Recovering a Relic of the Past: Ryan’s Mazda Story

Sometimes your old car is just waiting to become your new car again. See how Ryan’s old RX-7 reentered his life.

My name’s Ryan. I’m a Mazda guy through and through. Currently, I’ve got a 2016 MX-5 Club as my daily driver with a ‘95 Miata converted to an Exocet as my most recent project. As the Exocet becomes more stable and less of a project, I started thinking about what I should work on next.

The ND is my 14th Mazda vehicle in as many years, so this new project was definitely in my wheelhouse — I wasn’t planning on straying far from my roots. However, I didn’t realize at the time just how close to those roots my next project’s journey would take me.

The story I have to tell doesn’t involve the ND, or any of the dozen cars before it. Like any great story worth telling, you have to start at the beginning. …

Sixteen years ago, I got my first car. It was a 1988 Mazda RX-7 10th Anniversary Turbo II. Not before, or since, have I loved a car so much. Not for lack of trying, of course — those of you that know me well can attest to my sample size. But you never love a car as much as your first. Some of my most vivid memories of young adulthood were made possible by this car. I can still hear the engine winding out, carving through the forest roads outside of town back when I was so sure I was invincible, and that the tires would always hold.

I can still smell the summer air and remember fondly the adventures that car took me on. A friend and I went on an adventure in that car that took us to the heart of Texas and back in a handful of days. It was a car full of memories. Then, when I was a younger man in a moment of weakness, I sold my RX-7 because I was in school and needed the money. And that, as they say, was the end of that.

Twelve years later, I was talking after dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in years. We started chatting and got on about cars and the good ol’ days, and I started wondering about my old car. That night when I got home, I remembered I still had a folder full of old paperwork for my old RX-7 stashed in a closet. Looking through documents that my younger self couldn’t care less about, I found a treasure trove of receipts, service records, original brochures, and flyers — even before I got it, someone had clearly loved this car. I made a decision right there: I needed this car back.

Over the next few weeks, I tried to figure out how I was going to find the RX-7. And also, if I did find it, how was I going to afford to get it back? Late one night, I logged onto the RX7Club forum for the first time in over a decade and looked in my inbox. Empty. Then, just in case they kept old messages, I looked in my sent folder and found a single message — a message I had sent to the new owner of my RX-7 almost 12 years earlier. He hadn’t logged into his account since 2010, but I shot a message out into the void and waited. A few days went by, and then in the middle of the night I got an email.

Turns out, amazingly, he still had my old car.

The catch? After he bought the car from me, his wife had some medical issues that prevented him from doing anything with it. So my old RX-7 sat. And it sat. There in a field just outside Yakima, Washington. For 12 years, it sat there; with the windows down.

The ravages of time have not been kind, but thankfully the damage isn’t irreversible. As a bonus, he never even changed over the paperwork and I’ve technically owned the car this entire time.

Sometimes your old car is just waiting to become your new car again. See how Ryan’s old RX-7 reentered his life.

So, of course, I did what any rational adult who catches the nostalgic scent of his youthful misadventures would do: I asked him if he would consider selling the car back to me as is. He told me he felt bad about letting it sit, and that because the car meant something to me, it was mine if I wanted to come get it. I shot a quick text message to my Dad to borrow a truck, another to (frequent blogger, race car driver, and all around good guy) Derrick for a trailer, and a third to my friend Trevyn to enlist a copilot/co-conspirator, and the plan was set.

We headed out early on Saturday and drove through snowy mountain passes, over rivers, down sketchy dirt roads, and eventually arrived at what could charitably be described as a graveyard for sports cars. We found the RX-7, loaded it up, picked through my RX-7’s one-time-owner’s warehouse of spares for a few odds and ends, and headed back home. Now, my first Mazda is sitting safely in my garage, out of the weather.

Sometimes your old car is just waiting to become your new car again. See how Ryan’s old RX-7 reentered his life.

This car is largely responsible for the person I am today. It ignited my passion for cars and all things mechanical. If you’re a rotorhead in the Pacific Northwest who has a line on some black interior parts you could part with, let me know — this interior is trashed. If you’d like to keep up with the car, you can find me (@mrryanbaker) on Instagram. I made a post on there about the RX-7 that was a little more succinct. I try and post about the cars as much as I can, but forgive me if I end up distracted by projects.

Finally, like I said in my Instagram post, “Welcome home Annie, this time I’ll do it right.”


