How to Start Your Own (Mazda Performance Parts) Business

This was our old location back in 2004.

Greetings from CorkSport!

Thank you for a wonderful 2014. It was our best year ever!

The time of the year when people set resolutions is upon us. Perhaps you’ve been thinking of starting your own business. I’m here to help!

Readers have told us they’d like to know more about the nuts-and-bolts of running CorkSport.

As many of our regular readers may already know, Derrick and I started CS with what basically amounts to pocket change. It’s grown over the past almost 17 years into a business that occupies the better part of a city block and has over a dozen employees. If I had it to do all over again, we could get here in 5 years, maybe less.

Where did the other 12 years go?

Experience. If I knew then what I know now, I might have not even tried. It can be a daunting task!

The aftermarket industry has a pretty low barrier to entry. There will always be more competition; there will always be new competition. As a consumer, this usually means win.

So where do I even begin with this?

Let’s start with the market.

Let’s face it, Mazda is a niche manufacturer. That may be what attracted you to the brand in the first place! Roughly 1 out of every 50 cars sold in the USA is a Mazda. Further, consumers basically modify only performance versions. For Mazda, this means Mx5 Miata, Rx8 (discontinued), Mazdaspeed 6 (discontinued), and Mazdaspeed 3 (discontinued). Of the people that buy those cars, only a fraction will modify them. Let’s call them enthusiasts. There are certainly less than 100,000 of them in the entire USA!

This is not to say that there are not people that modify a 2.0L Mazda3 or a Cx5. They don’t spend as much and there are not as many of them so the market is very small. The Mazda enthusiast market is far larger than the other 90%+ of Mazda owners.

The aftermarket for a single model from another manufacturer can be larger than the entire Mazda aftermarket, take the Ford Mustang as an example.

Why even bother?

This business was started with a passion for (only) Mazda cars, and still burns bright with that same passion today, 17 years later. We’ve chosen the hard road and our passion keeps us on course.

My advice to someone considering the aftermarket that wants to have a substantial business one day: start in a larger market!

Once you do that, success is far from guaranteed. We’ll save that discussion for another day.

Here’s to 2015 being your best year ever!


Richard Harris-01

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



Product Release! CorkSport Mazda RX-8 2004-2008 Single Exit Exhaust

After many months of development and testing, CorkSport is pleased to introduce you to the CorkSport Single Exit Exhaust for the 2004-2008 Mazda RX-8!

CorkSport’s single exit exhaust design includes one 3.4” exhaust tip located on the driver’s side of the Rx8. Weighing only 14.2 lbs., a whopping 25.8 lbs. less than the factory exhaust, the CorkSport single exit exhaust design will provide significant weight savings on your RX-8

The CorkSport Mazda RX-8 single exit exhaust provides a deep, bold tone that is aggressive at idle and provides a powerful impression throughout the throttle range.

Our RX-8 exhaust is built using quality material and construction methods. It is constructed using polished 2.4” mandrel bent stainless steel piping to improve exhaust flow and provide more power and finished with TIG welds for a strong connection and good looks.

As with all our CorkSport parts, the Mazda RX8 Single Exit Exhaust comes with a two year limited warranty, superior installation instructions, and reliable technical assistance should you need it during your install.

To find out more today please visit us online at or give us a call at 360-260-CORK

Featured Car of the Month January 2012 – Jordan’s RX-8

Jordan has always been a fan of rotary engines. His first Mazda was a 1988 RX7 T2 that he bought and then rebuilt and street ported the engine on, so it is no wonder that when the RX8 came out, Jordan was hooked.

His father always owned Corvettes and Porsches and Jordan has owned several sports cars throughout his driving career and, but nothing gives him the satisfaction quite like his RX-8 does.

Standard, the 2004 RX-8 comes with a 1.3-liter 250 HP rotary engine that is like no other. Jordan then added in a Mazdaspeed Modified Intake and a CorkSport Single Resonated Exhaust to give the car some extra boost and decibel levels 20′ outside the car off the back bumper that are 64dB at idle, 95dB at 4000rpm and 103dB at 5000rpm free rev. Inside the car it posts 72dB at 38mph in 4th gear, 94dB at 30% throttle acceleration in 4th gear and 88dB at cruise 60mph in 6th gear.

He also modified the engine with a Flex Innovations Grounding Kit, CorkSport Oil Cap, a Universal Oil Catch Can and Black Halo Racing Ignition System.

The RX-8 features a double-wishbone suspension at all four corners. The upper and lower arms in both the front and rear are considerably longer and allow for consistent grip regardless of changes in roll and camber for top-notch cornering performance so Jordan hasn’t done much yet to the suspension, but now that he has gotten into autocrossing, he will be looking into getting some suspension mods. He plans to swap out his Tein S-Tech Lowering Springs for a set of coilovers and add a CorkSport Front and Rear Strut Bar Set to further improve his lap times.

