Updated June 2020: Sure, the 21st century is a great time to be alive—the iPhone 11, 8K television, an infinite amount of information, the A90 Supra ... we have it good! But it's argued the '90s was the last great decade—the culture, the music, Michael Jordan, and most importantly, the cars of the time were and still are unrivaled. One of the most undisputed popular cars that emerged from the era was the third-generation Mazda RX-7 FD3S. The lightweight front engine rear-wheel drive (FR) FD3S chassis quickly became a popular platform, whether it was with its original 13B rotary or mated to something as crazy as a quad-rotor 26B! Here's a look at the most popular Mazda RX-7 FD builds to grace our site (click below subheads for link to the full FD3S feature).
- David Mazzei's 1993 Mazda RX-7
- Car Shop Glow's 1993 & 2000 Mazda RX-7s
- Ice Sorsongsermkul 1993 Mazda RX-7
- Clay Barnett's 1993 Mazda RX-7
- Jonny Grunwald's 1994 Mazda RX-7
It's almost expected to see David Mazzei's 4-rotor FD3S atop our list—his 1,000hp RX-7 sorta sets the bar impossibly high for performance (well, unless you're talking to Rob Dahm ...) earning renewed attention recently when David posted a video to social media of the fire-breathing Mazda on the dyno sounding like an F1 race car at full song. The sound may be all Le Mans-winning 787B Group C racer, but the look is a little less aggressive, just the way we like it: FEED body kit, RE Amemiya GTII rear wing, and three-piece Work Meister S1 wheels at the corners.
Our feature on Car Shop Glow's duo of RX-7 was a two-for-one deal featuring CSG owner Yukimitsu Hara's track-inspired 1993 FD and customer Zenji Hirai's 2000 street machine. The widebodies are both fitted with Car Shop Glow lighting, of course, and interestingly enough both painted brown, but it's not as questionable as you might first think, Hara-san finishing his FD3S in a brown pearl while Hirai painted his RX-7 in a color-shifting Maziora Trapezium brown. That's where the similarities end, though, the true JDM builds going in two different directions.
Painfully clean, unapologetically aggressive, the mod list for Ice Sorsongsermkul's RX-7 reads like an exhaustive who's who of FD3S aftermarket parts—RE Amemiya, TCP Magic, GReddy, and on and on. Every area of the Bangkok-based Mazda sports car seems to have been refined, from the perfectly executed widebody kit to the single-turbo and V-mount conversions under the hood to the spare motorsports-themed interior. This thing is as tidy as they come.
Clay Barnett is a self-professed "rotary fan boy" and his FD is a low-key incomplete ode to Japan's time attack scene. When last we checked in with the project in 2017 Clay was trying to figure out how to finish the RX-7, but he'd already made some nice scores hunting for JDM parts, like the rare Leg Sport side deflectors, Ready Go Next front canards, and authentic RE Amemiya AD9 carbon-fiber hood.
When he's not moving mountains to build Mazda for the SEMA Show (which seems like 95 percent of the time), Jonny Grunwald is an unofficial Super Street staffer who we kinda have a crush on. He also happens to be the owner/builder of this 1994 RX-7 that broke the internet in 2017 when it dropped, the first in the US to sport TCP Magic's Type TT carbon fiber widebody kit for the FD. Well, the car's blue now, it's making 720hp at the wheels with a built 13B, and it's onto version 3.0 of the TCP Magic Type TT kit, which it debuted at SEMA last year.
The Previous Top 5 FD
This is a new version of an old story we updated that originally ran in 2014, and the FD3S we had recognized previously were a really nice bunch, too! Four of the five RX-7 came from Japanese tuning shops, a couple were legit time attack cars, and all of them—like the new five—remind us why so many love the discontinued Mazda FR chassis. So, we kept a few images from that old story and threw them in the gallery—you're welcome!
- Garage Kagotani
- Super Autobacs
- Karl Lindgren
- Garage Revolution
- Fukuoh Racing