Club hangs with the lads from Rotor Pulse at the 2016 4 & Rotary South Island Champs

Part of the reason we love the car scene in God’s own is the strong sense of connection here between groups of like-minded owners. This has prompted the creation of hundreds of car clubs, and while many of those have come and gone over the years, a few better-known examples have stuck around. There is something for everyone out there, including one of the new kids on the block, a South Island—based group known as ‘Rotor Pulse’. If it wasn’t glaringly obvious from the name, these guys share a love of rotary-engine (RE)-powered vehicles, and the group’s name is a nod to the iconic ‘pulsating’ these engines produce. 

The club had its beginnings in another rotary-specific group that began to fizzle out due to inactivity. Not content with that, Marc Ritchie — the now president of Rotor Pulse — and several other members split off to form their own, new incarnation. The sole membership criteria is simple: if your car is powered by a rotary, whether from Mazda or otherwise, then you’re good to go — as, although, the guys like to meet potential members to ensure they gel with the rest of the club first, their doors are always open to those interested. 

Marc told us, “We are a tight-knit bunch and work hard to keep things happy. We don’t do conflict or negativity, that’s not what we’re here for, and we makes sure that everyone is able to enjoy their cars together and grow the rotary scene even more down here.”

Members’ cars range from a peripheral-ported 20B ’75 Capella — which had everyone reaching for their ears from the other side of the car park — to the classic RX-3 on Modgies and Eagers, and an RX-7 wearing 18x10.5- and 18x13-inchers, with everything in between. 

While most crowds focus on particular styles, this club leaves it up to the owner, in the purest form, and it shows from the variety of period-correct builds found within the group. In little over a year, Rotor Pulse has expanded out to 100 members across the South Island, and it put its top cars on display at the recent V 4&Rotary South Island Champs in Timaru. Its members took home a gaggle of awards, including Best RX-2/616, Best Late Model RX, and an overall award for Best New Club on the Block.

With plans to hit all the major events and continue to bring new members on board, there’s no doubt that Rotor Pulse will be around for some time to come, and we expect to see more rad cars coming out of their works.


Steven Broad
1975 Mazda Capella
Engine: 20B, peripheral-ported housings, custom manifold, INjection Perfection throttle bodies
Wheels: (F) 16x8-inch Varrstoen ES7, (R) 16x9-inch Varrstoen ES7
Suspension: Adjustable coilovers
Interior: Reupholstered, buckets seats, Speedhut gauges
Extras: S2 rear-end conversion

Aaron Finlay
1975 Mazda RX-2
Engine: 12A, bridgeported plates, 48mm IDA, carbon apex seals, Mallory ignition, MSD Blaster coils, stainless exhaust
Wheels: (F) 17x7-inch Simmons FR, (R) 17x9-inch Simmons FR
Suspension: Adjustable coilovers
Interior: Reupholstered RX-2 seats, carbon fibre–wrapped dash, SAAS steering wheel, JRS oil pressure gauge
Extras: Shortened RX-2 diff housing, S3 LSD and axles

Trev Meikle
1974 Mazda RX-3 coupe
Engine: 13B, bridgeported plates, new RX-4 rotors and housings, 48mm IDA
Wheels/tyres: 13-inch Mangel Modgie, 215/50-13 Bridgestone Eager
Suspension: (F) RX-7 S1 struts with KYB inserts, super low springs, adjustable top-hats; (R) KYB shocks
Exterior: Resprayed in Citroën brilliant rouge, sunroof
Extras: 4.5kg flywheel, heavy-duty clutch, Holley Blue fuel pump, surge tank, Fenix Performance radiator, RX-4 diff housing, RX-7 S2 LSD, relocated battery

James Sherer
1983 Toyota Corolla (DX)
Engine: 12A, bridgeported plates, four-barrel, tuned at RE Sinclair
Wheels: 14x7-inch SSR MkI
Suspension: Gas shocks, Dobi super low springs
Interior: Factory
Extras: #single

Ash McConchie
1974 Mazda RX-4
Engine: 12A, bridgeported plates, 48mm Weber IDF
Wheels/tyres: 13-inch SS Cragar, 235/50R13 Bridgestone Eager
Suspension: Lowered with adjustable air shocks
Interior: Reupholstered in white vinyl, black carpet
Exterior: Resprayed custom orange, weld-on flares

James Donaldson
1975 Mazda RX-3 (Savanna)
Engine: 12A, bridgeported plates, 48mm IDA
Wheels: 13x7-inch Cheviot Hotwire
Suspension: (F) KYB inserts, low springs, (R) factory shocks, reset leaf springs
Interior: Reupholstered factory
Exterior: Factory Savanna

John McMillan
1987 Mazda RX-7 (FC)
Engine: Al Marsh Rotorsport  built 13B, bridgeported plates, Super T70 turbo, TiAL wastegate, front-mount intercooler, upgraded injectors
Wheels: (F) 18x8-inch Advanti, (R) 18x9-inch Advanti
Suspension: D2 coilovers
Interior: Reupholstered; water-temp, oil-pressure, and boost-pressure gauges; deep-dish steering wheel
Exterior: Resprayed gloss black