To enhance the sporty look on the car, Jordan has added a Mazdaspeed front bumper, Mazda Clear Corner Lenses and 35% window tint in the front and 20% in the rear

“The car is beautiful and gets looks from people everywhere I go,” said Jordan, “It is also a huge amount of fun around the autocross track. And did I mention it has a rotary engine?”

When Jordan isn’t working, he is spending time with his longtime girlfriend and fellow Mazda enthusiast, Domii, who you may recall was profiled in our September feature.

They are both looking forward to the autocross season and we look forward getting updates on how this Mazda match made in heaven do on the track this coming year!

You can also check out his progress on his project car at his blog.


Full List of Modifications:
• Flex Innovations Grounding Kit
Corksport Oil Cap
• Universal Oil Catch Can
• Black Halo Racing Ignition System

• Mazdaspeed Modified Intake
Corksport Single Resonated Race Pipe

• Axial Flow Engineering Short Throw Shifter

• Tein S-Tech Lowering Springs

• Axxis ULT Brake Pads
• Agency Power Stainless Steel Brake Lines
• Toyo R1R 265/35/18 Tires
• Enkei RP03 Racing Wheels 18×9 et35

• Mazdaspeed Front Bumper
• Mazda Clear Corner Lenses
• Window Tint 35% Front, 20% Rear

• Voodoo Piano Black Shift Knob
• RedlineGoods Custom Leather Shift Boot

• Escort Passport 9500 Radar Detector
• Pioneer Avic F-700BT Navi
• 10″ Boston Acoustics G10 Subwoofer in Custom Fiberglass Box

Mazda Special Edition RX-8 Spirit R Marks End of Line for Production

Named after the final limited edition Mazda RX-7, Mazda will be commemorating the end of the Rx-8 with a final special edition model, Spirit R, that will go on sale in Japan only on November 24th of this year. The manual version of the Mazda RX-8 Spirit R is based on the RX-8 Type RS and the a six-speed automatic will be modeled after the Type E.

Both of the new models will feature an exclusive SPIRIT R badge, black bezels for exterior lighting, red front and rear brake calipers, and a piano-black transmission tunnel trim. The manual transmission will also include special bucket seats from Recaro and bronze 19” alloy wheels with 225/40R19 tires whereas the automatic will feature black leather seats, steering wheel and parking brake lever that feature red stitching, a sports suspension, larger brakes, and Gun-metal finish 18” alloy wheels with 225/45R18 tires.

“Although RX-8 production is ending, the rotary engine will always represent the spirit of Mazda and Mazda remains committed to its ongoing development.” Said Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s Representative Director, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, in a press release from Mazda, giving glimmer of hope for rotary fans that development for the RX-7’s successor is still on the table at Mazda headquarters.

Mazda expects to sell 1,000 units of the limited edition model before the Mazda RX-8 production ends in June of 2012. Prices start at $40,675 with the six-speed automatic transmission and $42,400 with the six-speed manual.

Mazda’s rotary engine history
1961 Jul Signs a technical contract with NSU and Wankel
1967 May Announces the completion of the rotary engine and introduces the Cosmo Sport 110S
1968 Jul Introduces the Familia Rotary Coupe/Mazda R100
1969 Oct Introduces the Luce Rotary Coupe/Mazda R130 Coupe
1970 May Introduces the Capella Rotary/Mazda RX-2 series
1971 Sep Introduces the Savanna Rotary/Mazda RX-3 is introduced
1972 Nov Introduces the Luce Rotary/Mazda RX-4 series
1973 Jun Cumulative production of rotary engine vehicles reaches 500,000 units
1975 Apr Introduces the Roadpacer
1975 Oct Introduces the Cosmo AP/Mazda RX-5
1977 Jul Introduces the Cosmo L (Landau top)
1977 Oct Introduces the Luce Legato/Mazda 929L
1978 Mar Introduces the Savanna RX-7/Mazda RX-7
1978 Nov Cumulative production of rotary engine cars reaches 1 million units
1981 Nov Introduces the new Cosmo and Luce/Mazda 929 rotary series
1986 Apr Cumulative production of rotary engine vehicles reaches 1.5 million units
1986 Sep Introduces the fully redesigned Luce
1990 Apr Introduces the Eunos Cosmo featuring a three-rotor rotary engine
1991 Jun The Mazda 787B wins the 59th Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race
1991 Dec Introduces the fully redesigned RX-7
2002 Mar Introduces the SPIRIT R final limited edition Mazda RX-7
2003 Apr Introduces the Mazda RX-8