Purists often claim that the FD RX-7 is one of the most beautiful cars ever designed. Its sleek curves and flawless shape is a truly timeless design in factory form. This very point argues that no exterior modifications are necessary to make a strikingly beautiful car. Gaudy aero kits only detract from true beauty. Mazda designers knew best when they created this masterpiece and nothing could fully improve perfection. It is hard to argue with these individuals, often stubborn, and frankly justified in their thought process. A nice set of wheels coupled with a revised ride height creates a stunning car that possesses absolute presence. A set of TE’s or perhaps something showier, like polished Meisters, would complement the visual appearance perfectly. Countless FDs exist that meet this exact specification. Repeatedly, these cars are recognized for their timelessness and noted for their clean execution. Therefore, the picture is set, the rule is written, the story ends. Enter Phillip Simpson.
Before you is the very antithesis of what these purists preach. Despite the natural beauty of the FD, many body kit manufacturers have tried their hand at improving the aesthetics of the RX-7. Most notably RE-Amemiya created some of the most over-the-top, wild, “what am I looking at” body kits. Others, like BN sports, pushed the boundaries of what could have been with extremely widebody conversions, while dozens pulled cues from Mazda’s vision, and accentuated what they thought made improvements, even if slight.
Phillip has lived in the Holy Land, where thousands of stock FDs roam the streets plentifully. He has seen the best and worst of it all, wild riced-out creations, track machines, and the purist visions of glory. None of these creations was dismissed and he made mental note of every option, detail, and styling cue and compiled all of these into one giant inspiration. This land is Japan, and Phillip spent quite some time there while serving his country. He obviously did much more than just protect the peace, he used this time to become intimately acquainted with the Japanese tuning scene and, in particular, Japanese FDs. Japan’s culture is unlike any other and this firsthand experience really sunk into Phillip as he absorbed the sights, sounds, and even smells of Japanese tuning.
Having served a very important duration in Japan, Phillip packed up and headed back to the United States. This trip was something that would not escape him. Those sights and sounds are unforgettable, and Phillip sent out to pay homage to the time he spent overseas. This car is straight out of Japan, in spirit, at least.
The art of expression is significant in Japanese tuning. The Japanese always set out to create something unique to the highest degree possible. Unlike tuning in the States where people set out to be “different” and just create an abomination, the Japanese always infuse elements that do not quite belong into their builds of monumental proportions. Phillip really took this element to heart and stuck by his notepad when he put this car together. The purist element is near nonexistent; however, this car maintains its elegance in an excitingly unique manner, executed in truly Japanese fashion.
The visual appearance of this car is stunning. Phillip utilized various body kit makers in order to construct the curves found on his FD. The Sexy Style front bumper is truly that. The side skirts beautifully mimic the sensual curves of the car and give it a sharp, striking visual appeal. However, the fenders are the most important things about these visual alterations. This car is wide. A pair of 50mm front and rear fenders enables him to squeeze huge wheels under the car, and these are not the standard set of Japanese wheels mentioned earlier. In unusual fashion, Phillip used Rotiform, a brand none too common among the import scene. These handpicked parts were artfully meshed into an outstanding visual masterpiece. The combination of parts truly comes together into something that radiates Japanese styling.
This car does not simply look the part either. Again, deviating from the norm, there is a pair of GT28RS turbos on his street-ported 13B-REW. These days, most people seem to be throwing big single turbos on rotaries, but what else would you expect at this point? Obviously, a lot of work went into this setup, but this car has been so carefully crafted up to now, there is no turning back. In favor of engine response, these twins sit atop a custom Hot Line manifold paired with a V-mount setup to make this car a blast to drive. It emits an equally pleasurable sound as it blasts through the streets of downtown Phoenix, and resonates off the surrounding skyscrapers. This noise cannot be described other than an aural opus of glory.
So, did this build go too far? Is Phillip off the deep end? Did a wild man create this abomination? I conclude that none of the above is true, and rather it took a very keen, very thorough eye to envision this coalescence. Phillip has truly mastered the delicate balance of extreme augmentation with the essential beauty of a stock FD. Although purists may hate it, and you may as well, there is something undeniably likable about this car, and that is all I need for proof of this true masterpiece.
Behind the Build
Occupation Computer Technician in U.S. Air Force
Build time Two years
Rotary Engine research
“This has been my dream car since I first laid eyes on the rx-7 chassis.”
1993 Mazda FD RX-7 (FD3S)
400 whp / 330 lb-ft
Engine Street-ported 13B-REW; ported exhaust; 850 primary injectors with 1,680 secondary injectors; Supra TT fuel pump; Hot Line Custom V-mount kit; Koyo radiator; Gorilla RE fuel rail and silicone lines; 3½-inch straight pipe dual exhaust tips; deleted AST; Hot Line custom twin turbo intake air filter kit, custom downpipe, custom GT28RS twin turbo, exhaust manifold, and an ACT turbo and six-puck unsprung clutch and flywheel
Suspension BC Racing BR coilovers with 14k (front and rear)
Wheels/Tires Rotiform SJC rims 18x10 -8 (front) and 18x12 -13 (rear); Muteki SR48 lug nuts; 25mm spacers; 245/35/18 Federal 595RS-R tires (front) and 275/35/18 Sumitomo HTR Z II (rear)
Brakes Hawk HP pads; OEM 4-piston front brake calipers
Exterior Toyota Liquid Silver Metallic paint; Lovely Idol custom 50mm front fenders; Sexy Style front bumper; Mazdaspeed side skirts; Origin 50mm rear over fenders; stock hood modified with Chaser Drift hood vents; HotWater Labs custom headlights; Catz yellow headlight bulbs; Chrome ’99-spec front bumper lights
Interior Sparco Speed V seat; Auto Meter gauges; Hot Line four-point rollcage with crossbar; D1 Spec steering wheel; NRG quick release; R-Magic Shift knob
Gratitude “First, I want to thank my girlfriend, Kristi Clark, for being a huge part of my build and always being there for me; my family and friends because if they weren’t there I’d probably still be crying about things going wrong; Ozawa from Allout! for being such a huge inspiration; Dax Rodriguez; Gaijindrift; BubbleTech; Hot Line; Lovely Idol; Type-Zero; BattleCat Garage; Rotary Power Garage-C; Hotwater Labs; Street Sweeper Gang; Stance Nation; Trash Talk FD; Import Tuner for giving me the chance; and many more.”