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Zooming Around with the RX Club of Wisconsin

I’ve been behind the wheel of all sorts of vehicles in my lifetime, including an array of sports cars. Mazda’s RX-8 still provides one of the best driving experiences I have ever had, thanks in part to it’s  precise 50/50 weight distribution, quick and snappy six-speed manual, razor-sharp handling and exciting 232 horsepower rotary engine. It’s perfect.  If you haven’t driven one, put that on your list. Having grown up with RX-7s and now an RX-8 in my father’s garage, there’s no way I’d turn down an invitation to join a friend on the ‘s Fall Cruise.

Early this past Saturday morning, I rode in a modified lightning yellow RX-8 out to Waukesha, WI to meet up with more than twenty other RX-8s, an RX-7 and a few Mazdaspeed 3s. I admire the fact that a strong community can develop around a particular model of a car, where people know each other and are brought together by the same passion, in this case Mazdas and the rotary engine. The majority of the cars on the cruise were first generation RX-8s, made from late 2003 to 2008. Performance mods and appearance mods helped make the already-stunning looking RX-8, even better.

The oldest car in the pack drove up from Illinois and was a neat, 1984 RX-7 capable of making close to 400 horsepower on full boost! That might have been the most intimidating rotary engined car I’ve ever heard. A sole second generation RX-8, shortlived from  2009-2001, was in attendance as well. This one was painted “Liquid Silver Metallic” with a gorgeous tan leather interior. Such a shame Mazda stopped selling this car in the states, and they’re only teasing us by still allowing potential buyers to . 

Tanks filled, we all hit the road to drive through some of southeastern Wisconsin’s best rural driving roads. West coast gear heads have the legendary Mullholland Drive; we have the Holy Hill area which encompasses miles of up-and-down, twisty driving through thick forests and endless cornfields. Blind corners, loose gravel and quick drop-turns will no doubt test your driving skills.

 

Hours of driving that took us through county after county and into parts of the Southern Kettle Moraine Forest, which spans nearly the length of Wisconsin. The whizzing hum of the Renesis rotary engine spinning up near that astronomical redline of 9,500. The falling leaves getting kicked up underneath each Mazda that hurriedly cruised down  a two-lane country road, created  pure, fall driving bliss. It was epic. And now I need to go buy myself a RX__ (insert 2,3,4,5,7 or 8 here).

Want to see more photos from the RX Club of Wisconsin’s Fall Cruise? . 
Images copyright 2013 Redusernab/Robby DeGraff

  • Hammond: "The best car?"
    Clarkson: "No."
    Hammond: "Well, you did just say, 'the best car you've driven this year.'"
    Clarkson: "Yeah, I was lying."
    Top Gear review of the RX-8

    • RX-8 driver

      This "review" of the RX-8 is taken completely out of context. If you watch the RX-8 feature on that episode of Top Gear UK, you will see that Jeremy Clarkson truly loved the car. The above quote is NOT Top Gear UK's actual review of the vehicle. Thanks for the awesome comment though, Tanshanomi! 😀

  • GTXcellent

    Wisconsin does have some very fun and picturesque drives if you get away from the Interstates. Great River Road on the 'Sconie side of the Mississippi, Flambeau River area, even tourist laden Door County. The best part is that no matter where you're at, there is always, always, a tavern in the middle of the woods – even miles away from any identifiable civilization (and always be sure there's a designated driver).

    • MVEilenstein

      That's generally true of every state. Get off the interstate, get on the highway.

  • hwyengr

    Hats off to the RX-7 guy. Taking a car, and a modified car at that, into Wisconsin with Illinois plates seriously puts your wallet and driving record at risk.

    I still miss my Series 2 8. If an RX-8 was going to hold it's value, it would have been those since there were only about 5k sold over those 3 years. Just had to wait for all the 04/05's and their sub-10k prices to get purged from the system.

  • Number_Six

    As an RX-8 owner, that first picture makes me…want to run out and buy a case of 5W20…

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