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Miyoshi Racing Paddock '97 Mazda RX-7 - It's a Family Affair

Miyoshi Racing Paddock has dedicated two generations of enthusiasts to crafting the fastest rotaries in Okayama—this FD is proof positive the company has been doing it right all these years

Jonathan Wong
Jul 11, 2016
Photographer: JC Pepino

Hold up—stop right there. We get it. Another Rocket Bunny car. But Miyoshi Racing Paddock's Mazda FD3S RX-7 isn't just another Rocket Bunny car. This shop, run solely by the Miyoshi family, has been working on rotaries since '83, when Minoru Miyoshi's father decided to make it his livelihood since he was such a huge fan of pistonless engines. Along with his brother, the trio manage the garage, servicing a loyal customer base that happens to be made up of dedicated circuit enthusiasts. Inside the shop are plenty of rotary nostalgia, including rotary housings as far as the eye can see and a pair of 787B hoods hanging on the wall. If you're a diehard rotary fan, you could call this heaven...

1997 mazda rx7 rocket bunny pandem boss front bumper Photo 2/90   |   The Pandem FD Boss kit includes a whole new front end, over-fenders, and side skirts; however, this particular RX-7 wears an RE-Amemiya rear end.

But since stance is hot all over Japan at the moment (much like it is here in the States), Racing Paddock Miyoshi has begun to offer up its expertise to more street-oriented builds, much like this RX-7 demo car that's gone through not one, but two custom Rocket Bunny makeovers. And since the Miyoshis happen to be very good friends with Amemiya-san (of RE Amemiya), Kato-san (of Liberty Walk) and Miura-san (Rocket Bunny/Pandem), you could say they had the right partners to get this demo vehicle done right.

Originally, the Miyoshis picked up the vehicle in '14 from a local auction—it was lightly modified with a few bolt-ons and basic aero, but they had other plans for it. Not only was it going to be fast, it was also going to be a showstopper. And man, did they come out guns blazing... It was sprayed a custom lime green coat with the then-new Rocket Bunny widebody kit and stuffed with throwback SSR Formula Mesh wheels but in new-school sizes, and the Miyoshi clan sent a shockwave through the stance community. They'd broken through big time. We would personally see the FD in this version for our first time at the '16 Tokyo Auto Salon, not expecting in the least bit what was going to come next...

1997 mazda rx7 rocket bunny pandem boss front bumper Photo 6/90   |   Miyoshi-san (the father) has been racing RX-3s for decades. The RX-3-inspired front end of the Pandem Boss kit was the perfect way to pay homage to his roots!

A little after Formula Drift Long Beach in April, a rendering popped up on Instagram of a Rocket Bunny/Pandem conversion, similar to the Boss Nissan S14 that debuted at SEMA '15; however this time, a front-end inspired by the Mazda RX-3 (Savanna in Japan) was grafted onto the FD chassis. This rendering, along with the announcement of "coming soon," sent a loud message through the social media airwaves. But would an old-school design that flipped the 240SX into something wild work on another manufacturer's car? It looks...well, you see the result here. Since Rocket Bunny's Kei Miura has access to a 3-D laser scanner, he can essentially fit his creations onto whatever he chooses. And with a few slight tweaks, it'll fit as if it were factory, as it does on the Miyoshi Racing Paddock demo car. We didn't think it would materialize as fast as it did...and boom—there it was at Wekfest Nagoya only a month after the rendering was revealed.

But most people have only seen this car from a front perspective; I didn't even realize the back end had been completely remodeled with an RE Amemiya rear bumper conversion, and that really sent version two off the deep end. It's oddly reminiscent of the Supra taillight or R34 Skyline headlight conversions from the early '90s, except fitment is flawless even if it's not your style. The Miyoshis smoothed out the bumper to customize it a bit more, then installed an AirRex air suspension to get the ride height just right to accommodate the wide set of Seeker GX wheels from Work—we're talking 11.5" wide with a -49 offset!

1997 mazda rx7 rotary engine Photo 10/90   |   GReddy/TRUST upgrades bump this rotary to 400 hp. The attention to detail was also not overlooked with the bay painted black with a glittery pearl.

The new Pandem front-end conversion did require some changes to be made to the engine bay in order to make certain parts fit right. The last front end allowed for a more traditional intercooler positioning in the front grille; the Boss saw a switch to a V-mounted configuration. A new GReddy T88 turbo was bolted in to produce more power, good for a total of 400 hp—not bad for a "show" car.