Introducing Our New Membership Program: 7th Gear

Become of member of our new, exclusive program 7th Gear and get gifts, early access to new products, and more!

CorkSport has been serving the Mazda community for 19 years. Over nearly two decades, we’ve never stopped listening to what our customer’s need. We apply that feedback and input daily to how we work and what we build for the platform. And because we’ve involved ourselves in the community and supported the platform, we’ve put ourselves in a position to say a big “thank you” to our loyal customers for supporting us and sticking with us!

The next big thing

So we started brainstorming ideas that would allow our top customers to become a part of an elite group that we can connect with directly. Enthusiasts will receive additional CorkSport benefits and supports while being involved in and up to date with what we’re working on at CorkSport.

We still have the rewards points program, but we wanted to offer something that raised the bar. We wanted to create something that shows that we’re building more than just a customer base — we’re building a family. So, what’s all this next level nonsense I am talking about?

CorkSport is proud to introduce 7th Gear

We’ve developed a new program unlike any other in the automotive aftermarket and we’re calling this exclusive membership program 7th Gear!  Take a look at some of the benefits offered as part of the 7th Gear program.

CorkSport's exclusive new membership program, 7th Gear, is all about building a family of dedicated Mazda enthusiasts.
Become a member of our 7th Gear program today!

As a 7th Gear Member, you’ll receive …

  • An exclusive gift package worth $99 when you sign up.
    • You can only get these apparel items by becoming a 7th Gear member!
  • Access to our exclusive 7th Gear Facebook group.
    • We’ll provide insider information on our products, lifestyle, and happenings!
    • You’ll interface with other elite members of the Mazda Community and receive CorkSport answers faster than anywhere else on the web.
    • You’ll have first access to new product releases via thanks to your 7th Gear membership.
  • Free Shipping to the lower 48 States. (Hawaii, Alaska, and International orders get reduced rate shipping.)
    • You heard us right! Free shipping to lower 48 and reduced cost shipping for our members elsewhere!
  • Automatic Annual Renewal that includes an awesome anniversary gift worth, at least, the cost of membership!
    • Once again, no one can get this exclusive gift item unless they’re a 7th Gear member!

As a 7th Gear member, rest assured that we’re here to help our car guys and car girls ignite their Mazda dreams, turning car fantasy into reality. CorkSport is more than just a company, we’re a family of enthusiasts that want to grow and share with all of you! Head to for more information on 7th Gear today.

CorkSport’s Favorite Part of the Week: Week Three

Our new blog series continues with the 2014+ Mazda 3 Lowering Springs — another one of our favorite parts.

Hey, CorkSport family, I hope you’re all doing well this week! I’m here again, keeping my promise, to give a brief description of my favorite part each week. Which means our blog series, “CorkSport’s Favorite Part of the Week,” continues!

This time, I’ll be talking about the 2014+ Mazda 3 Lowering Spring set. I am excited for this one, because lowering springs offer many benefits that deliver an incredible bang for your buck.

I am excited for this one, because lowering springs offer many benefits that deliver an incredible bang for your buck.

All of us Mazda enthusiasts know that stock Mazdas have quite a bit of wheel gap, which isn’t appealing to most of us. Our lowering springs have been designed to take care of that unwanted wheel gap — these springs will drop the car about 1.75” in the front and about 2.00” in the rear.

We wanted to make sure our springs would give the car a modest drop. Why modest? We decided to keep the drop minimal because we wanted the car to have a sleek look without sacrificing ride quality. Plus, we wanted to avoid potential damage to the front end when going over, for example, speed bumps.

Our lowering springs also have a 7 percent increase in spring rate. Which means that, whether or not you’re running OEM wheels or aftermarket wheels, these springs will — without a doubt — give your ride a much cleaner look. Please note, though, if you’re running wider than stock wheels/tires, you may have to roll your fenders depending on how aggressive your offset is or how wide your tires are running.

I mentioned multiple benefits to our springs, so I want to make sure to hit on the other primary advantage you get from adding lowering springs to your 2014+ Mazda 3. When you add lowering springs, you are lowering the center of gravity of the vehicle. By doing this, you’re allowing the car to grip the pavement harder. You can take corners faster and with more confidence knowing the car will react the way you want with increased handling. Add in some wider/stickier tires and you’ll increase that handling exponentially.

This part is truly a must-have for people who don’t track their car every weekend, but are looking for a more aggressive feel when driving around town. Pick these springs up today for a grand total of $209.99 plus shipping. Trust me, you won’t regret that decision. If anyone has any questions in regards to lowering springs, please call us at 360-260-2675!


