No Pistons Required — Aric’s RX-7
It’s not everyday that you get to see a project come full circle and really appreciate how far the car has come. We all dream of turning that newly acquired vehicle into the one we dream about at night, but it is definitely rare to witness it happen in front of your eyes. Check out what this FC RX-7 has turned into as we show off this truly garage-built beauty.
This project got started way back when the owner managed to join the bandwagon no one wants to hop on. This piston (minus most of its ringlands) is a solid reminder of the Subaru that was sitting in his garage before making the jump into rotaries. I’m not usually a fan of ‘drift-charms’ but this one definitely fits.
The first thing that stands out about this car is, quizzically, the understated nature of it. The stance is there, the car is low, but the wheels, paint, and overall look are mostly period correct. This Mazda looks like they might have made it this way.
From the outside, the only sign of what’s under the hood is the bits of the front-mount intercooler poking through the lower vents in the bumper. There is something about the way function meets form in a car that is hiding power in such a cleanly executed body.
Once the hood gets popped, it’s fairly apparent this is not the naturally aspirated RX-7 that got delivered to the dealership. A Japanese market Turbo-II motor has been swapped in to replace the blown motor that was previously in the car, but the fun doesn’t stop there. A larger turbo (big enough to require spacing the manifold for clearance from the block) has replaced the stock unit. The hybrid S5 turbo with a T04S compressor housing of course means that a more efficient cooling system was in order along with the FMIC and piping.
Back inside the cabin the modifications are a bit less subtle. The dainty woodgrain steering wheel definitely doesn’t help you fight the lack of power steering, although that issue goes away once you’re up to speed and playing where this car likes to be. Boost, oil pressure, and air/fuel ratio gauges adorn the A-pillar and feed you all the vital info that the stock cluster doesn’t cover.
This FC never fails to put a smile in my face whether I’m behind the wheel or not. Cruising around it looks great and gives you a sense of the way things used to be without giving up too many comforts that we’ve come to forget about. When you decide it’s time to spool up the turbo and make it move, it’s nothing short of unadulterated fun. This build is one that I’m very glad I’ve been able to witness and I hope to see all of the remaining rough edges polished away, but it’s definitely a car for anyone who loves homegrown power and style to be jealous of even as it sits.