Me & My Car: a 20b Mazda RX-3 rotary love affair
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We catch up with Azhar Bhamji; the man behind 4&Rotary, Prowear, and a proud Mazda rotary fan
You have a Mazda RX-3 as your weekend drive?
It is for weekends and special occasions. I bought it from a private seller in Hamilton around 10 years ago. Its engine is a full custom 20b peripheral port.
Why an RX-3?
RX-3s have always been a part of my upbringing. I love the way it handles — its stance — its custom colour.
How does it suit your personality?
I have always had cars that showcased originality and extensive styling. My personality always is to aim at the top or the best and come as close to it as possible.
Have you taken it on the track?
At its first outing the car ran a 10.9 quarter mile at 222km/h at a drag strip. This was taking it easy. I have been to Hampton Downs and it handles and drives great. Top speed so far for me at a track is around 221km/h.
What else is in your garage?
I started from humble beginnings with a Lexus LS400, then an LS460, an ISF and now a silver Lexus GSF. It’s a V8 with custom suspension. It’s an amazing machine.
What’s your daily driver?
My daily commuting vehicle is a Toyota RAV4. I bought it from a mate to use at one of my events called Mudfest. It’s a 4WD and I needed it for a muddy paddock. I thought this $1000 car would be great for the event and then I would just dispose it to the wrecker. However, two years later it’s a workhorse. I cleaned it up and it’s my daily as I’m always picking up parts, clothing, and event managing. It’s an easy car with no hassles.
What’s the fastest you’ve driven on track?
The fastest I have driven was in my 1969 Mazda R100 at Meremere dragway. It’s a full street car but has drag racing specs. It does a 9.001 quarter mile at 278km/h. Yes, I love drag racing.
Any racing driver you most admire?
Mad Mike Whiddett is a great friend of mine and I am so proud of all his accomplishments.
Favourite road trip in the RX-3?
No road trip has been made in the Mazda just yet but my daughter Lil Miss P (Porschza ) and my boy Aydin do love the ride-alongs. My wife Alex prefers a quiet car. I think she’s showing her age.
Your first car?
A Morris Minor with a 13b turbo transplant. It was a hand-me-down in the family and I decided to modify it.
How many cars have you owned?
In excess of 100. However, I would say that a top 10 list includes the Nissan 200SX; Lexus GSF; Mazda R100; Toyota Supra; Nissan GTI-R; Morris Minor 13bT; Lexus ISF; and my Mazda RX-3 drag car.
Any car you have regretted selling?
A Nissan 200SX. It was my pride and joy.
Next car you intend buying?
I’m waiting for a new Lexus four-door to upgrade to but nothing has come out that tops the GSF.
Who kicked off your interest in cars?
My uncle and my peers who I have been friends with for 25 years.
How you describe your driving style?
I’m a confident all-round driver.
Do you have a dream car?
I’m aiming for a Lamborghini Aventador, probably when my kids get a little older.
Favourite movie car scene?
Bad Boys because of Mike Lowrey (Will Smith).
And your thoughts on electric and driverless vehicles?
I have fuel in my system, not electric just yet.