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I am a 34 year old data analyst with a fair amount of background in career fields unrelated to cars. But cars became a passion of mine, and really started with the RX-8. I had previously been a big "Toyota fan", although I really didn't know enough to know what I was doing or what a fun car even was. Then they screwed me over badly in an internal squabble and permanently lost me as a customer. My next car was a Mazda Protege5, and while it was an automatic, I was starting to get a glimmer of an idea of what a well handling car was like to drive. Pure fun. I began thinking my way through this whole car thing logically, and realized that the way I naturally drive is well suited to lightweight high revving engines, and the rotary immediately started moving to the front of my mind.
As with pretty much everything I do in life, I overthink things and research the hell out of them. I spent 2 years watching the RX8Club.com forums and gathering information about it before finances became viable and my wife gave me qualified approval to begin looking for one to get. She had set me restrictions on what criteria it must meet, and it was pretty narrow. I think she was trying to set the bar too high for me to obtain. But I did. 4 months of watching online listings all over the US, I saw one in October of 2007 that caught me immediately, and met all the criteria. It was Whitewater Pearl, manual transmission, GT trim, and 8,600 miles on the odometer. It was a 2005, but was first sold in September of 2006, so it only had 13 months of time, and 8,600 miles on the warranty, despite being a "2 year old car". It was also priced very very low for what it was. I overnighted a check to the dealer from my bank and 2 weeks later I flew out to Ohio to get it (I lived in Rhode Island at the time), and spent 2 days driving it back (I wandered around several states on my way).
Thus began my ownership. I didn't really have the cash flow to mod it, and I definitely didn't have the cash flow to pay someone else to maintain it. So I got some basic tools and started learning how to take care of it myself. I spent a lot of time on the RX8Club.com forums, specifically in the handy feature they have: Live!. This feature shows posts as they are posted in a constant scrolling feed. It was largely data absorbtion, and I started seeing even more patterns and trends than I had seen in my time before purchasing my 8. Over the years that followed, I pieced more and more of this information together trying to provide assistance to new members with the same repeating questions. I eventually got to the point that all I was doing was repeating myself over and over and over and over again, and I started keeping track of the quality posts I wrote. In September of 2010, I put those posts together in the first version of the New and Potential Owners thread. It was an immediate hit. It rapidly became the most linked thread on the forum, showing up in every new member thread, in many member's signatures, and I didn't really know it at the time, it was being linked outside the forum as well.
Eventually, the assistance I provided to new members and my efforts to keep the thread updated and expanded was rewarded with a step up to a forum moderator, although it is mostly just responsibility, and not much in return. That is when I found out how much it was linked outside the forum, averaging at least once every other day, if not more. Most forum threads that get linked from outside the forum get linked less than 5 times, my thread had hundreds of linkbacks recorded. I also started getting a lot of suggestions and promptings from members of the forum to turn my thread content into an ebook to publish and make some money on. This felt wrong to me, since it wasn't "my" knowledge or "my" information. I simply put the community knowledge together in a way people could easily read.
Eventually though, I realized that the volume of new owners that needed to know this basic information was greater than my simple linear thread could handle, and there was a lot more information that I would like to add, but doesn't belong in a single thread like that. Thus, this site was born. It distills the information of the forum for new and existing owners into a more dynamic structure that isn't cluttered with forum confusion, difficulties, memberships, or drama. This information isn't mine, only the authoring of it into a user friendly structure. I hope that it is useful and enlightening to you. Feel free to leave me feedback, or even challenge the information here, as I enjoy a good debate.
Enjoy your time reading through the content of this site.