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Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Video: For such a simple engine, the rotary sure seems to need a lot of demystifying

Posted April 27, 2022 5:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: mazda rotary engines

The rotary engine has a number of problematic issues. Beyond the fact that its inventor was a Nazi, it's not very fuel efficient, emissions are a giant can of worms and seals either make or break its operation. Little wonder, then, that many gearheads develop little understanding or affinity for the engines, long associated with Japanese carmaker Mazda.

On the other hand, an almost cult-like following of the rotary has developed over the last few decades. Fans love the compact dimensions of the engine, the relative simplicity versus reciprocating engines, the almost unbelievable output for the engines' displacement and the sound. Even among rotary fans, though, there's a good deal of misinformation, a lot of misunderstandings and even some voodoo to the intricacies of overall rotary operation and specific design quirks.

So in the interest of serving both the initiated and uninitiated, let's take a crash course in rotaries today and attempt to hit every salient point from basic theory up through what it takes to build advanced, high-horsepower screamers. We'll start with Gear Quest's history of the rotary in production cars, which includes plenty of the diagrams we've come to expect from introductions to the engine.

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Re: Video: For such a simple engine, the rotary sure seems to need a lot of demystifying

04/27/2022 9:52 PM

An exhaust note reminiscent of a sewing machine.

It is hard to argue with its apparent simplicity. But as many have found out, simple does not always equate to reliable or durable.

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