would have for this is if it is low and you don’t want to hit your doors on curbs when you open them.

Looking back further we can see other patents from Mazda which point towards the continued research of the next rotary with laser ignition, different configurations of the engine, the 16x, etc.

Recently at the Mazda tech forum in Germany, Mitsuo Hitomi from Mazda confirmed that the development is in the advanced stage.

It looks like Mazda is willing to say they are still working on it, but not willing to say, “Yes you will have an Rx-whatever on this specific date.”

Adding to the fire, several Japanese magazines have been saying the Tokyo Auto Show will have the next car at it as well.

With more and more pieces to the puzzle being revealed, perhaps this will be the year we get to see the next RX. My money is on the strategy that it will be teased much like the RX-Evolve and the RX-Vision were, and we will get a real car and one heck of a surprise at the Tokyo Auto Show.

A guy can dream right?!

-Derrick

 

27Won

It has been a wild and crazy ride over the past nearly 20 years. We started as enthusiasts, just like you. Engine swaps, tuning, aero kits, suspension, we got down and did it all.

We wanted parts for our cars, and we couldn’t find them, so we started a company to track them down (enter CorkSport brand, instead of just two guys in a garage). We convinced venerable companies like Mazdaspeed and Autoexe to sell us their parts. We figured out how to get parts from Japan to the States. It wasn’t always easy. For many, many years we never made any money, we had to balance ‘real jobs’ and our dreams just like many of you. We eventually scraped out a living hustling Mazda parts.

We couldn’t get everything we wanted. And frankly, some parts from Japan were just too expensive, so we started making our own (imagine that custom fabrication in a larger scale). We filled out our catalog with CorkSport brand parts. Now, the only thing we sell that is not a CorkSport part is the AccessPort. How far we’ve come!

It’s been a non-stop investment in the Mazda community for 20 years. We’ve done our best to support the platform like no other company. We’ve taken most of our profits and used them to make more Mazda parts. Of course, there has been a bit of racing in there too.

Mazda has not been doing anyone in the aftermarket any favors. Sure, they make cars with the suspension tuned a bit more sporty than your average Toyota, and the engines have some pep, but they are not selling cars for enthusiasts (except the Mx5). They have not sold another car for enthusiasts since 2014! This feels a lot like Mazda of the 90’s but with better marketing.

Look around at the aftermarket, and you see most of our competitors were already spreading their attention across multiple platforms or have since added platforms like Ford. It’s important for us to stay focused on the Mazda platform. We know that commitment is important to most of you. But how do we grow in a stagnant market?

We are taking everything we’ve learned and going after a new market, with a new company. Before we reveal what we are up to, I’d like to give a little perspective. TV shows like Shark Tank and The Profit have pulled back the curtains on the inner workings of business. People better understand that companies need to grow to thrive. Companies need to make money to stay in business. And I believe people also understand that business owners can have multiple businesses and still have a dedicated team hell-bent on kicking ass in their market.

Imagine going to your favorite food stop. For us, it might be Blue Star Donuts in Portland.  

We love these donuts. Then you find out the owner has opened a ramen shop (this really happened, check out Boxer Ramen). What?! What’s going to happen to my donuts? And what the heck do donuts have to do with ramen? Well, it turns out the owner kicks ass at running these companies and can make great donuts AND great ramen. Who knew?

Each restaurant is different, but they also have a lot in common. In fact, a restaurant has a lot in common with a Mazda performance shop. It all comes down to Product, Process, People (thanks, Marcus Lemonis).

I’m not saying we are a restaurant. The point I’m trying to make is that the owners of a Mazda performance shop can open another shop and it’ll be ok. It might even be a good thing; I’ll explain that later.

We have a dedicated team that comes to work every day to serve the Mazda aftermarket. That won’t change. Our new company will be a separate business with its own team, goals, and eventually building. In fact, most of our team is not even involved in the new business right now. We are going to do everything possible to make sure CorkSport doesn’t lose focus on what’s most important to it, Mazda Performance!

OK, so what is this other business? It’s called 27Won (pronounced Two-Seven-One) Performance.

Check it out here: www.27won.com. Maybe you can help us out by spreading the word!

We could have used our CorkSport name, but to us, CorkSport is and always will be Mazda Performance. We’d rather go through the extra work of setting up and running another company than take the chance we lose focus on Mazda performance.

We are positioning the new company at the very top of its market. We are investing heavily in product and process at a level beyond what we’ve been capable of in the past.

You are going to see big improvements in the CorkSport brand soon. We are making all sorts of adjustments to our marketing team. We’ll have new gear, more interesting blogs and social media content. You’ll see further into our product development process. And last, but certainly not least, we have some exciting new products to announce very soon.

Stay tuned!

Richard Harris