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 |   |  1989 Mazda RX-7 GTX - What Would the White Comet Look Like Today?
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1989 Mazda RX-7 GTX - What Would the White Comet Look Like Today?

Caryl Dela Rosa pays homage to Initial D with his 500whp RE Amemiya RX-7

Micah Wright
Jul 1, 2019
Photographer: Daniel Piker

Caryl (pronounced "Carl") Dela Rosa was a late bloomer. The Seattle local was 20 when he bought his first car, a 1993 Mazda 626 with a healthy amount of miles and zero aftermarket potential. Messing with the bland mid-size sedan out of necessity, Caryl learned the art of perseverance, an artform that would prove quite valuable down the line.

1989 Mazda RX 7 GTX RE Amemiya Rear Diffuser Photo 32/32   |   1989 Mazda RX-7 GTX - What Would the White Comet Look Like Today?

For the better part of high school and college, Caryl fantasized over owning a GSR-swapped CRX. But after binge watching the anime show Initial D, animated images of street racing and touge drifting had him drooling over the thought of other vehicles. At the very top stood one vehicle in particular, a Mazda called the "White Comet," and even with zero clue as to what it was, Caryl knew he needed one in his life.

So he studied the FC3S chassis and its powertrains, until he fully understood the pros and cons to the unorthodox rotary. After waiting and saving for what seemed like an eternity, an '87 RX-7 surfaced, which after purchasing, was mildly modded then sold off. After finishing a full RB-powered S13 build in 2013, Caryl refocused his attention on the FC chassis once more.

1989 Mazda RX 7 GTX 13B Engine Photo 32/32   |   1989 Mazda RX-7 GTX - What Would the White Comet Look Like Today?

Starting with a right-hand drive JDM GTX model, and focusing on appearances first, the RE Amemiya SPL Full Cowl front-end conversion really sets this FC apart from the pack. This setup eliminates the pop-up headlamps in favor of a distinctive projector headlamp, and then adds a vented hood, GT rear wing, and carbon-fiber rear diffuser. To the untrained eye, the subtle width of the vehicle may not seem like much, but it's actually a set of R-Magic front and rear fenders, complete with rears molded to the body. Caryl even went as far as securing R-Magic side skirts in order to keep the flow of the RX-7's wider figure.

1989 Mazda RX 7 GTX Work Equip 05 Wheels Photo 32/32   |   1989 Mazda RX-7 GTX - What Would the White Comet Look Like Today?

The JDM joyride continues throughout the chassis, with genuine GP Sports coilovers, R32 Skyline brakes, and Work Equip 05 wheels finishing things off. The interior wasn't left untouched either, as RE Amemiya accessories, a MOMO steering wheel, rare OE Infini seats, and a six-point rollcage were thrown into the equation.

While the project was aesthetically complete at this point, the build wasn't without its fair share of headaches. The summer of 2016 saw the original motor from Japan grenading on track, and with Wekfest Seattle 2017 closing in quickly, Caryl knew he had to get the triangles spinning once more. Hastily slapped back together, and limping to the festival, Caryl's RX-7 humbly made its presence known. Sporting a snail penis-sized turbo, a cracked manifold, and various other performance inhibiting embarrassments, Caryl never once popped his hood, and let the car's exterior do all of the talking.

1989 Mazda RX 7 GTX RE Amemiya Front Bumper 02 Photo 32/32   |   1989 Mazda RX-7 GTX - What Would the White Comet Look Like Today?

With Wekfest in his rearview, Caryl returned home and got back to the grind on his prized possession. He booked extensive wrenching sessions with rotary specialists Legend Motorsports of Everett, Washington. This allowed larger porting and reinforced apex seals, followed by a fully balanced rotating assembly courtesy of Mazdatrix in Southern California.