Brett Allen
1992 Mazda RX-7 (FD)
Engine: 13B-REW, twin-turbo, three-inch stainless exhaust, Adrenalin R muffler
Wheels/tyres: (F) 18x9-inch (+15) Advanti Tenjin, 225/40R18 Zeetex; (R) 18x10-inch (+15) Advanti Tenjin, 235/40R18 Falken
Suspension: Tein Street Flex coilovers
Interior: RE Amemiya carbon-fibre door sills, RE Amemiya gear knob, Custom carbon-fibre dash surrounds, Nardi Deep Corn steering wheel, retrimmed gear boot, retrimmed handbrake lever and boot
Exterior: Resprayed in Silverstone metallic silver, custom flared guards, spoiler and rear wiper delete, S8 front lip spoiler, custom Mazda decals, Craft Square carbon wing mirrors

Henry Douglas
1994 Mazda RX-7 (Type R)
Engine: 13B-REW
Wheels/tyres: 18x9.5-inch (+20p) Work Emotion CR Kiwami; (F) 235/4-R18 Falken Azenis, (R) 245/40R18 Falken Azenis
Suspension: BC Gold coilovers
Interior: Nardi steering wheel; Bride reclinable seats; GReddy boost, oil-temp, and water-temp gauges
Exterior: S8 front bumper and wing, Luxury Sports side skirts, Origin Labo carbon-fibre roof lip and bonnet

Jordan Smith
1992 Mazda RX-7 (FD)
Engine: 13B-REW, twin-turbo, front-mount intercooler, HKS boost controller, Knight Sport Rom ECU
Wheels: (F) 18x9.5-inch Rota D2-EX; (R) 18x10-inch Rota D2-EX
Suspension: A’PEXi N1 coilovers
Interior: Recaro fixed backs, Snow Army camo–wrapped roof and front pillars, custom boot-mounted sound system
Exterior: S8 front bumper and lip; ’99-spec side skirts; custom rear diffuser, headlights, tail lights, and vented bonnet; carbon-fibre boot lip

Daniel Sheat
1996 Mazda RX-7 (FD)
Engine: 13B-REW, non-sequential twin-turbo, TiAL 50mm blow-off valve, Gilmer belt-drive, A’PEXi Power FC, front-mount intercooler, Fenix Performance radiator, Sard fuel-pressure regulator, GReddy elbow, Turbosmart electronic boost controller, three-inch exhaust, HKS tip, twin oil coolers, custom rotor radiator and oil cap, A’PEXi pod filters, GReddy/HKS dump pipe
Wheels/tyres: (F) 18x10.5-inch Work VS-SS, 235/40R18 GT Radial; (R) 18x13-inch Work VS-SS, 285/35R18 Hankook
Suspension: Feed coilovers, Hardrace rear toe arms, Hardrace front knuckles, Ultra Racing rear strut brace
Interior: Grip Royal steering wheel, Momo gear knob
Exterior: Bomex front bumper, carbon-fibre bonnet and door handles, R-Magic headlights, modified Origin Labo front and rear guards, modified Mazdaspeed side skirts, Origin Labo roof spoiler, S8 park lights
Extra: $100-note-wrapped engine bay

Renan Singh
1995 Mazda RX-7 (Bathurst Type RB)
Engine: 13B-REW
Wheels: (F) 17x8-inch (+30p) Volk Racing Daytona Speed, (R) 17x9-inch (+30p) Volk Racing Daytona Speed
Suspension: Mazdaspeed shocks and lowering springs
Interior: Veilside steering wheel and shift knob, factory red carpet
Exterior: Mazdaspeed wing

Bryden Grant
2004 Mazda RX-8
Engine: 13B-MSP, 2.5-inch straight-pipe exhaust, AEM cold air intake, aftermarket oil coolers, 750cc injectors
Wheels: (F) 18x10-inch (+15p) Rota GTR-D, (R) 18x10.5-inch (+12p) Rota GTR-D
Suspension: Custom Bilstein coilovers, Hardrace rear camber arms
Exterior: Veilside bonnet and side skirts, Mazdaspeed front and rear lip,  GT wing

Marc Ritchie
1996 Mazda RX-7 (FD) 
Engine: Rotortech built 13B-REW, non-sequential twin-turbo, Atkins Rotary 2mm seals, front-mount intercooler, alloy radiator, twin 305mm fans, 850cc injectors, Feed downpipe, three-inch midpipe and muffler, Tomei fuel-pressure regulator, Deatschwerks DW300 fuel pump, billet alloy anodized pulleys, TiAL 50mm blow-off valve, A’PEXi Power FC, A’PEXi AVC-R boost controller, Exedy heavy-duty clutch
Wheels/tyres: 18x10-inch (+15p) Rota D2-EX, 235/40R18 Nitto Invo
Suspension: BC Gold coilovers, Superpro diff mounts, Mazdaspeed front and rear strut braces
Interior: Racepro bucket seats; Auto Gauge water-temp, boost-pressure, and oil-pressure gauges; deep-dish steering wheel; Sony head unit; Soundstream six-inch front speakers, 6x9 rear speakers, and Picasso 12-inch subwoofer; twin-Soundstream amplifiers
Exterior: Resprayed in custom grey pearl, modified C-West bodykit, Seibon carbon-fibre bonnet, S8 park lights, shaved mirrors and badges 


This article originally appeared in NZ Performance Car issue No. 243 — to get your grubby mitts on a print copy, click the cover below

Jaden Martin

Growing up inhaling paint fumes and bog dust at his old man's panel shop, Jaden is a qualified word bender that has obtained a 'brofessional' diploma in car building from years of trial and error. He's currently trying to finish his creation of Australian-based debauchery crammed with Japanese- and Euro-inspired goodness. You'll find him writing for NZ Performance Car and producing content online.

Instagram — @jaden_nzpcmagazine