Few things stand the test of time. Something once hot, scrubbed by the scathing sands of time, quickly turns not. Brigitte Nielsen for one, Britney Spears another (no, we'd rather not hit you one more time).
Cars are particularly susceptible to the woes of age. While they don't wrinkle, gain weight or suffer through custody battles, models -the four-wheel kind-do become dated. My S13 240Sx, for example: Pop-up headlights, a sharp nose and angular lines don't exactly scream Internet age. The third generation Mazda RX-7, however, is a rare exception.
Yes, the FD3S comes equipped with the was-cool-in-the-early-'90s pop-up illumination, but take a mere glance at the sultry curves of the Mazda and I ask, beg, and implore you to find a car today that has sexier lines. The MILF of the automobile world, this is one car that looks hotter today than it did yesterday; a fact that Richmond, Va. resident Terry Awad appreciates.
An automotive fiend with a particular craving for boost, Terry's been through some impressive cars: An E39 BMW M5, a Lotus Elise, a JDM righthand drive Toyota Soarer (Lexus SC for the Japanese inept), five Mazda Miatas, a Mitsubishi EVO and a turbocharged honda S2000. And those are just some of his exes. Terry still owns an R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R and a trackprepped EVO 8. Jealous? All those cars are minor compared to his baby, a '93 Mazda RX-7.
"The FD3S RX-7 came out when I was in high school," said Terry. "I remember the day it first appeared at my Mazda dealer. I was both stunned and obsessed with the car. All of the older guys at the time bought them and I used to watch them street race against the domestic guys and win. I vowed that one day I would own an FD and it would be badass. For a while I thought about buying a Supra because of its superior power plant, but in my opinion, it never will be as sexy as the FD." we agree.
While Terry thought his Mazda was hot stock, he knew he could make her hotter. Think Adriana Lima post victoria's Secret. And like any good lingerie model, the FD chassis was first stripped bare-all the way down to the metal-so that Dream Works Customs out in Virginia Beach, Va., could properly media blast and prep it for the multi-stage House of Kolor Kobalt Blue paint with a Rosetta Red Pearl finish. The lengthy process took four months and involved spraying the entire chassis, new bumper, R1 lip and Feed side skirts and the installation of LED turn signals and Japanese-spec '99 taillights. A custom cut 3M clear bra was applied by Roadblock Protective Systems to protect the new paint.
With the exterior looking shiny and new, Terry went to sprucing up the cabin, reupholstering the more than decade-old interior with new leather and swapping in a suede Nardi Classico steering wheel and hub, C's short shifter kit and an ARC titanium shift knob. A'PEXi instrumentation, including a PowerFC Commander and a Blitz SBC-iD boost controller, gave the early-'90s vehicle a digital makeover.
Afterwards, Terry focused on getting the RX-7 to rolling chassis status so that it would be readily transportable. Terry had the stock struts replaced with koni Sport shocks, H&R springs and Ground Control coilovers, he also upgraded the brakes with brembo rotors tied to Goodrich brake lines. A Cusco strut tower bar was installed and Terry had Tri-Point adjust the suspension and corner balance the rotary-powered machine. To get the Mazda finally rolling, literally, work Meisters (18x9 front +38 offset; 18x10 rear +38 offset)- custom painted to rival-make Volk Mag Blue specifications, a shade darker than the chassis, were wrapped on Dunlop Direzza tires (225/45-18 front; 245/40-18 rear) and capped with light blue work aluminum lug nuts.
I vowed that one day I would own an FD and it would be badass.
Semi-mobile, it was off to PF Supercars, where Ray Wilson met the task of getting the rotary running. Needing a rebuild, the 13B motor was pulled apart and the seals were replaced with fresh stock units and the housings ported to a mild street spec before being reassembled. A GT35R turbo kit from A-Spec Tuning, complete with A-Spec Tuning manifold and downpipe, TiAL 44mm wastegate, HKS Super-Sequential blow-off valve and Rotary Extreme V-mount intercooler replaced the overly complicated OE sequential setup. Bye-bye rat's nest.
With the motor and turbo system in place, wilson focused on the details; installing items like a freer-flowing GReddy throttle-body elbow, K&N filter, Kakimoto Racing midpipe and Racing beat dual-tip exhaust, and spark-amplifying hkS Twin Power ignition, Magnecor spark plug wires, odyssey PC680 battery and NGK Iridium plugs. Fuel delivery was increased with KGParts Fuel System injectors (1,600/550cc), a secondary fuel rail, stainless lines, an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator and two fuel pumps off a Toyota Supra. With the rotary firing, Wilson dropped in an Exedy clutch and tuned the buffed 13b with an APEX'i PowerFC squeezing 423 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque out of the tiny 1.3L; good for a 11.9 second run at 119 mph on the quarter-mile. Not too shabby for an old girl, eh?
"In the past I've built many hardcore vehicles for mountain/track driving. With the FD, wanted to showcase something beautiful and unique while retaining comfort and daily drive-ability with such amenities like A/C, heat and comfy seats." Reliable and more importantly, actually driven on the streets, Terry's rotary is a purring MILF, one we'd take home over a haggard pop princess any day. Gimme more, in this case means one with more age.
Engine Garrett GT35R turbo; APEX'i PowerFC; TiAL wastegate; HKS Super-Sequential blow-off valve, Twin-Power ignition; Rotary Extreme V-mount intercooler; A-spec manifold, up-pipe, downpipe; custom ceramic coated intercooler piping; PF Supercars mild street port; Toyota Supra fuel pumps (x2); KG Parts fuel system (550/1,600cc injectors); Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator; upgraded secondary fuel rail; Magnecor spark plug wires; K&N intake; GReddy intake manifold; Racing Beat exhaust; Kakimoto Race midpipe; NGK spark plugs; Odyssey PC680 battery
Drivetrain C's short throw shift; Exedy dual plate clutch; Mazdaspeed flywheel; Cusco LSd
Suspension Koni shocks; Mazdaspeed anti-roll bar
Wheels/Tires Work Meister rims (front: 18x9 +38 offset; rear: 18x10 +38 offset)
Brakes Brembo rotors; Project Mu brake pads; Goodridge brake lines; Dunlop Direzza tires (225/45-18 front; 245/40-18 rear)
Exterior House of Kolors Kandy Cobalt Blue with Rosetta Red Pearl; R1 front lip; LED turn signals; Feed side skirts; JDM '99 taillights; Catz head lamps
Interior Nardi 330mm Classico steering wheel, hub; bell works billet spacer; C's short shifter kit; APEX'i PowerFC Commander (in cradle); Blitz SBC-iD boost controller; ARC titanium shift knob; updated interior panels
Name Terry Awad
Hometown Richmond, VA
Occupation Medical Sales
Hobbies building cars, photography and driving
Build Time About one year
Quote I wanted to build one of the cleanest and most subtle FD's while attaining a very aggressive and sexy look