SOUTH­ERN ROTARIES

New Zealand Classic Car - - PRICE ON - Words and pho­tos: Quin­ton Tay­lor

Hid­den in among the ram­bling for­mer Roslyn Woollen Mills in Dunedin’s Kaiko­rai Val­ley In­dus­trial Park is a com­pany ded­i­cated to the restora­tion and ser­vic­ing of Maz­das.

Corey Wil­son and part­ner Lizzie, along with a small team of Mazda en­thu­si­asts, run Retro Automotive, spe­cial­iz­ing in any­thing to do with Mazda’s range of ro­tary­pow­ered cars.

We re­cently called in to look at some­thing spe­cial that Corey has ac­quired for a fu­ture New Zea­land Clas­sic Car fea­ture and dis­cov­ered a work­shop con­tain­ing an im­pres­sive ar­ray of Maz­das at var­i­ous stages of restora­tion.

“We cater for all mod­els and stock a good range of parts, which I source from ev­ery­where. I buy and sup­ply a lot of parts from overseas, too, and we have pretty good stocks in here now,” Corey said.

En­gine parts are get­ting harder to ac­quire for the ear­lier 10-se­ries rotaries, but new parts are avail­able for the later 13-se­ries.

Re­con­di­tion­ing ro­tary en­gines is a spe­cial­ity, and Corey showed us how the del­i­cate ro­tor seals are ap­plied us­ing a spe­cial pneu­matic de­vice. Along­side him was a beau­ti­fully pre­pared turbo-ro­tary mo­tor ready for a cus­tomer. Ro­tary race en­gines are also sup­plied, and, de­pend­ing on what is required, the cost is rel­a­tively cheap for some im­pres­sive horse­power.

An on-site spray booth means that a high stan­dard of restora­tion is pos­si­ble from start to fin­ish.

“I just love Mazda Rotaries and keeping them go­ing. Amaz­ing en­gines,” Corey said.

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