In 1979, I introduced a replica of Highway & Observe right into a Mazda vendor and requested in the event that they have been anticipating any of the brand new RX-7s; up till that time, I had solely seen the automotive in magazines. I left that day with a contract to purchase one of many first 13 that shipped to Minneapolis (at MSRP – no vendor markup!). I used to be instructed I may select between silver or purple, both with air con or a sunroof, however not each.
I took supply of a Sunbeam Silver ’79, and it was the best day of my life to that time.
I met a woman within the spring of 1980, and picked her up for our first date. She seemed on the automotive and stated, “Wow. I’ve by no means seen an RX-7 earlier than,” This was at a time when folks at gasoline pumps have been asking me if it was a Ferrari. I used to be in love for the second time in six months.
Jody and I drove the wheels off that automotive and camped out each summer season weekend spent skydiving with the mates of our youth. Two seats and a hatchback have been all we wanted. Later, as a birthday current, she purchased me flying classes.
Ultimately, the Minnesota winters took their toll, and the automotive rusted out from beneath me. I needed to let that Mazda go, however I saved the lady.
4 youngsters and 39 years later, we’re nonetheless collectively, and that flying lesson led to a profession as a 737 a captain for American Airways. Two seaters gave technique to minivans, however I by no means stopped daydreaming about my past love with four wheels, and final fall, lightning struck once more.
I at all times seen when a first-generation RX-7 hit the market, however nothing got here near my ’79 till I noticed a pristine instance on the web. Jody instantly bought on board and egged me on as we bid for and gained the automotive. The one distinction between my first and second RX-7 is the fan swap for the a/c and 40 years.
The outdated picture (high of story) was taken at Brainerd Worldwide Raceway on the Pepsi Problem in 1980. We camped at Flip 5 and cheered Paul Newman as he raced a Datsun for Bob Sharp. This was the one time I ever wished a Datsun driver effectively. The 280Z was my nemesis, and I by no means missed an opportunity to point out off the RX-7’s 7000 rpm redline.
The opposite two are of Jody and I on the day the automotive arrived fromPhoenix, the place it was lovingly cared for by a brand new good friend, the vendor and RX-7 guru Tim Eull.
I’ve a Triumph TR6 that I drive about 10okay miles a yr within the Wisconsin summertime, however the RX-7 will solely be pushed on particular events, such because the anniversary of that first date.
— John Wittnebel, Beloit WS
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