A Life In Cars

The life story of Dickie Sutherland

As it sat in Strathalbyn during inspection


Bruce the RX8

The time had come for a second car and it was going to be another rotary or nothing.

I’m not really sure where the affinity with the Mazda rotary comes from, but it started around the time I was 13 or 14. A mix between the influence of a high-school mate who’s older brother was into rotors and the lustre of the Fast Fours & Rotaries magazines that came with him.

It was also a time when Brett and I started becoming interested in cars and Dad would take us to the occasional meet up or Small Car Sunday.

I can still remember the lumpy idle of a ported RX driving by and asking Dad “what is that…!”

Time for another rotary

Fast forward to Hobart, 2023 – 40 years of age and the demands of life were starting to call for a second car. Endless searching and fine tuning of the Car Sales filters really just led me back to one car.

Low cost, RWD, manual, rotary – the RX8.

I had literally been looking at them the whole time whilst living in Norway and this, now in Hobart would be my chance to buy one; under the main proviso that a child seat would fit in the back for Tommy. The RX8 being a 4 door, 2+2 style coupe.

Another Bruce

The funds we’re all but organised and I picked out a clean, 1-owner car in Victor Harbour, South Australia. It was the deceased estate of a lady who’d bought the car new for her 60th birthday… She must’ve been one cool lady – surname Bruce.

I’d planned to get Dad to test drive it or lean on Collectible Classics in Strathalbyn to do the deal. In the end, I was able to buy the car quite easily, with help from the son, who moved it back and forward to Strath for an quick inspection and test drive.

A couple of days later Mum and Dad picked it up from Strathalbyn, and Dad got the first drive taking it from Starth to the freight yard in Wingfield.

Within about 6 or 7 days it arrived in Hobart and I simply couldn’t contain my excitement…! First stop, Super Cheap auto for some oil.

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