Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |  1993 Mazda RX-7 - Cultural Enrichment
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

1993 Mazda RX-7 - Cultural Enrichment

How the Owner of This 815hp Mazda RX-7 Pays Homage to Two Distant Car Cultures

Rushton Skinner
Oct 14, 2019
Photographer: Khiem Pham

Constant globalization brings together various cultures no matter how different. Though cultural appropriation is inevitable, we are obligated to those from whom we gathered inspiration. Common examples can be found in music and fashion, but they can also be found in the automotive world. Tito Perez is the owner of this '93 Mazda RX-7 and explains that to "do right" we must be "authentic," so the essence of the cultures we emulate add to our creations. In the case of his RX-7, he's adopted influences from both Puerto Rican and Japanese car cultures by strengthening his rotary engine and using only authentic JDM parts.

1993 Mazda RX 7 RE Amemiya N1 Front Bumper 02 Photo 21/21   |   1993 Mazda RX-7 - Cultural Enrichment

Now, you might be asking, "Why Puerto Rico car culture?" It'll be a surprise to some of you if you're new to the scene, but the most powerful rotary builds in the world aren't from Japan or even the United States, but from the tiny island of Puerto Rico. PR is home to many of the fastest quarter-mile rotary-powered machines in the history books, which is why it's no surprise Tito and his father, both full-blood Puerto Ricans, picked up this RX-7 as a family project.

The culture of high-revving rotaries at stoplights complemented by salsa music from a nearby "jangueo" is what Tito tried to convey. Goopy seals and studs hold the "box of hornets" together while a Garrett GT42RS force-feeds the boost pressure. RX Parts apex seals and a throttle body finish the peripheral-ported motor that's been assembled by good friend John Vargas. The result is a whopping 815 hp and 503 lb-ft of torque. We should note that Tito also had to swap the transmission from its original automatic to a five-speed manual, which was then beefed up using ACT components. The drivetrain also received a Carbonetic limited-slip differential, chromoly axles, and additional bracing so all that power could be transferred to the ground.

1993 Mazda RX 7 Rotary Engine Photo 21/21   |   1993 Mazda RX-7 - Cultural Enrichment

On the outside, Tito updated the RX-7 from the classic, benign street car he drove in high school to something much more cool and custom. He "wanted to do it justice," like how the big-name Japanese tuners did things in the late-'90s and '00s. With the help of Final Form USA, he collected a carbon hood, canards, air ducts, and a rear diffuser from RE Amemiya, plus a Voltex rear wing and an assortment of custom lights from CarshopGLOW and Rize Japan to modernize the 26-year-old coupe. The chassis wasn't forgotten, either, as JDM packages continued to arrive at Tito's house with Work VS-XX wheels, Project Mu big brakes, and TEIN coilovers.

The car's color is perhaps the only influence that didn't come from either Tito's Puerto Rican roots or his affinity for Japanese car culture. While stationed in Dubai with the army, he fell in love with a Lamborghini Aventador painted Balloon white. It shined in the desert sun like nothing he had ever seen, so upon his return, he dropped his car off with good friend Josh Croll, where it was painted the same Lambo hue and given the exotic luster he couldn't live without.

1993 Mazda RX 7 MOMO Steering Wheel Photo 21/21   |   1993 Mazda RX-7 - Cultural Enrichment

While it might be easy to think Tito was following a formula, his build represents so much more. It's unusual to encounter a street-driven Mazda RX-7 in Japan with as much power as Tito's car, and it's not every day a Puerto Rican RX-7 owner goes through as much trouble as Tito did to collect and use all those valuable JDM parts. He's glued together the two distant car cultures he's grown up emulating, and it's nothing short of amazing.

