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Known Motors – Vintage Mazda Restoration and Rotary Engine Repair Shop Hosts Ribbon Cutting

By Brenna Eller

 

McPHERSON, Kan. — Mason Polston, Owner of Known Motors, celebrated the Ribbon Cutting of his Vintage Mazda Restoration and Rotary Engine Repair shop with family, friends and the McPherson community. The shop is located at 214 N. Elder St., in McPherson.

Casey Justus of Ad Astra Radio welcomed everyone to the Ribbon Cutting on Friday and shared how she met with Polston to talk about his plan for the shop.

“The passion is palpable. He [Mason] loves what he does, he knows exactly what he wants to do here, and I think he’s got a bright future in success in the whole Mazda industry,” Justus said.

Justus asked why Polston chose vintage Mazdas specifically, and he said it can be put in the simplest words of “Zoom-Zoom”, Mazda’s logo.

“Zoom-Zoom evokes the feeling of excitement, energy and driving pleasure that is associated with driving a Mazda,” Justus said. “He feels it in his soul, and he wants the rest of you to as well.”

Carlyn Lemon and Mason Polston First Dollar of Profit
Carlyn Lemon (Left) Chamber President-Elect from the Peoples Bank and Trust presented Mason Polston, Known Motors Owner with his business’ First Dollar of Profit. (Photo Credit: McPherson Chamber of Commerce)

Carlyn Lemon, Chamber President-Elect from Peoples Bank and Trust congratulated Polston on his business and shared that she is excited to learn more about his area of expertise.

“I got to know Mason at the beginning of this year and a couple of things that were evident about him to me were his passion for what he does and his passion for the community of McPherson, so I’m looking forward to watching him serve the community through his new business,” Lemon said.

Polston invited the Co-Owner and shop Manager of Known Motors, his wife Alaina and thanked his friends and family for supporting him and helping him make the business and Ribbon Cutting happen.

Known Motors offers a variety of services from Vintage Mazda Mechanical Restoration, Mazda Rotary Engine Repair, Sale of Used OEM Mazda RX7 Parts and Vapor Honing.

“Vapor Honing is like sand blasting, but it uses high pressure water and media, so it is really great on non-ferrous metals like aluminum,” Polston said.

With the Vapor Honing service, Polston said he can also use the machine on steel components, wood, brass, plastic, and fiber glass. It cleans them up really well and is still gentle, so it doesn’t harm the material. Reach out to him for a quote and he can see how big the project will be/how long it will take.

“I mainly got the machine to help me rebuild engines, and that is the other big service that we offer here is complete rotary engine service,” Polston said.

The rotary service includes rebuilding engines, maintaining the cars themselves and working with both Mazda RX7s and RX8s.

“That’s my main passion and the main service I’m promoting for the community to try to help the rotary community out and just continue doing what I love,” Polston said.

Alaina Polston and Mason Polston (Co-Owners of Known Motors) share about the services provided at their Vintage Mazda Restoration Shop during the Ribbon Cutting. (Photo by Brenna Eller)

Alaina Polston talked about other services provided at Known Motors, such as selling used Mazda RX7 parts.

“Back in June of ’22, we bought a warehouse of used parts up in Minnesota because someone was retiring from that business,” Alaina said. “On that website you can check out those parts. How we’re doing it though is that when they’re gone, they’re gone, so we’re not going to be restocking that.”

Alaina also said Known Motors is an affiliate for Renewable Lubricants.

“Renewable Lubricants is an environmental-friendly biosynthetic lubricant manufacturer,” Alaina said.

She described the lubricant as being made from plant matter rather than crude oil.

“If you use ‘Known 10’, you get 10 percent off,” Alaina said. “We’re working towards being a dealer though so we can actually have it in-home and do it. Mason loves it because it works really well with a rotary engine with that carbon buildup that happens.”

Known Motors has also started an Auto Design Club, which is the most recent thing they have started according to Alaina. The club is a non-judgmental space to be creative with the focus being cars, although you don’t necessarily have to be into cars to join. It is Thursdays bi-weekly. Check the Facebook page for the dates and times.

“Mason was a graduate from McPherson College in the Automotive Restoration Department in Design,” Alaina said. “As a student there, he sought for an outlet to be creative in and outside of the college too.”

Mason Polston shared how his fascination started with Mazdas.

“I grew up on two-stroke dirt bikes and the Mazda rotary engine is similar in the sense of the two-stroke where it doesn’t have valves or anything like that it just has ports, so it smokes, it shoots flames, and it has always been a fascination of mine,” Polston said.

After graduating from McPherson College in 2019, Polston worked at a couple of different shops, and although he learned a lot, he was ready to be his own boss.

“For the past six or seven years I have been mastering this craft of the rotary engines and the RX7s and then I bought some tools to help me out with that and so now we’re kind of running that and I’m just loving it,” Polston said. “I love being my own boss, I love running my own shop and managing my own time.”

Concept Car 1
Mason Polston’s senior project as an Automotive Design student at McPherson College.
Polston made this design from his own idea, and also based it on the period of 1929, a Franklin automobile, pulling the design from European cars of the period.

The car above is pictured on the wall at the shop and Polston said it will be in existence soon. The plan is to eventually transition Known Motors into a Coach Workshop, which means he will be building cars from scratch, starting from an idea, bringing new cars into existence.

Polston hopes to get the word out about his business all throughout Kansas, since St. Louis, MO has been the closest rotary engine rebuilding shop to Kansas before he opened his. There are a few shops in Houston, some further South, and a few in Denver, but no one immediately in the Midwest according to Polston.

“I’m kind of serving that niche market,” Polston said. “And what I’ve noticed, the RX7s are kind of a black sheep in the Midwest. The mechanic shops didn’t like them when they were new. They kind of got pushed to the side and no one even wanted to mess with them, but they’re starting to have a resurgence with the younger generation, like my generation and the students in college. They’re starting to come back into mainstream which I think is awesome.”

Abigayle Morgan, fellow Auto Restoration graduate congratulated the couple on their success too.

“We are so proud of you guys for staying in McPherson and bringing this to the college community as well as the general McPherson community,” Morgan said. “I think this is a great service and what you’re going to be doing with the art classes.”

Morgan said she has spent many hours with them in brainstorming sessions on the shop and she remembered them telling her they were going to start a shop of their own over a year ago and she knew they would get it done.

“I am incredibly proud of you guys and I’m very excited to see what you’re going to do next, so keep going,” Morgan said. “Zoom-Zoom!”

City of McPherson Mayor Tom Brown and City Commissioner of Public Works Larry Wiens both congratulated Known Motors on the Ribbon Cutting Friday.

Commissioner Wiens said he was visiting with Polston’s father who told him, “You know my son has always been the kind of guy that never wanted to be like anybody else, he always wanted to try something new. He never had a problem walking out, trying something different.”

“That’s the way to start a business and that’s the way to keep a business running,” Wiens said.

For more information, call 620-794-0131, email [email protected] or visit knownmotors.com.