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1993 Mazda RX-7 - The Big Bad Wolf

The long journey toward building this indestructible RX-7 drift car

Jun 23, 2016

The story of this '90s rotary-powered JDM dream car doesn't start out sliding effortlessly around Willow Springs International Raceway, but with a pair of unlucky Honda builds, a near-death experience and one relentless enthusiast, Aaron Parker. Like most teenagers, Aaron's first car wasn't the Porsche 911 of his dreams but a passed-down Civic EX from his big sis. He modified the Civic coupe through high school, but it ultimately met its fate during an aggressive canyon run. Managing a coffee shop at the time, Aaron was able to save up enough money to get back into another ride, in the form of an Integra GS-R. He enlisted a local shop to build a turbo setup for him, but quickly learned that people are hard to trust. One afternoon, he stopped by the shop and found the entire place had disappeared, including his Integra! A few weeks passed, which filled Aaron with nothing but frustration and disappointment, and then he received an anonymous text with a lead to where his Integra was. When he arrived at the location, he found his car, but the engine was on a pallet, Saran Wrapped with another person's name and address attached. The parts Aaron had purchased were also installed on another Integra—which happened to be the thief's personal car. Aaron alerted the authorities and luckily, he saved his engine block stamp number and the receipts to prove ownership. He took his belongings and hightailed it out of there.

1993 mazda rx7 rays factory gt wing Photo 2/34   |   Aaron copped himself a rare set of Espirit tail light covers.

Were the hardships over for Aaron? Not yet... He was halfway to the Honda build of his dreams, which featured a 400-whp turbo setup, Koni/Eibach suspension, and Regamaster wheels, but the body still required attention, for example a massive dent that bugged him on the passenger side. He sourced a new one and sent it to his mother's house; however, after picking it up and driving home, a careless driver ran a red light and collided with the Integra, nearly killing Aaron. "Firefighters and the witnesses were amazed. I should've been severely injured or even dead. That car saved my life," he remembers. After checking if all his body parts were there, Aaron crawled out of the car and knew there was no saving it. But as with all chapters that end, another one opens. Aaron would receive the insurance settlement a few months later and quickly jumped back into another project car—this '93 Mazda RX-7.

It didn't take long for Aaron to get to work. The FD started life as a daily driver but progressed into an all-out drift car once its rotary blew. Tearing down the car exposed all of the shortcuts and hack jobs the previous owner failed to mention. A complete rebuild was in order, along with a large street-port to gain more power. "I wanted to build a car that I could beat on, that wouldn't overheat, that wouldn't be just a weekend toy, and that would run with some of the nicer drift cars out at the track," Aaron tells us. After replacing and upgrading every component he could, the twin-turbo system was ditched for a large Borg Warner EFR 8374 turbo. Along with Aaron's extensive laundry list of mods, the FD is pushing close to 500 whp and 415 ft-lb of torque on E85. "Everyone kept telling me I was 'over-building' the car, but after a year of events, the same people are asking me for advice," Aaron says with a laughs.

1993 mazda rx7 omp steering wheel Photo 6/34   |   A normal person would see this interior and think it's a mess—we see a drift car that means business.

When it comes to drifting, good suspension can go a long way. Aaron opted for a set of Stance coilovers paired with Swift springs and Megan Racing adjustable rear arms. The sway bar mounts and sway bars are all custom made.

With all of the tire shredding this RX-7 goes through, you would think the exterior would look like a junk missile car by now. In actuality, it would look right at home at a "soukoukai" drift/track day or on the Touge in Japan. The front is dressed with a Chargespeed front bumper and D-Max vented hood. In the rear you'll find an extremely rare Espirit taillight covers and a retrofitted Voltex WRX diffuser. On all four corners are classic Weds Bazreia wheels to round out the exterior.

1993 mazda rx7 weds bazreia Photo 7/34   |   The Weds have probably seen better days.

Looks can only go so far, though. At the end of the day, Aaron was dedicated to making his car competitive and reliable. So far, he's participated in more than 30 events, and in '15, he competed at his first Formula Drift sanctioned events, Just Drift's Top Drift Pro Am and Top Drift Limited. Of course it wasn't easy, breaking two transmissions and dropping the front subframe to fix a smashed oil pan, but he was able to finish fourth in the Limited series and within the Top 16 in Pro-Am. "I don't ever plan on it being completed," Aaron concludes. "The car will most likely always evolve in one way or another. Currently, it is being set up for this upcoming season. I'll be refreshing a lot of the drivetrain with a semi-peripheral race engine and a pretty cool livery planned. I'm pumped!"

Why is it called "The Wolf"?
Originally my buddy had given the car another name, "Richard Parker," which was the tiger in the novel Life of Pi. Pretty fitting and it worked because my last name matched. But at All Star Bash '14, which was actually my first real drift event, some of my friends didn't agree. We were talking about the names of our cars, and another one of my buddies said, "A tiger? Nahhh, man. That's not a tiger, it's more of a wolf!" And right when he said that, I got the chills, my eyes lit up, and I knew that was it." -Aaron Parker

1993 mazda rx7 13b rew engine Photo 11/34   |   This is Aaron's third rotary motor, but this one is the meanest and most reliable with 500 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque on e85.

