So over the last year I haven't really been doing much with the old Series 3, apart from driving it to the occasional car show (when the brakes have unstuck enough to allow a few hours of use):
And I managed to track down some new front inner guards ex Japan:
But I received a bit of a "second wind" from my recent trip to the States, where I found a Craigslist post advertising a salvage yard about thirty miles out of Portland with two Series 3 Rx-7s currently being wrecked. So I set out in a borrowed vehicle from where I was staying in search of this fabled place.
After a couple of wrong turns, I finally made it.
They weren't kidding about the two Rx-7s! The first one was a genuine GSL-SE with engine and transmission still intact, but with a suspected pair of blown rotors.
Rusting away with all the other wrecks.
The 13B RE-EGI engine that Mazda decided to release in the USA instead of the 12A turbo.
It still had most of its interior, but sadly I couldn't use any of the super lush maroon leather, which is a shame as the lower B-pillar panels that I desperately need for mine were still in mint condition. Will have to keep looking.
Someone else had been here before me, smashed the lens off the cluster, then left it to rot in one of the rear storage bins. Yes, that speedo is in miles, and yes, it reads 225,521
However I did unearth this little knick knack beneath a pile of discarded trash in the boot. Being an EGI model, I'm not sure where it came from... quite possibly the other wreck (which had a 12A carby engine). It's now cleaned up and hanging on the wall in the spare room.
Second Rx-7 was a GSL with grey interior, unfortunately most of it had already been sold and carted away. Grey is the least common interior colour in the USA and as a result it's very highly sought after. Bugger
This one had a wasp's nest in the cabin with a shitload of the little bastards swarming about, and I was a bit reluctant to spend any great amount of time in its vicinity. Here is the only photo I grabbed of it.
One thing has to be said about Americans - they are always extraordinarily polite and willing to help. One of the staff members wandered out with some tools and we happily rummaged through the cars while chatting about life in New Zealand - he'd never been there, but had heard some good stories about the place. In return he shared some stories about growing up in Idaho with three older brothers and driving to school in big block Camaros and Torinos and the like.
Given the state of both cars I thought I'd be walking away empty handed, but amazingly, I didn't in the end...
Along with the aforementioned air cleaner cover I managed to score the badging off the GSL-SE, a spare rear hatch "Rx-7" emblem, and the only grey bits left on the wasp-infested GSL - namely the horn pad and the front lower kick panels with mint speaker grilles.
The cost all up? US$30. The proprietor even felt bad for "overcharging" me, and said I could grab anything else I wanted from the two Rx-7s for that price, but due to luggage constraints and the fact I couldn't actually find any other useful parts to hoard I had to decline.
God bless America and its lack of so-called "rotary tax"!