Here's the coolest thing about Japan. Well, besides Hentai anime, the ubiquitous beer and corn soup vending machines, and the fact that JDM Wong, Eddie Lee from Mackin and I are now spit brothers (don't ask), it's the wide range of people who are into tuning and their vehicles. Take this FD for instance.
If you came across this Mazda in a parking lot you'd come up with a driver profile: a young dude, no older than 35, probably listens to hip-hop and rock, possibly a student or is into dating students, and really likes MTV. You'd never guess the owner of this vehicle had a Ph.D. and was a medical doctor practicing gastrointestinal endoscopy. While you're busy watching Linkin Park music videos, Dr. Wada, the owner, gets paid to watch lower intestines. Eww.
And when he's not busy checking for IBS, Dr. Wada's chin-checking the competition on the track in this very FD. In fact, he holds several course records in the stock twin turbo'd rotary. Pretty damn cool for a doctor. Before meeting Dr. Wada at CAM (tuning shop responsible for the build), the coolest experience I've had with an M.D. involved a catheter and ice packs-many small ice packs-and long, yawn-inducing accounts about the Vietnam War and trans fats. By the end, I was wishing the catheter's steely tube would put me out of my misery.
So that, my friends, is another reason why Japan is cooler than the U.S. Besides extensive research on the female anatomy, it's a place where you and your doc are into the same cars. Ask yourselves this: When's the last time you and your doctor had a heart-to-heart about setting up your vehicle before a track day?
'92 Mazda RX-7
Owner Masahiro Wada, M.D. Ph.D.
Hometown Saitama, Japan
Daily Grind gastrointestinal endoscopy doctor
Power 350 hp
Under The Hood Sard fuel pressure, regulator; Walbro fuel pump; CAM throttle body; A'PEXi catalytic convertor; Denso spark plugs; ULTRA spark plug wires; Knight Sports V-mount intercooler; GReddy Profec E-01 boost controller; non-sequential turbo modification
Drivetrain OS Giken transmission; ATS carbon LSD; HPI copper mixed clutch BRAINS A'PEXi Power FC
Stiff Stuff Merwede racing springs; Aragosta shocks, per CAM's specifications; SARD antiroll bars; Autoexe strut braces; CAM pillow ball bushings; Ikeya Formula's lower arms STOPPERS PFC brake lines, pads
Rollers 18x10.5 (rear) and 18x9.5 (front) Ray's CE28 wheels; Dunlop Direzza DZ101 tires
Outside Garage Kagotani and Fujita Engineering body kit; Garage Kagotani wing; custom underfloor panel
Inside Defi-Link gauges; Recaro SPA seats, steering wheel ICE HKS gauges
WWW www.e-setup.jp; www.nippon-seiki.co.jp; www.tein.com