Brothers in Drift
Through his RX-7 build, Aaron was able to network with some key people such as Pro 2 driver and owner of Rad Industries "Rad Dan" Burkett, as well world-renown driver "Mad Mike" Whiddet. Dan helped Aaron during the FD build when it came to sourcing certain rotary parts and custom fabrication work. Dan also introduced Aaron to Mad Mike, and from there, it was like one big happy family. Aaron is now one of Mad Mike's lead mechanics on the Mazda Red Bull Formula Drift team. Don't forget to holler at Aaron if you find yourself in the pits at one of the FD event this year!

1993 mazda rx7 aaron parker Photo 12/34   |   1993 Mazda Rx7 Aaron Parker
1993 mazda rx7 espirit tail light cover Photo 16/34   |   1993 Mazda Rx7 Espirit Tail Light Cover
1993 mazda rx7 aaron parker Photo 23/34   |   1993 Mazda Rx7 Aaron Parker
1993 mazda rx7 visage side skirt Photo 30/34   |   1993 Mazda Rx7 Visage Side Skirt
1993 mazda rx7 rays factory gt wing Photo 34/34   |   1993 Mazda Rx7 Rays Factory Gt Wing
Jofel Tolosa
574 Articles
1993 Mazda RX-7 - The Big Bad Wolf
Tuning Menu
Owner: Aaron Parker
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Occupation: Mechanic
Power: 500 whp; 415 lb-ft of torque
Engine: Large street-port 13B-REW; Turblown oversize stud kit, long runner E/G manifold; Goopy 3mm oversized seals; excessive ported LIM; polished and ported UIM; OMP delete redline premix; Full Function Engineering adjustable height billet motor mounts, 32-tooth trigger wheel, idler pulley, primary and secondary billet fuel rails, LIM billet injector seats; custom radiator, intercooler, oil catch can, dual 28-row oil cooler, atmosphere screamer pipes, 4" downpipe, stainless exhaust; Borg Warner EFR 8374 A/R 1.05 turbo; Turbosmart blow-off valve, comp gate; Rad Industries 4" turn-down tip, turbo/intake piping; PTP lava turbo blanket, CJ-Motorsports dual pump hanger; dual Bosch 044 in-tank fuel pumps; Aeromotive A1000 fuel pressure regulator, 40 micron fuel filter; Continental/GM Flex fuel sensor; Injector Dynamics 1,000 cc and 2,000 cc injectors; AEM smart coils; LMS-EFI Direct Fire ignition harness; Sake Bomb Garage plug wire kit, coil bracket; NGK R7420 rotary race plugs
Drivetrain: Exedy twin-disc cera-metallic clutch; C's shifter; Carbonetic metal two-way differential
Engine Management: Adaptronic PNP Series 6 ECU
Footwork & Chassis: Stance Signature coilovers; Swift springs; David Campo full angle kit; Megan Racing adjustable rear arms; custom tri-point modular adjustable sway bars, billet sway bar mounts; Alex Rodriguez ABS delete kit with prop valve
Brakes: Sake Bomb steel braided lines; Race Fab dual caliper kit; EBC Red Stuff Hydro brake pads; Wilwood hand brake
Wheels & Tires: 18x9.5" -11 front, 18x11" -3 rear Weds Bazreia wheels rear; Federal RSR tires
Exterior: ChargeSpeed Type 2 front bumper, rear over-fenders; Visage skirts; Shine Auto front fenders; Espirit tail light cover; D-Max vented hood; Rays Factory high-mount GT wing; Voltex WRX diffusor; Jet Black with Magenta flake paint.
Interior: six-point custom weld-in rollcage; Memory Fab S68 carbon bucket seat; Status Racing carbon seat; Optima D24R battery; Bubble Tech carbon door skins and pull straps; Crow four-point harness; SFI roll cage padding; OMP 330mm steering wheel; NRG Neo 2.0 quick-release and hub; Race Technologies Dash 2 digital display
Thanks You: Abel Ibarra at Flaco Racing; my cousin Brian; Melin Fam; Patrick Harcourt at Borg Warner; Andy Wyatt at Adaptronic; Elliot White and Shawn Christianson at Turbosource/Turblown; Aaron at Full Function Engineering; TFDave at Stance Suspension; PTP Turbo Blankets; Redline Synthetic Oils; Status Racing; Radium Engineering; Aaron Hellbound at the Lost Angels Children's Project Non Profit Agency; Micki F, Mario P, Tim C, Ryan C (Aka 14.7), and Brandon C; The Stallyns-Drift Team; Mike Whiddett; Dan and Rene Burkett at Rad Industries; Angly Earl Buenavente and David Lindauer; my mother and father; Monique Goungo and Marina; my brothers and sisters: Nicole, Rochelle, Korrina, Stevie, Marque, Dominique and Kenny

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