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.”


5 Classic Mazda Models To Dream About

If you’re new to reading our blogs, you may not know how we feel about Mazdas. (Spoiler alert: We like them. A lot.) As a companion piece to our post last year, 6 Hilariously Classic Mazda Models, we’ve got a fresh batch of Mazdas to delight and destroy your ideas of what a Mazda should and shouldn’t be.

Mazda MPV

Mazda MPV Minivan | CorkSport

Nothing screams OG like a minivan with rear-wheel drive and the option to switch over to four-wheel. The MPV remains in production today, though we prefer the attitude of the ’89 model. Hell, drop some speakers in the back, and you’ve got a WMD. Check out this video of one crushing a body of water.

Continue reading “5 Classic Mazda Models To Dream About”

What Mazda said that Will Have you Saying “Take my Money”

 Real Quotes from Mazda’s Global Sales and Marketing General Manager


Once again has brought some rotary rumors to surface thanks to an interview with Yasuhiro Aoyama, the General manager of Global Sales and Marketing. So what did Yasuhiro say that is so revealing?

“this is a very fantastic idea, 2017, [for] a new rotary.”

followed by

“We celebrate the anniversary of rotary in 2017; 50 years. Then 2020 is the Olympics in Tokyo and the 100th anniversary of Mazda,” 

When prodded for more info and whether we would see a halo car in 2020 he was quoted as saying: “We will defy convention”.

In order to prevent us from expanding on his words without the proper quotes let us list them all here:

“We have our own definition of sports and our own definition of how to get Jinba Ittai, the oneness between car and driver – and we do not have to necessarily compete with segments or competitors,” he said.

“We won’t follow them just for the sake of it.” [in reference to other car companies]

“We are indifferent to the successes that our rivals are making; we need to make our own success and forge our own way forward.”

And one of the quotes that I find most exciting was this:

“Lightweight is one of the core elements for our sports cars to have high performance, so all of the vehicles for the next generation will be like this,” he stated.


What could this all mean? Well that Mazda again has neither confirmed nor denied the idea of an RX-7 in 2017, and that it “is a very fantastic idea”, and that it it will definitely be a lightweight vehicle. We also know that he is hinting at something in 2020? Possibly a halo car? Possibly the RX-9 that they trademarked awhile back. (source)

Nonetheless, we are already stashing our pennies so that once we have official word, we can start yelling “Take my MONEY!”



4 Must Know Facts About the Next Mazda RX-7, RX-8, RX-9 Turbo Rotary

Mazda Rotary Turbo Rx-7 Rx-8 Rx-9 Rumors from CorkSport


According to and an “insider” they have some new information on the next RX-7.

So what are the interesting facts they supposedly have heard?

1. Mazda is going to use a twin-scroll turbo setup with power near 450 hp.

2. Mazda will no longer use the MX-5 platform as a base.

3. Mazda has registered both RX-7 and RX-9 as names with Japan’s trademark office.

4. Mazda plans to celebrate their first Rotary powered cars 50th birthday in May of 2017 with the release of their new RX-7 or RX-9.


So what do you think? Does really have an insider in Mazda realizing this information? Or is it all just more speculation and made up rumors?

Let us know on



500hp MS3, Flames, Friends and Mazda Fanatics! MazdasNW End of Summer Bash

Hosted by CorkSport, the MazdasNW End of Summer Bash held this last Saturday was an event I have been looking forward to attending since the beginning of the summer.

Promoted by MazdasNW, CorkSport and NWMotiv, the event turned out to be one of the biggest exclusively Mazda shows in the NW this summer. It featured a day of dyno’s, show and shine, BBQ and raffle. Mazda enthusiasts from as far away as California and British Columbia came to our Vancouver WA location for this one day event.

Though the day started out slightly overcast, we lucked out with a the sun breaking through in the early afternoon for some of the last 80 degree weather we will likely see in the NW until next year. People began to arrive around 9am and the event kicked into gear at 10 with over 95 pre-registered attendees and 55 cars registered for the show and shine.

This year’s show and shine included some more non-traditional car show classes such as lowest horsepower, dirtiest car and most wheel gap, along with some more traditional classes such as highest horsepower, best display, and best engine bay.

NWMotiv also handed out an award for best looking ride that went to CJ Ramos and his CorkSport sponsored Mazdaspeed 3 which will be featured in an upcoming post at

The dyno saw a lot of action during the show. Some of the highlights included:

A Gen 1 Mazdaspeed 3 that made 517hp on the dyno. Rumor has it, it is the “The World’s First 500hp Mazdaspeed 3” :

A 3rd gen RX7 that made 611hp, though as it turns out sported a 2jz engine

And an RX-8 with CorkSport exhaust and racepipe that blew flames on two of the three of the dyno pulls!

CorkSport also sponsored a raffle for the event whos proceeds we would like to donate to our good friends at MazdasNW as a token of our thanks for their continued support of CorkSport Performance.

Thanks to all of the CorkSport and MazdasNW fans who attended Saturday’s event. We look forward to next years event being even bigger and better!