Luke @ CS

Get Ready for Boise’s 2017 Mazda Takeover Event

Another year, another weekend of Mazda community love. Here’s a rundown of 2016’s Mazda Takeover Event in Boise to prepare for 2017.

Last year, Barrett and I got the chance to head to Boise, Idaho, for a great Mazda Takeover event that my good friend Keith Eggert put together. People from Utah, Washington, and northern Idaho all made the trip for a fun weekend full of racecars, beer, and good laughs. We met some new people and reconnected with friends that we hadn’t seen in awhile. It was a big event made even better by securing a few shops so we could do some fun things besides racing.

This Thursday, we’re heading back to Boise for another weekend of good times. But before we go, let’s reflect on last year’s event.

The 2017 Mazda Takeover event in Boise, Idaho, is a great Mazda community event.
It’s always a good time when the Mazda community gets together.

Dyno Day

Everyone who wanted to dyno their car had the opportunity to do so last year, which made for an incredible day. Almost all of the cars that attended Dyno Day were fully bolted and tuned on E85, so you can imagine we had a lot of quick Mazdaspeeds in attendance.

A few notable results: Cody Allington from Utah made right at 500whp with his HTA turbo and port injection. Next up was my car strapped with the CS turbo and meth coming in at 400whp on the stock block. There were plenty of other Speeds right around 320whp. The smell of E85 and meth definitely told us we were in the right place!


Once we were done with the dyno, most of us hung out and prepared some cars to run in the 1320. Cody needed to install a cut-off switch, because he had relocated his battery from the engine bay to the hatch of the car. Once we had that all figured out, it was time to head to the track.

Over 40 Mazdaspeeds attended the Mazda Takeover in Boise, Idaho, last year.
That’s a lot of Mazdaspeeds.

We had about 40 Mazdaspeeds show up to the track — the biggest turnout I have ever seen.  I remember thinking this is what the Mazda community is all about: a bunch of friends getting together to have a genuinely good time. That’s something I think we forget about from time to time. I realize there’s a lot of competition out there, but at the end of the day, we’re all in this together.

That race night was great because I got to see a bunch of Mazdas ripping down the track. And, I also got to see the smiles that came with a fun night among a great community.

This year's Mazda Takeover in Boise promises to be bigger and better than the amazing event in 2016.
Boise, here we come.

We’re going to be in attendance again at the Mazda Takeover this year in hopes that the event is even bigger and produces an even larger turnout. The plan is the same as last year. But, this time around, the boys from CorkSport have more lead time so we can take more time off than just the weekend. It’s going to be a amazing!

We are very excited to see what happens this year and look forward to hanging out with 40+ Mazdaspeed people. I highly encourage anyone that is within driving distance of Boise to check out this meetup. At its current rate, this takeover event is turning into the largest on the West Coast. The meetup begins on June 8, and I’d really like to see some fresh faces there!

If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me (Luke McCarvel) a Facebook message.



CorkSport’s Favorite Part of the Week: Week Two

Mazda 6 Power Series Exhaust

Hello again, CorkSport family! Let’s start the second week of our new blog series, “CorkSport’s Favorite Part of the Week,” off strong by talking about the new Mazda 6 2014+ Power Series Exhaust.  

Mazda 6 Power Series Exhaust

Are any of you Mazda 6 owners looking to add more power to your 2014+ Mazda 6? In the market for better sound? Look no further! We’re very happy to introduce you to this top-notch exhaust system. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider purchasing the Cat-Back Exhaust:

  • Direct bolt on
  • High quality stainless steel
  • Increased power
  • Better exhaust sound
  • Less weight

When it comes to power, we saw a 3whp increase over stock on an un-tuned Engine Control Unit (ECU). That doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you take the car and tune it with the exhaust installed, you’ll notice larger gains.

When it comes to sound, one reason why CorkSport loves this exhaust is that the sound is very subtle when cruising on the highway. However, when you give the car some throttle, you do get an increased exhaust note.

CorkSport does offer the option of selling the mid-pipes for this kit separately. Any customers that would like to purchase the mid-pipes to complete their Axle-Back Exhaust would need to call us at 360-260-2675 to get pricing and availability.

The Power Series Exhaust comes with a price tag of $799.99 before shipping. Please keep in mind that it helps to make an account when you order from us — we offer rewards points when you have a registered account. If you save those points, they can get you a nice discount on the purchase of this exhaust.


Luke @ CS