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1989 Mazda RX-7 (FC3S) - Age Ain't Nothin' But A Number

RE Amemiya gives one of Mazda's all-time classic models a modern-day refresh

Jonathan Wong
May 1, 2017
Photographer: Chad Burdette

Without fail, it's an absolute given one of Japan's greatest tuning shops will deliver a masterpiece to the masses come January during the annual Tokyo Auto Salon exhibition. Usually located at the very front corner as you're shuffled into the show from the bone-chilling freeze that is Tokyo's winter air, RE's demo cars are the much needed warm embrace to start your day. You will inevitably struggle to get your iPhone or camera set up as the crowds continue to pile in and you'll become agitated trying to get a clean shot, but these are but small inconveniences required to capture a moment in time that happens to cast one of the cleanest FC RX-7s the world has ever seen as its subject. Luckily, if you weren't there, we've done the dirty work for you.

1989 mazda rx 7 enkei pf07 wheels Photo 2/27   |   1989 Mazda Rx 7 Enkei Pf07 Wheels

Those who have been longtime readers of Super Street already know the legacy that is RE Amemiya—we have a large library of past features and covers highlighting their cars throughout the years. If you're new to this sort of thing, just know they're widely recognized as the shop that fiddles with all things Mazda or rotary-related (since '74), and they're not afraid to go crazy with custom exteriors in the process. These are Amemiya-san's signature moves, to transform the seemingly ordinary into the extraordinary. This year, he decided to give a hat tip to the past, a task only someone with his expertise would be able to pull off. Plus, with a rising resurgence of the old school, the timing seemed only fitting.

The base FC3S platform used came as stock as could be, a true rarity in and of itself, as cars this old simply aren't available through a Craigslist post or by visiting a junkyard. As they tore it down, 28 years had finally taken their toll, leaving many of the old parts damaged or broken. Without a spare parts car to replace them with (and a lack of OEM replacements from Mazda), they had to custom-fabricate new pieces, made from either fiberglass or carbon fiber. Take a good look at the interior shots and you'll see what we're talking about - perfectly executed.

1989 mazda rx 7 mazda cosmo 20b Photo 6/27   |   1989 Mazda Rx 7 Mazda Cosmo 20B

Though they can easily build high-horsepower monsters with elaborate engine setups, Amemiya-san decided to forego the turbocharged route for a naturally aspirated, three-rotor 20B from a Cosmo, mated to an RX-8 six-speed manual. All that was needed to get it functioning and extract a tiny bit of power from it via a custom exhaust system that starts from the exhaust manifold and runs uninterrupted, all the way to the rear mufflers, was an ECU tune. The engine bay is clear of clutter, with the only remaining signs of modifications being a radiator upgrade, lightweight pulleys, an air intake, and custom heat shields.

1989 mazda rx 7 isami amemiya Photo 7/27   |   1989 Mazda Rx 7 Isami Amemiya

But the aero work - this is the stuff that FC dreams are made of. Though the customer base for this car will be small, RE designed this kit for the enthusiast who's already committed to getting one back on the streets. It's not an overtly aggressive design, but it doesn't need to be. Nothing is riveted; the fenders are widened slightly to match the flow to the front bumper and side skirts. Only the back end has a wild look about it, the black lower diffuser and a high wing that reminds us of the late '90s. Oh, and those side mirrors—pulled off a current model NB Miata.

The RE Amemiya FC3S is a sound example that the old school can continue to live on in a modern world. Mass appeal these mods are not, but then again, a car like this isn't for the masses - and doesn't need to be.

1989 mazda rx 7 mazda cosmo 20b engine conversion Photo 17/27   |   1989 Mazda Rx 7 Mazda Cosmo 20B Engine Conversion
1989 mazda rx 7 enkei pf07 Photo 27/27   |   1989 Mazda Rx 7 Enkei Pf07
By Jonathan Wong
473 Articles
1989 Mazda RX-7 (FC3S) - Age Ain't Nothin' But A Number
Tuning Menu
Owner: Isami Amemiya
Location: Tomisato City, Chiba, Japan
Occupation: Owner, RE Amemiya
Power: 300 hp
Engine: Mazda Cosmo 20B tri-rotor engine conversion; RE Amemiya 45mm exhaust manifold, 70mm-to-60mm custom exhaus
Drivetrain: Mazda RX-8 six-speed transmission; Ogura Clutch metal single plate clutch; OS Giken/RE Amemiya SPL Super Lock limited-slip differential
Engine Management: RE Amemiya Extreme Link ECU with custom tune
Suspension & Chassis: custom RE Amemiya-spec Endless coilovers with Swift springs
Brakes: Endless brakes with six-piston front calipers
Wheels & Tires: 17x9" +20 front, 17x9.5" +8 rear Enkei PF07 wheels; 245/40R17 front, 255/40R17 rear Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105 tires; custom green paint
Interior: Bride EXAS III seats; custom RE Amemiya quick-release; AIM Cluster MXL Strada meters

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