Australia is filled to the brim with kooky go-fast junkies, God bless them. It should be noted that while extreme by American standards, Mad Max and his supercharged V8 were middle-of-the-pack commuters in Australia where the growth of high-performance parallels that of our own import scene in many ways.
Like America, the Australian scene is driven by drag racing and many of its big-time players can trace their roots back to street racing. A good cross-section of the Aussie car culture can be found on the staff of Fast Fours & Rotaries magazine-a title that many have called Turbo down-under. The Fast Fours & Rotaries staff have kept a keen eye on the Southern California scene-publishing articles on Battle of the Imports, Import ShowOff, the SEMA Show and the International Auto Salon to name a few. The Aussie scene is a mix of SoCal spirit, Australian intensity with a sprinkling of Puerto Rican spice.
Turbo is not afraid to go worldwide. We've gone to Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands and a few other exotic locales to bring back the best and brightest stars of import performance. We have not been able to make it to Australia (yet) so FF&R's editor Dean Evans has brought one of Australia's mightiest 13B-powered monsters to us. Pac Performance campaigns the country's quickest RX-2, the highly detailed Mazda that graces these pages.
The 1972 RX-2 started prowling the streets of Sydney a decade ago and the driving forces behind the car, Rocky and George Rehayem, have come a long way since the early street days. From wrenching on motors in their backyard the brothers Rehayem formed Pac Performance and have gone from a shade tree to a full working shop. The brothers saw a parallel with how their yellow RX-2 treated its competition and how the Pac-Man of video game fame treated his; that's where they got their business name from. Since then, the brothers have gobbled up the competition at every turn. Rocky pilots the RX-2 which, surprisingly, is not the quickest car in the stable; George's 20B RX-3 is a couple ticks quicker (8.72 at 154 mph). Like in Puerto Rico, there are plenty of chances to blast down the strip in Australia. Consequentially, there are a number of well dialed-in combinations roaming the strips (and streets) of Sydney, Melbourne and all points between. The Mazda's evolution really took off in 1999 as the RX-2 blasted to the top of the heap with an impressive 8.86-second, 150-mph road trip down the quarter mile. The triumphant run was made at Adelaide's Four & Rotary event with an ambient temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit). The RX-2 is a Pro Street racer in Aussie speak. (We are not sure what class that translates to in American terms.)
Burnout Rocky broke off the...
Rocky broke off the competition with a best-ever 8.86 at 150 mph effort at Adelaide's Four & Rotary event. The pass was made in the heat of battle, literally, as the ambient temperature was 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit).