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1st RX-8 Owner in US: Brad Berger
Submitted by SuperUser on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 11:49am

TACOMA -- Brad Berger, of Lakewood, Washington, became the lucky owner of
the first RX-8 delivered to a customer in the United States on Friday, July
11th. Having been summoned to the Russ Dunmire Mazda dealership that day, he
found his new RX-8 cordoned off from admirers by caution tape and sporting a
sign proclaiming it as the "1st RX-8 in the US". The Dunmire family and
Salesman Andy Drew had organized a small party to commemorate the occasion,
and presented Brad with cake and champagne in addition to the keys.
According to Matt Dunmire this was the fastest delivery following corporate
release in anyone's recollection. Russ Dunmire Mazda also has as it's claim
to fame the delivery of the first Miata in Washington State.





There is no denying Brad is lucky. He lives just a few miles from the Port
of Tacoma, one of only 4 points of embarkation for the first shipment of the
precious cargo. His was also one of the first cars off the ship and is
purported to have been used to train personnel how to perform port-installed
options. But Brad certainly improved his odds by keeping in close contact
with the Dealer, the Port, and individuals at MazdaUSA regarding delivery.
He tracked the shipment from Japan and even received permission to videotape
the ship, Pacific Leader, being unloaded upon arrival. The video and
information provided was greatly appreciated by the hundreds of pre-order
customers, many of whom are members of the RX-8 Forum (www.rx8forum.com)
online. To Brad, this was a 'big deal' and he was successful in spreading
the excitement to those who counted. Brad is also well known to MazdaUSA and
many Mazda fans around the country as the owner of several very special
rotary-powered vehicles, such as an authentic, right hand drive Mazda Eunos
Cosmo 20B (3-rotor, twin turbo) -- the only one known legally registered in
the US. Brad also owns a pristine, bone stock 1988 10th anniversary TurboII
with just 20,000 original miles, and a heavily modified 1988 10th
anniversary TurboII powered by a Cosmo 20B. Brad is also known for his
involvement with Rotary Power Northwest (RPNW) RX-7 Club, for which he helps
organize several big events. In fact, part of the subtle "pressure" Brad put
on those with influence was his intention to display the car in the club's
"collector car corral" at the Baxter Historic Races in Portland, Oregon the
very weekend he was to take delivery. The event was a great opportunity to
promote the new vehicle to many thousands of attendees, though it is unknown
at this point whether that played any part in the quick delivery.
Regardless, the RX-8 was easily the most popular display in the club's
corral and no doubt many people walked away with newfound enthusiasm about
the vehicle.





Brad enjoyed many other "firsts" this past weekend. First to take an
interstate trip, first to display the car in a show, first to take the car
on a racetrack (parade laps), first to take three adult passengers on a
ride, and likely a hundred lesser "firsts" that go along with the privilege
of being the first owner of a special car in this important market. Many
other anxious owners are probably envious of that distinction, but Brad has
paid his dues and few could have deserved it more. However, he wishes to
leave a few "firsts" to others -- first to wreck one, first to get a
speeding ticket, first to....





Notes: The ship Pacific Leader unloaded at the Port of Hueneme (CA) first
then unloaded in Tacoma on 21 June. Of the 342 RX-8s off loaded in Tacoma,
approximately 200 stayed at the port with the balance were railed to
Woodhaven, MI. Reports indicate there are 4 water ports and 2 inland ports.
The water Ports are Hueneme, Tacoma, Jacksonville and Jersey City. The
inland ports are Woodhaven (MI) and Midlothian (TX). The vehicles were
prepared for delivery and held for a coordinated release on or around July
11th. Russ Dunmire Mazda is only 5 miles from the Port of Tacoma.


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subject:
Note the shirt
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Big congrats to Brad!!!

And a big thanks for wearing a SevenStock5 shirt!
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subject:
first?
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Nice story bu I saw a silver one driving around on July 5th in PA.
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subject:
Not an Owner
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
That car (as well as some others) were part of either a short lead press event in the area, or it was one of the 2 cars mazda drove across country to make sure everything was OKAY..
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subject:
DMRH
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
Well Brad, it seems you are a lucky boy. This is something you will always remember. As much as I am a fan of the 20B Cosmo, I think owning the 1st RX-8 is a better accolaide compared to having the only JC Cosmo on the road. Now you have 2 major milestones to tell your kids.

Let me be the 1st from another country to congratulate you on your win.......

At US$26k, the RX-8 is very affordable for you. Unfortunately, Mazda Auatralia will be selling the RX-8 here for an inflated US$37k taking it out of reach of many enthusiasts again like they did with the FD RX-7.
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subject:
way to go Brad!
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
finally got to meet brad at PIR and see his car this past sunday. thanks for keeping us up to date brad and for letting me get in the car on sunday. it helped take the tension off while i await the arrival of my rx8
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subject:
Another port reporting in
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I found the article on the first RX8 delivered very interesting. The list of six ports may have been accurate for the very first delivery, but there are more. Specifically, my RX8 cleared the Port of Baltimore on July 22. What nearly drove me crazy was that it stayed there for the better part of two days. My MD dealership (just north of Washington, DC) wasn't allowed to pick it up, and had no control over the shipping -- which finally happened on the 24th.
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subject:
SuperUmp
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
I may have earned a dubious RX-8 owner distinction...one first not owned by Brad...
I earned a "wasting natural resources" ticket in Arizona over the labor day weekend.

By having a calm demeanor with the Department of Public Safety officer, I was able to have a speeding violation (likely 75 mph) cited as a 65+ in a 55 MPH zone.and noted as the above mentioned offense!?

Thankfully (thank you officer!) this is not a moving violation and therefore carries no points and should not increase my insurance costs.
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