Normally when the conversation makes it’s way to the future plans discussion for any given project car, you generally hear about what kind of finishing touches are on the horizon or what the next set of wheels are on order. When that particular question came up on Bruce Kress’ Mazda RX-7, he told me that this street car was going to become a kamikaze drift car. It was an answer that left me questioning my own judgment; did I hear him right? “I want to take this car into a few walls,” he says, matter of factly. Is he insane? He might very well be. But to understand this lunacy, you need to go back-to-basics and understand his theory on building cars.
Originally, Bruce was into building show cars, but after catching grief from a friend he took his car to the track one day, just to see what the fuss was all about. After that, he was hooked and eventually decided it was time to build a track car of his own. He had always loved the FD chassis and the way it looks but couldn’t get over his distaste for a rotary motor. He got over it quick when he took an exceptionally clean RX-7 off his friend’s hands.
At the same time, Bruce was stepping up in the Pro-Am ranks in the drifting circuit, so he decided it was about time to dedicate this FD to a full-time slide ride. The car went for a complete tear down so it could be rebuilt the right way. Over the course of eight months, he redid many areas of the car himself and took to the older D1 styling for inspiration. Look at the rear wing, for example; the uprights have hearts custom-cut into them. “Some people hate them, others love it,” Bruce says. He got it home and immediately started to strip the car down as he was going to make sure this car was built right. Over the next eight months he had basically touched every piece of this car and has built it 100% for himself to enjoy.
To go with the purple paint and other custom work, he couldn’t leave the motor anywhere close to being stock, especially if he wanted this FD to scream while sliding. The entire engine bay has been re-sprayed with the light grey color so many cars have taken to in recent years. On this rotary’s setup, a Borg Warner SX300 turbo sits at the heart of this custom turbo kit, producing 400hp and 340lb-ft after having been dialed in with an A’PEXi Power FC. Since Bruce wrenches daily at Garage Boso (a name you might be familiar with because of his teammate, pro driver, Ross Petty), that means he has plenty of tools at his disposal to get creative with. He fabricated his own intercooler piping, downpipe for the exhaust and his own engine harness. Instead of installing a limited-slip diff, he welded his own 2-way, insisting that he “loves driving on a welded diff!” To each his own, we suppose.
With the right power on tap, Bruce had to get a suspension that could live up to the abuse of competition drifting. Here, he decided Kei Office coilovers would be best for the job along with some minor upgrades to the brakes to help with the heavy pedal work that is soon to ensue. But this FD is all about style, as you can no doubt tell; the stance is sweet and the deep-lipped Work Miester S1s are a perfect compliment to the look of the car.
As perfect as this FD looks sitting still, I still have a hard time believing that anyone would purposely put it into harm’s way. Even Bruce admits he still gets nervous drifting a car that he’s spent hours working on. He says with confidence, however, “I was told (and learned) that if you’re going to build a track car, don’t even think about getting attached to it because nine times out of ten, you’re going to smash it. So yes, I’m ready to beat it up and enjoy it; why else would you build a car in the first place?” Used and abused. We love this guy’s thought process.
1993 Mazda RX-7
Owner Bruce Kress
Hometown Los Angeles, CA
Occupation Garage Boso Mechanic
Power 400hp at 8,000rpm; 340lb-ft at 8,000rpm
Engine 1.3L 13B-REW; mild-street port; Rotary Works throttle body; JDM intake manifold; Bosch fuel pump; SARD fuel pressure regulator; stock side feed fuel rail with stock 550cc primary & RC Engineering 1300cc secondary injectors; NGK spark plugs; Taylor’s spark plug wires; Optima yellow top battery; HKS Twin Spark ignition; Borg Warner SX300 turbo; HKS turbo manifold; GReddy Type-R blow-off valve; TiAL 44mm wastegate; DEI turbo blanket; twin Setrab oil coolers; CX Racing radiator; Samco hoses; custom 3" downpipe, wire harness and intercooler piping
Drivetrain 2-way welded differential; Clutch Masters single clutch with 6-puck sprung disc; Redline gear oil
Engine Management A’PEXi Power FC; AEM TruBoost
Footwork & Chassis Kei Office coilovers; alignment by Driftspeed; Mazdatrix front end-links; Cusco front strut bar; Battle Version rollcage; Super Pro urethane bushings; modified rack/pinion
Brakes Porterfield RS-4 brake pads; Wilwood proportioning valve; custom brake lines; PBM hydro brake
Wheels & Tires 18x9.5"/18x11" Work Miester S1 wheels; 225/40R18 & 245/40R18 Federal RS-R tires
Exterior BN Sports body kit; RE Amemiya fender mirrors and rear spoiler; Shine Auto roof spoiler; Chaser hood; JDM turn signals
Interior Defi tach, oil temp, oil pressure, boost, water temp and EGT gauges; Bride Zeta II seats and rails; Crow harnesses; Nardi steering wheel; Works Bell steering hub and quick release; custom gauge cluster and shift knob
Thanks You Garage Boso; Baker Precision; HPS; Mazdatrix; Cerritos Nissan Collision Center; Driftspeed; Rob from RyokuRob.com; Garage Aishteru; R. Rabe Body and Paint; my family and girlfriend, Corin
www garageboso.com; greddy.com; more-japan.com (Bride/SARD); workwheelsusa.com