Of course, the FD is but one of their newest projects amongst many others. Miyoshi-san (the father) also has an RX-3 at the shop that's always kept primed for action, and is taken out to the track regularly; the hood's even signed by 787B Le Mans driver Yojiro Terada. There are future plans in the works (some of which include a new engine and more power) to bring the FD out to more events and car meets to show enthusiasts what they can offer by way of customization, no matter if your preference is race or show. As the Boss FD clearly shows, Miyoshi Racing Paddock can do it all. And the company does it very, very well. Version 3? Bring it on...

1997 mazda rx7 lb performance seats Photo 14/90   |   The interior was far from overlooked. Some of our favorite updates include the LB Performance low-back seats, alcantara upholstery with red stitching throughout, and a MOMO wheel.

Miyoshi Racing Paddock
Miyoshi Racing Paddock has been around since '83—here's a look at all the memorabilia and cars we found during our visit. Rotary heaven!

Miyoshi racing paddock exterior Photo 15/90   |   Miyoshi Racing Paddock Exterior
Miyoshi racing paddock mazda savanna Photo 19/90   |   Miyoshi Racing Paddock Mazda Savanna
Miyoshi racing paddock mazda savanna engine bay Photo 23/90   |   Miyoshi Racing Paddock Mazda Savanna Engine Bay
Miyoshi racing paddock mazda savanna Photo 27/90   |   Miyoshi Racing Paddock Mazda Savanna
Miyoshi racing paddock shop dog Photo 31/90   |   Racing Paddock Miyoshi shop dog. Such rotary, much woof!
1997 mazda rx7 miyoshi racing paddock Photo 32/90   |   Miyoshi Racing Paddock hasn't been getting the recognition it deserves, having only fixed up rotary-powered cars that saw track days. This new demo car has helped put the company on the radar of Japanese car enthusiasts from all around the world!
1997 mazda rx7 v mounted intercooler Photo 39/90   |   1997 Mazda Rx7 V Mounted Intercooler
1997 mazda rx7 lb performance seats Photo 46/90   |   1997 Mazda Rx7 Lb Performance Seats
1997 mazda rx7 work seeker gx wheels Photo 53/90   |   1997 Mazda Rx7 Work Seeker Gx Wheels
1997 mazda rx7 hpi harnesses Photo 60/90   |   1997 Mazda Rx7 Hpi Harnesses
1997 mazda rx7 miyoshi racing paddock Photo 67/90   |   1997 Mazda Rx7 Miyoshi Racing Paddock
1997 mazda rx7 rocket bunny pandem boss front bumper Photo 74/90   |   1997 Mazda Rx7 Rocket Bunny Pandem Boss Front Bumper
1997 mazda rx7 momo prototipo steering wheel Photo 81/90   |   1997 Mazda Rx7 Momo Prototipo Steering Wheel
By Jonathan Wong
473 Articles
Miyoshi Racing Paddock '97 Mazda RX-7 - It's a Family Affair
Tuning Menu
Owner: Minoru Miyoshi
Hometown: Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, Japan
Occupation: Owner, Miyoshi Jidousha
Power: 400 hp at 8,000 rpm; 289 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm
Engine: TRUST/GReddy T88-34D turbo, Airinx air filter, V-mounted intercooler, 50mm exhaust manifold, 80mm titanium exhaust, 80mm front pipe, radiator and breather tank; SARD fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator and 550cc/850cc injectors; NGK Power Cable spark plug wires and R7T9 spark plugs
Drivetrain: ORC lightweight flywheel and twin clutch; Cusco MZ two-way LSD
Engine Management: GReddy Profec boost controller; A'PEXi Power FC
Suspension & Chassis: AirRex air suspension
Wheels & Tires: 18x10" -14 front, 18x11.5" -49 rear Work Seeker GX wheels; 245/40R18 front, 275/40R18 rear Nitto INVO tires
Brakes: Project Mu rotors and pads
Exterior: Rocket Bunny/Pandem BOSS body kit; modified RE Amemiya AC987 rear bumper; custom lime green paint
Interior: MOMO Prototipo steering wheel; LB Performance seats; HPI harnesses; custom half-'cage

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