1993 Mazda RX 7 RE Amemiya N1 Front Bumper 01 Photo 21/21   |   1993 Mazda RX-7 - Cultural Enrichment
1993 Mazda RX 7 HKS Racing Type II Blow Off Valves Photo 21/21   |   1993 Mazda RX-7 - Cultural Enrichment
By Rushton Skinner
8 Articles
1993 Mazda RX-7 - Cultural Enrichment
Tuning Menu
Owner: John "Tito" Perez Jr.
Hometown: Utica, NY
Occupation: United States Army Staff Sergeant
Instagram: @titococoloso
Power: 815 hp; 503 lb-ft of torque
Engine Goopy Performance semi-peripheral porting, 14mm studs, seal kit; RX Parts throttle body kit, 2mm apex seals; Xtreme Rotaries intake manifold; Top Feed 2,000cc injectors, fuel rail, fittings; Aeromotive twin 340-lph fuel pump with single-pole 80-amp relay/solenoid upgrade; Garrett GT42RS turbo, four-row intercooler core, 5-inch turbo inlet funnel; PFS 4-inch exhaust, center muffler midpipe, dual oil coolers; AEM methanol-injection kit with stainless-steel braided lines; HKS Racing Type II twin blow-off valves; NGK Race spark plugs; ARC oil catch can; GReddy pulleys; Koyo radiator; Precision 66mm wastegate; motor assembled by John Vargas at Vargas Motorsports West Coast
Drivetrain: Five-speed Zenki manual transmission swap; ACT heavy-duty pressure plate, XACT flywheel, six-puck solid hub clutch, Xtreme counterweight; PFS rear diff brace, solid transmission mount, line lock kit; B&M short shifter; Carbonetics two-way metal limited-slip differential; GReddy differential cover; RX7store.net 4.33 gears, chromoly axles, differential bar; urethane differential bushing set; SR Motorsports powerplant frame
Engine Management: ProEFI Pro128 ECU, smart ignition coils, CAN gauge, exhaust backpressure kit, boost control solenoid; I-Boost switch, wideband O2 kit; connector plug and pin kit
Footwork & Chassis: TEIN Super Drift coilovers with EDFC
Brakes: Project Mu six-piston front big brake kit; Brembo slotted rear rotors
Wheels & Tires: 19x9.5 front, 19x10.5 rear Work VS-XX wheels with step lips and gold faces; 235/35R19 front, 255/30R19 rear Falken FK510 tires; Project Kics R40 NeoChrome lug nuts; ARP extended wheel studs
Exterior: RE Amemiya AD Facer N-1 front bumper, carbon-fiber AD9 hood, canards, air ducts, diffuser; Voltex 1,600mm Type 3 GT carbon-fiber rear wing with 245mm bracket stands; CarshopGLOW taillights, front bumper lights, carbon-fiber taillight spoiler; Rize Japan headlights and LED kit; Fujita Engineering (FEED) carbon-fiber door handles, carbon-fiber side steps; Takata tow straps; Aerocatch hood latches; Leg Sport carbon-fiber rear ducts; Craft Square carbon-fiber mirrors; URAS reverse lamp and rear side markers; Lamborghini Balloon White paint by Crolls Customs
Interior: Bride carbon-Kevlar Gradation seats; Vento carbon-fiber interior; NRG harness bar; Takata five-point harnesses; Works Bell steering wheel hub with quick-release lock; AiM MXL Strada dash; MOMO steering wheel, shift knob, Gotham Racing pedals, shift boot, T200 aluminum floor mat; Defi Blue Racer Series boost, EGT, volt gauges; Fujita Engineering (FEED) carbon-fiber luggage box and badge; Pioneer AVH-P4000DVD head unit
Thanks: My wife and my dad for always supporting me-without my wife always giving me the green light to order parts and my dad's wisdom/motivation, I wouldn't be here today; my Final Form USA brothers David, Khiem, Clay, Cristian, and Andy for always looking out for me and pushing me to the next level; Rich Langi at Falken Tire; my friend Josh Croll for taking care of the difficult body/paintjob while I was overseas; my close friends back home in Utica, Josh and Joel; my new family here in El Paso, Golden Vapor; Ray, Arnold, Low Class Militia; Meguiar's

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

Preview Super Street's January 2020 issue, featuring engine swaps galore! Blown V-6 EG Civic & W20 MR2; 1st CARB-legal V-8 S14; SR20DET Toyota pickup; 2JZ Mustang; and more!
Super Street StaffNov 15, 2019
The Polestar 1 is a statement of purpose that illustrates Polestar's commitment to burgeoning technologies that, while currently imperfect, show a lot of promise for the future of sustainable motoring.
Bradley IgerNov 14, 2019
As much as we love the restomod aspect and the undeniably nice kick in power offered by this little red hatch, it's the execution that had everyone at SEMA talking about it.
RodrezNov 13, 2019
Visiting the Fortune Auto booth at SEMA 2019 revealed a project that Japanese Classics have been hard at work on for the last year and we couldn't get enough of it
RodrezNov 12, 2019
If you had seen Nick Higgins' hatchback in its previous form, you'd think most would've stopped there. But one day, Nick decided to redo it from scratch.
Jonathan WongNov 11, 2019
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP