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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...