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RX3 Sedan Restoration Project Site. Detailing the entire history of a classic vinatge rotary and its meticulouos restoration from it's former glory days to a 'better that original' state.
NOTE: This 1973 classic RX3 sedan had undergone extensive restoration work by Terry (proud owner 1988-2013) and was sold to an avid collector-restoration enthusiast 2013.

  • This car was featured in the 2009 New Zealand Rotary Nationals Show as a W.I.P project.

  • I'm sure you'll be impressed with recent photos of the restoration process.
    Check out the Photo-Gallery page Gallery

  • A complete history of this project is presented here for your own eyes to see the car as it is put through all stages of the automotive restoration procedure - Yes, WARTS & ALL!
    Afterall, nothing worse than not seeing or knowing what's actually underneath that nice looking spray job? Not here.. you'll see the whole thing from start to finish!

  • Feel free to 'Blog'  & check out the 'Rare Parts' store too.


  • 1973 Original Mazda NZ Assembled 10A Sedan. Shortly thereafter fitted with a 12A rotary engine.
    Body colour; White.

  • Some time prior to Terrys purchase between 1973-1988, the car was painted black.

  • When Terry purchased it in 1988, the 12A engined was reconditioned.

  • Additionally the vynl seats were re-upholstered with cloth inserts only in the squab centers - retaining original stiching pattern.

  • The car was only driven a further 3500 Ks therefater before eventaul storage/retirement 3 yrs later. 

  • Car repainted by Terry in custom metallic blue - December 1990, but retired thereafter for 18-years, without re-registration (rego lapsed).


  • December 2007; - the car was inspected by an engineering certifier who deemed it to be in excellent structural condition, but required the following minor structural rework;
    - Upper firewall cowl plate rust removal.
    - 2 x "A pillar" rust repairs.
    - Right hand lower metal sill replacement.

  • July 2007: - Terry replaced all inner/outer front wheel bearings with new Saico OEM aftermarket types. Additionally the following was done:
    - Brake cylinder (original) fully reconditioned.
    - Clutch master / slave cylinders fully reconditioned.
    - Spare seal kit purchased (future proof spares).

  • March 2008; car booked into 'Glen Eden Panelbeaters' for repairs under engineering recertification guidance.

  • April 2008; car stripped bare & subjected to an 'acid bath strip' procedure, to dissolve all rust, afterwith the car body was etch sealed using Tergo-Epiphos metal etch primer.

  • June 2008; Disk & drum brakes were reconditioned & the following items were subjected to 'Gold Pacifate' electroplating, by 'Terei Brothers LTD':
    - All disk & drum brakes.
    - All rear suspension leaf springs (special no-brittling process used)

  • Repairs up to November 2008; car subjected to all engineering cert' work, plus the following extra repairs by 'Glen Eden Panelbeaters':
    - Right rear quarter panel metal section replaced.
    - All doors re-skinned lowers.
    - Boot floor chassis support repair.
    - Dents pulled from roof lower regions of the car.
    - 2-pac metal etch primer applied to all sections requiring metal work.

  • Custom Teflon spacers made & fitted to leaf suspension springs.

Dec' 2008 - 2009:

  • Internal cage + engine bay + boot sections, completely stripped back to bare metal and 'Bondo' rust prevention applied to all double skin spot-joint seams, then sprayed with 'Lechler' 2-pac epoxy primer.

  • Right-front guard lower region re-skinned & inner preserved in POR-15.

  • Upgraded the 10A nosecone with another genuine nosecone that had a 12A lower valance (not found on Australasian models) - which did appear in the early Japan Savaana models only (10A upper with 12A lower skirt). Paint stripped & 2-pac primer etch applied to outer & POR-15 Black-coat gloss applied to inners.

  • Inner front wheel walls & inner nosecone & inner front guards; ground back to bare metal and applied 'POR-15, BlackCote' permanent rust prevention paint & made sure that the paint ran into all double-skin seams & crevices.

  • Front suspension struts re-cored with Munroe Gas shock absorber inserts.

  • All front end rubber bushes, replaced with new nolathane types.

  • Front sterring & suspension rack reconditioned with new ball joints & subjected to 'Gold Pacifate' electroplating, by 'Terei Brothers LTD'.

  • Minor body filler applied to nominated outer panels in preparation for the painting process to follow.

  • Jan 2009; Car entered into the 2009 NZ Rotary Nationals show as a rolling shell.

  • Feb-June 2009; Front & Rear bumpers fully rechromed to show-car standard (ouch, very expensive).

  • Dash Vinyl repairs under way.

Apr' 2009 - 2010:

  • Purchased brand new deep-dish chrome mags.

  • Purchased 2nd hand - original Savanna Steering wheel.

  • Reminting plastic work around the center-dash-console.

  • Panel skim finishing around outer panels, Still in progress...


  • Not much work due to ill health (managed to skim-coat some pannels glide coat work)


  • Planning to recommence final skim coat and glide coat prep work,  completed all panels excluding left-rear & left front gaurds (minor light skim required).


  • Much to Terry's regret due to personal circumstances the 1973 RX3 sedan was put up for sale (see notice below).


  1. 1973 RX3 SEDAN (Refer to: (Listing: 598346290)

Comment: Although I was sad to see this car go, I am very pleased & take heart in the fact that it has gone to very 'well deserving' home, to a new owner who clearly appreciates early rotary art and history. I can reassure you all that this RX3 will undergo it's well deserved restoration to a state that I envisioned as: "better than it's former glory".

I will continue to operate this site & sell old-school rotary parts & will keep you all posted on frurther progress of this car. I suggested to the new owner that I would be keen to keep the audience posted about its future progress & he is happy about that as it would certainly provide a fully documented history behind the legacy of this vintage rotary - an added bonus accolade/compliment to any awards it may receive when completed! (of which I am confident)

Entered 2009; 4s & Rotary Nationals Show (below). Caught attention of up to 30,000 spectators.


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