A Kiwi obsession: 382 rotary beasts fill Taupō Motorsport Park
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Summing up Kiwi culture — and I'm not just talking about these four-wheeled car things — is difficult.
We're such a melting pot of different nations that 'national identity' becomes a murky, murky phrase. Take away the All Blacks, that buzzy bee on a string thing, and the rest of the lyrics from the Big Mac song, and you're not left with a heck of a lot to define what it means to be Kiwi.
And it's somewhat the same with our car culture. 'Hectik' JDM drift culture, American and Aussie rear-wheel drive V8s, and classic British motoring are all relatively popular here, but none of them are uniquely 'ours'. They're all just products of geographic circumstance and politics.
There is one thing though that I'd say is ours, and that's the love and devotion for rotary engines.
Now, I'm not explicitly a fan of ye olde 'Spinning Dorito', but I get it. I get the unique nature of them, the way they sound, the mechanics of how they work (apex seeeeaaals), and their tuning potential.
And New Zealand of all places is one of the few nations that still embraces the rotary engine — evidenced best by the massive support Rotary Reunion gets each year. Not just from brands, but also from rotary owners.
A total of 382 of them descended on Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park this year, spread across all sorts of different cars. These ranged from the expected — RX-7s (shout out to the series one with three-spoke wheels), RX-8s, and RX-3s — to the jaw dropping — a beautiful Mazda Cosmo Sport and an ex-Super GT GT300 Bomex RX-7 — to the weird Kiwi stuff like a rotary-swapped Lancers and Corollas.
Vision of this epic event comes courtesy of video extraordinaires Odd., who always do a stellar job documenting New Zealand's car scene in moving pictures.
Anyways, give it a watch, and try to resist the temptation to buy one yourself.