BRETT MCALISTER, RX-7 HERO
Owner Brett McAlister Car 1982 Mazda RX-7 FB Location Ferntree Gully, Melbourne, Australia
Mazda’s rotary engine celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and these vehicles still have a huge fan base worldwide. But there can be few people more devoted to the Mazda rotary than Brett McAlister. At age 11, Brett saw “the best-looking car I’ve ever seen” being driven by racing legend Allan Moffat in the Australian Touring Car Championship. The car was an RX-7 and Brett was over the moon when his uncle and aunt bought themselves one a year later, and took him out for drives. “I felt like a king.”
Naturally, when he was old enough to drive, Brett bought himself a Mazda, an RX-4. At the same time, he became an apprentice for the Maz Engine Company, where he learned to rebuild rotary engines. This led him to becoming an engineer for the Mazda Australia race team and the navigator of an RX-7 SP in the Mt. Buller Sprint, among other races.
Marriage and kids led Brett to say farewell to the co-driving duties, but not to Mazda: he started work at a Mazda dealership and quickly became known as the rotary specialist. He is now the service manager at a Mazda dealership in Ferntree Gully, which he calls his “ultimate job.” These days Brett drives a Mazda6 Grand Touring, but he’s never forgotten his first love. Five years ago he bought a 1982 RX-7 FB that he has restored to shining glory. Allan Moffat would be proud.