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.
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.
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.
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.