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FD3S Mazda RX-7 with Hardcore JDM Parts & Style

The result of a six-year journey for Robby Boucher and his first and only project car

Steve Enomoto
Apr 4, 2016
Photographer: Dax Rodriguez

Ever heard of the phrase, "built not bought"? Of course you have, because it's one of the most overused phrases in the car industry, especially when we're talking about the hard work it takes to achieve the perfect project car. But while it may sound cliche, it's a phrase that goes a long way for those who not only understand their vehicles inside and out, but also make all the sacrifices in the world for their beloved project. Hearing Robby Boucher talk about the struggles with his Mazda RX-7, we can't help but have a lot of respect for him. He's endured a six-year journey from not knowing how to turn a wrench to rebuilding and fixing basically every inch on his FD3S.

1993 mazda rx7 gram lights 57 maximum wheels Photo 2/22   |   1993 Mazda Rx7 Gram Lights 57 Maximum Wheels

If you're brave enough, it's not entirely crazy to purchase a high-mileage rotary as a new daily driver. In Robby's case, this was his dream car after seeing how timeless the design was as well as the attractiveness of the rotary platform. But like with any used and abused sports car, an RX-7 will require a lot of attention, love, and support. You simply can't hop in and drive it like a Honda, but you have to be prepared to handle any unexpected catastrophe and be ready for the consequences.

1993 mazda rx7 msports japan front bumper Photo 3/22   |   1993 Mazda Rx7 Msports Japan Front Bumper

Robby learned about his FD the hardest way possible when the stock twin turbos blew up a second time when the electronics took a dump, and again when the coolant seals on the motor cooked. Left without a car at many times of his love-hate relationship with his rotary, Robby was forced to walk to work just so he had enough money to afford spare parts, let alone enough in the bank to pay for his college tuition. Through struggles like this, he developed the strength to persevere and also self-taught himself the technical know-how to wrench on his own car.

1993 mazda rx7 trust intercooler Photo 4/22   |   It's crazy to think that Robby didn't now how to turn a wrench when he first got this car. Now he's built it from the bottom up to make 380 hp reliably.

Today, the 13B-REW purrs like a crouching cougar that just woke up from a long snooze. Once twin-turbo and tuned via A'PEXi Power FC, it has been replaced with a single A-Spec GT35/40 ball-bearing hybrid turbo that's controlled via a Haltech ECU. The refreshed rotary is now at the point where the powerband is strong in the midrange with a nice, linear torque curve.

The exterior is influenced by Robby's short time in Japan, where he witnessed how drifters dressed up their rides. "I've always felt the thing that sets apart cars in Japan from the U.S. is their unique ability of matching parts," he explained. "Individually, some of these parts kind of suck, but somehow and someway, when put all together, they amaze everyone." This sounds good to most of us, but there's a double standard with this theory. When the Japanese perform flamboyant modifications and mix 'n' match parts, it's praised; however, when they see foreigners do the same treatment to the same vehicles, many view this as blasphemy. Maybe they think we're biting their style, but diehard enthusiasts just don't care and continue to keep JDM car culture alive. The outcome in Robby's case is a right-hand-drive conversion, Lambo doors, and authentic JDM parts. The aero, such as the Msports pieces and modified RE-Amemiya taillight covers, were shipped to Robby directly from Japan. More details were added to follow suit such as the Ganadors, custom roof wing, LED tails, and Voltex diffuser.

1993 mazda rx7 1 off lace tail lights Photo 8/22   |   1993 Mazda Rx7 1 Off Lace Tail Lights
1993 mazda rx7 re amemiya taillight cover Photo 9/22   |   Rad LED taillights along with modified RE-Amemiya covers are a nice touch.

There are plenty other cool touches that Robby completed such as the "flaked out" House of Kolors paint job that he and his father did themselves, the modified knuckles, or the ultra-rare JDM stickers. But in the end, the most important thing to take away is his relentless story to follow his dream, sacrifice, learn the ropes, and build the car of his dreams—not buy it.

1993 mazda rx7 jdm stickers Photo 13/22   |   1993 Mazda Rx7 Jdm Stickers
1993 mazda rx7 bride artis ii seat Photo 14/22   |   Rare stickers from Japan Robby picked up during his travels overseas.
1993 mazda rx7 air filter Photo 18/22   |   1993 Mazda Rx7 Air Filter
1993 mazda rx7 steering knuckle Photo 22/22   |   1993 Mazda Rx7 Steering Knuckle
By Steve Enomoto
24 Articles
FD3S Mazda RX-7 with Hardcore JDM Parts & Style
Tuning Menu
Owner: Robby Boucher
Location: Austin, TX
Occupation: believer and a doer
Power: 380 hp; 340 lb-ft of torque
Engine: 13B-REW stockport; RA Super Seals; solid corner seal set; OEM side seal; S5 turbo rotors; GReddy/TF Works pulleys; A-Spec GT35/40 turbo kit, long runner manifold; 45mm Turbosmart wastegate; custom V-Mount with modified Koyo radiator; modified TRUST intercooler and Type R blow-off valve; dual 25-row Setrab oil coolers; Mocal thermostat; 850/1650cc injectors; Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator; Supra TT fuel pump; LS1 ignition coils; Streetfire wires; NGK spark plugs; FC3S coolant AST delete; Rotary Performance 3" exhaust; candy red engine bay
Drivetrain: Pettit Racing ultralight flywheel; Exedy clutch
Engine Management: Haltech Platinum Sprint RE, boost control; Defi Advance BF gauges; ARC 8000D switch panel; AEM UEGO wideband O2 sensor
Footwork & Chassis: Stance coilovers with 14k springs; David Campo (KG Made) modified knuckles; Part Shop Max S14 inner tie rod; Abercrombie Motorsports S14 outer tie rod; ABS delete kit
Wheels & Tires: 18x9.5" +22 front, +14 rear Gram Lights 57 Maximum wheels; 225/40R18 Federal tires
Exterior: Msports Japan front bumper, Type B canards, side skirts; Fancy Logic hatch wing, 1-Off Lace tail lights; modified RE-Amemiya taillight covers; modified Voltex diffuser; ORIGIN Labo front splitters; Supermade hood events; Ganador Super Mirror; Chargespeed 99 Combo lights; clear side markers; Lambo door kit; custom House of Kolors Kandy purple with Rainblow flake
Interior: right-hand-drive conversion; Bride Artis II driver seat; Nardi steering wheel; Cusco Safety 21 seven-point rollcage; OE R1 cloth passenger seat; Mazdaspeed shift knob
Thanks You: Trash Talk crew, Stewart Leask Fabrications, Karless Original

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