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Old 11-12-2006, 09:10 PM   #21
equ
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That is a really beautiful picture...
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:29 PM   #22
clyde
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Well, Saturday a week ago I bid adieu to my 2004 RX-8 6MT with Sport and Navigation. A few stats on my 155 weeks of ownership:

28,339 miles
1,661 gallons of gas
47 quarts of 5W-20
24 states (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, plus DC)
59 autocrosses
14 drivers
531+ runs
6 hours 50 minutes+ of run time
274+ cones
12 different sets of tires used
108 Pro Solo launches
7 red lights
1 0.499 RT


In itís place is a 2004 Nissan Armada, which just happens to be almost exactly twice as heavy, carries about twice as many people and has more than twice the torque. Itís a little different.

Over the past week, Iíve been sad. I miss the RX-8 quite a bitÖmaybe even more than I expected, and I expected to miss it some. But Iíll tell you what I donít missÖ

I donít miss the energy spent involuntarily stressing over every little noise the car might have been making. I donít miss the anxiety experienced every time I drove the car on the street worried that someone was going to hit the car and leave me high and dry for competition. I donít miss worrying about breaking the car at some far off, distant autocross with no way to get it home. I donít miss wondering about what the next nothing thing was going to be that was going to drive me nuts worrying about it anyway.

I really loved that car, but no that itís gone, I finally feel like I can speak freely about it. I was absolutely paranoid about it. Not like the typical OCD car owner that threatens to kill anyone that gets to close to it, but paranoid about something happening that would preclude its use at an event or affect its suitability for further competition.

In reality, the only four issues the car ever really had were a blown coil (on the carís second autocross run), a CEL due to a busted gas cap (courtesy Maryland State Emissions Inspection), a broken plastic collar on the steering column that made vertical movement of the steering wheel possible when the tilt adjustment was locked, and galled wheel studs from the super low quality OE lug nuts. And there were the spurious low oil level warning lights on the way to/from Peru this year. And the occasionally sticky brake light on the dash after not fully dropping the parking brake on a Pro Solo launch.

There were a bunch of trim issues such as the RX-8 badge on the driverís door sill that wouldnít stay attached, the broken headliner clip that made it look like the headliner was falling down when the rear driver side door was open, the vanishing piece of the parking handle, the worn carpet in the driverís footwell, the condensation in the tail lights, the squeaky driverís seat that took 4 trips to the dealer to finally fix, and an occasionally stuck navigation display in extremely cold weather. Oh, and the wacky A/C that usually didnít blow enough cold air when it wasnít blowing air that was too cold.

That last batch were all minor, and there are TSBs covering most of them, but almost all of them developed after the carís last trip to the dealer in April 2005Öwhen my service advisor made a comment connecting the Konis to ďracingĒ that made me avoid bring the car back. In that time, there were three recalls issued that I never closed out (control arms, heat shielding, and the new engine/emissions one).

When you cut through all the shit Iím talking about, the bottom line is that it was a great car. It took two people, all their gear, a set of tires, jack, and tools away for a weekend Tour or Pro without a problem. It got decent mileage on the road (we averaged about 22-23mpg on the road). It was comfortable and not fatiguing to do that kind of driving. It would have been nice to have more torque in daily driving, but it hardly ever presented a real problem. Daily driving mileage was abysmal, though (more than a handful of tanks under 11mpg and 13.5 being typical). The autocross mods made it a little less civilized for commuting, and that was probably one of my biggest reasons for wanting to sell it.

After almost everything was back to stock, I found myself thinking that I could get used to it again as a daily driver. Then the stock exhaust went back on the day before I sold it, and it felt like a nice general purpose car again. I really wanted to keep it, but if I wanted a tow vehicle there was no way I could keep it. Next year, after we move, weíll have a garage and more vehicle room. Then, Iíll be looking for a cheap salvage title (flood) RX-8 to build into an SM car. Maybe.

It was such a fun car to autocross in Stock legal trim. Of the 14 people that ran my car over three seasons, I think only one of them got out of the car after their first run without an ear to ear shit eating grin and/or giggling like a school girl. It was just so well balanced, responsive, great steeringÖand everything else that you all pretty much know about from my endless blabbering about it over the past three years (or having driven it yourself).

Having the RX-8 for three years was a lot of fun. It met my needs at the time almost as perfectly as any car ever could. When I bought it, the two basic requirements were: 1) Be fun to autocross and 2) fit two child seats in the back. From the test drive I took in the car three years ago, I knew that it would be fun to autocross. The balance, responsiveness and steering were just outstanding (little did I know that after having DA shocks on it for three years how sloppy it would feel after going back to stock). Where I got lucky was with the reclassing of the Honda S2000 after 2004, which led to the RX-8 becoming the dominant B Stock car for the second and third years...which fit in great with my decision to start seriously competing at the national level in 2005. It did fit car seats in the back just fine. What I didn't know was that even with two small children (one of which was on the way when I bought the car), I'd only have to put the seats in it on a handful of occasions.

It was just a lot of fun...and thoroughly enjoyable to drive. She will be missed.
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Last edited by clyde; 11-20-2006 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:37 PM   #23
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In itís place is a 2004 Nissan Armada, which just happens to be almost exactly twice as heavy, carries about twice as many people and has more than twice the torque. Itís a little different.
And 7 times as many cup holders.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:55 PM   #24
John V
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I can't really add anything to what you said, after all I did not own the car. But just to restate some of what you said... I'm amazed at how well the car held up for all the use it saw. All those hard Solo and ProSolo launches and several rushed shifts by yours truly and not one transmission or rear end problem. Not one problem that we couldn't fix with one (or two, or three) trips to auto parts stores.

And even with the hard riding, bucket-of-bolts shocks, loaded to the brim with two people and all the gear needed for a nat'l autocross, the thing was still plenty comfy for two people in a long-ass, cross-country haul. There aren't too many top-tier autocross cars which can accomplish that. I'm going to miss the car big time.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:42 PM   #25
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And 7 times as many cup holders.
3.5x

The RX-8 has two cup warmers up front and two in the back.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:44 PM   #26
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I can't really add anything to what you said, after all I did not own the car. But just to restate some of what you said... I'm amazed at how well the car held up for all the use it saw. All those hard Solo and ProSolo launches and several rushed shifts by yours truly and not one transmission or rear end problem. Not one problem that we couldn't fix with one (or two, or three) trips to auto parts stores.
Huh. I guess I didn't mention the whine from the dif after putting the stock exhaust back on.
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