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My 1994 USA trip

Introduction / Rod Millen / Rotary Racing and Reliability / Racing Beat / HKS / Mazdatrix / More Information


Back in September 1994 I went for a holiday to the USA. Back in those days the Internet was in it's infancy and the idea of ".com" hadn't taken off yet. Thanks to the good people on the RX7 mailing list of the day I had a list of suitable places to visit.
On my last day in LA I visited Rod Millen Motor sport, Rotary Racing & Reliability, Racing Beat and Mazdatrix. 

Rod Millen Motor sports

Rod Millen is a New Zealander who moved out to the USA in the 80s. He used to be really into rotaries.
His 2nd generation RX7 (20B 4WD) and 1st generation RX7 (Fuel injected13B 4WD) were real eye openers, because at the time they were made they were leading edge technology, and I am yet to see any other rotary powered four wheel drive sports cars.

Front of 20B 4WD FC3S

20B engine


1st Generation 4WD RX7

1st Generation 4WD RX7

912 hp 4WD Celica

Celica Interior

Rod Millen's pike's peak winner (1991 ?) was an 2nd generation RX7.
The engine was a close to stock 20B. From the looks of the engine photo it has a single turbo and a TEC or GM ignition.
The guy who showed the car to me said it made about 500hp. The 4WD gearbox & drive train was a custom item.

Rod Millen also had a 4WD 1st generation. This is powered by a factory race 13B mechanically injected (Bosch motor sport) engine.
If you look closely at the second picture you can see the front drive shafts. Evidently these are from a 626.
This car was used in the SCCA Pro Rally series (a racing series in the USA) and he was competing with AUDI Quattros and other group B cars.
This car was very competitive, but I don't know if he won the championship. I believe he was racing this car between 1981-1984.

Finally, although not a Mazda, he also has a 912 hp 4cyl turbo 4WD Celica. They were building another car when I visited but wouldn't tell me what it was or let me take a photo. (It was only at the stage of being a tube frame with no engine anyway).

Rotary Reliability and Racing

Rotary reliability and racing are a repair shop near Anaheim (Which is in Los Angeles, California, USA - Disneyland is in Anaheim). Their main claim to fame is writing the technical articles for the discontinued "Rotary Rocket" magazine put out by the RX7 club of America in the 80s.

"Killer Bee" engine

Mazda Factory Peripheral
port housing (589x394)

Rotary Pickup Interior

Rotary Pickup front

The "Killer Bee" engines are a package that was put together as a bolt in engine, with various porting options etc.
The only other car of note in the workshop when I visited was a 1st Gen GSL-SE RX7 (The GSL-SE was only sold in the USA, with it's 13B 6 port fuel injected engine). However it was up on a hoist when I visited so I couldn't get any good photos.

Racing Beat

Visiting Racing Beat was somewhat of a pilgrimage. One of the most famous rotary performance companies in the world who did a lot of early development in the 1970s and 80s.

Racing Beat HQ

Bonneville Racer

Bonneville Racer

Bonneville Racer interior

Bonneville Racer 13G 3 rotor
engine-bare (589x394)

Bonneville Racer 13G 3 rotor
engine-complete (480x316)

Racing beat's Bonneville racer has a 3 rotor 13G factory racing engine that is peripheral ported AND turbocharged (3 turbos!!), making around 900 hp.
The car is capable of 200+ MPH. Unfortunately to see the engine the whole body must be removed, which was not possible when I visited. (the picture of the engine with the turbos on it is from another magazine-apart from that all photos are mine)

Racing Beat Dyno controls

Racing Beat Dyno room

Racing beat Peripheral port

Side housing machine


These photos are taken around Racing Beat's workshop. Note the "Side Housing Machine", which is the thing they talk about in their technical manual/catalogue. Supposedly this gives a better finish than the Mazda factory process. The Miata is not rotary powered so is of no particular interest.


I visited HKS on the way from Racing Beat to Mazdatrix, but they are only a warehouse so I took no photos. I got some copies of their catalogues but I had to pay (everywhere else gave me a freebie as they could see I'd gone out of my way to visit them).


The people at Mazdatrix were very friendly and let me walk around the place by myself. While Mazdatrix have a workshop, there wasn't any interesting cars in there when I visited. Unfortunately they had sold their 13B turbo Miata a few months earlier. They did however have a 20B engine behind the counter.

Mazdatrix 20B

More Information

Further reading and acknowledgements:
* Special thanks to Rod Millen Motor sport, Rotary Racing & Reliability, Racing Beat and Mazdatrix for kindly taking the time to show me around their workshops.

Other relevant reading at Craig's Rotary Page (Please go via the INDEX page):
* World's fastest rotary page (Racing Beat Bonneville RX7 900hp triple turbo peripheral port)
* 13G engine page (As used in Racing Beat RX7)
* 20B engine page (As used in Rod Millen RX7 and at Mazdatrix)
* 20B 2nd Generation RX7 page (Conversion of a 2nd Generation RX7 to 3 rotor engine)

Other relevant sites on the Internet (Please go via the LINKS page):
* Rod Millen Motor sport, Rotary Racing & Reliability, Racing Beat and Mazdatrix all have websites.
* Asmic's page has some pictures of the 13G engine

Please note that 22 of 23 pictures on this page were photographed by me. You are welcome to 'borrow' any of these pictures for websites or other publications provided an acknowledgement is made to this site.

This page last updated 24/3/2001
Update History:
16/3/2001 - Changed More Information section, minor page updates and spell check. Converted all text to new standard (Headings as Heading1, Some sub-headings (e.g. tables) as 14 point normal bold italic, Most text as Normal, Internal page links at top not all uppercase). Changed from Netscape to FrontPage, Background image changed to PG00_02B.JPG
23/04/1999 - Previous known update (May have been some before this)

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