1989 Mazda RX 7 GTX Interior Photo 32/32   |   1989 Mazda RX-7 GTX - What Would the White Comet Look Like Today?

Once Caryl knew the ported 13B was ready for a higher redline and more boost, the engine made its way back to the Northwest, where Legend swapped the smaller snail for a larger Comp CT4 6767 triple ball-bearing turbo, in the process ditching the cracked manifold for a high-quality stainless piece from Glease Manufacturing. Fitted with a bevy of intercooling and fueling solutions from some of the biggest names in the biz, along with methanol injection and a street tune from Intec Racing, Caryl's reinforced 13B now generates a hefty 500 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque.

Caryl Dela Rosa admits that although he still has a couple of things to check off his list before he's 100-percent satisfied with the car, they are not modification related. For years he has dreamed of attending SevenStock and Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS), two California meets that seem ideal for a car of this caliber. Caryl is the type of guy to drive rather than trailer too, so we suspect the tale of this "White Comet" is far from over.

1989 Mazda RX 7 GTX RE Amemiya GT II Wing 02 Photo 32/32   |   1989 Mazda RX-7 GTX - What Would the White Comet Look Like Today?

Oh, and although naming an RX-7 after Japan's greatest automotive anime series may aggravate Initial D fans to some degree, Caryl admits that as a fan, he merely wishes to pay homage to the show. With a build this pristine it's hard to knock the guy too. He went from late bloomer with a Mazda 626, and ended up with a 500whp JDM RX-7 that oozes vintage sex appeal. Funny how a cartoon can change a person's life...

1989 Mazda RX 7 GTX Caryl Dela Rosa Photo 32/32   |   1989 Mazda RX-7 GTX - What Would the White Comet Look Like Today?
By Micah Wright
68 Articles
1989 Mazda RX-7 GTX - What Would the White Comet Look Like Today?
Tuning Menu
Owner: Caryl Dela Rosa
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Occupation: Quality Assurance
Instagram: @caryl_nicehunters
Power: 500whp; 410lb-ft of torque
Engine: 13B bridge port by Legend Motorsports; Goopy Performance one piece apex seals; FD3S rotor housings, upper intake manifold; GReddy/TRUST throttle body elbow, intercooler and piping, oil cooler; Racing Beat radiator hoses; Koyo radiator; SPAL fans; Built 2 Apex power steering relocation; MSD ignition; Nology plug wires; Glease Manufacturing twin-scroll exhaust manifold; Comp Turbo CT4 6767 turbo; TiAL dual MV-S wastegates, Q 50mm blow-off valve; Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator; Denso 1,000cc injectors; FFE fuel rails; high capacity fuel pump; KnightSports muffler; Legend Motorsports 3.5" turboback exhaust
Drivetrain: OS Giken twin plate clutch, limited-slip differential; short shifter; Energy Suspension bushings
Engine Management: A'PEXi Power FC tuned by Intec Racing
Footwork & Chassis: GP Sports G-Master coilovers with Espelir springs; Racing Beat sway bar end-links, DTS eliminator; front under chassis bar; carbon-fiber rear strut and C-pillar bars
Brakes: Nissan BNR32 front calipers; drilled/slotted rotors; Hawk Performance pads
Wheels & Tires: 17x9.75" +12 front, 17x11" +11 rear Work Equip 05 wheels; 245/40R17 front, 275/40R17 rear Yokohama tires
Exterior: RE Amemiya Full Cowl SPL front bumper, hood with side vents, projector and fog lights, canards, GT II wing, carbon-fiber rear diffuser; R-Magic front and rear fenders, side skirts; EC Works Type C mirrors
Interior: RE Amemiya glove box delete, shift knob, horn button, boost gauge, cluster; Lamco gauges; AEM wideband; Ultra Speed Meter; A'PEXi Power FC Commander; TRUST/Greddy boost controller, turbo timer; MOMO steering wheel; NRG quick release; Infini seats; Sparco harnesses; six-point rollcage; battery relocation
Thanks: RE Amemiya glove box delete, shift knob, horn button, boost gauge, cluster; Lamco gauges; AEM wideband; Ultra Speed Meter; A'PEXi Power FC Commander; TRUST/Greddy boost controller, turbo timer; MOMO steering wheel; NRG quick release; Infini seats; Sparco harnesses; six-point rollcage; battery relocation

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