Right from the start, the second-generation Mazda RX-7—aka the FC3S in chassis speak, manufactured from years 1985 to 1992—had enthusiasts smitten. The front engine, RWD (FR) coupe boasted an independent rear suspension, 13B Wankel rotary engine power, and a clean, sporty look that perfectly bridges the design gap between what came before (SA) and after (FD) it in the RX-7 family lineup. With the Porsche 944-esque profile of the hatchback, the platform won fans through a driving experience that was well balanced and confidence inspiring, and in the decades since FC were new, a large aftermarket has evolved to serve the scene.
Today the FC3S Mazda RX-7 seems most popular among the drifting community, which comes as no surprise given the potential of the chassis and how good they can be made to look. But those aren't the only places they pop up—FC can be found in all spectrum of motorsport, and make great foundations for other types of builds, too. We ran some numbers looking at FC3S RX-7 stories over the years to see which were the most visited and found a variety of approaches to Mazda's late '80s sports coupe.
- Hertrech Eugene, Jr. 's 1988 Mazda RX-7 Turbo II
- GReddy Performance 1990 Mazda RX-7 Turbo II
- Isami Amemiya's 1989 Mazda RX-7
- Will Tetro's 1988 Mazda RX-7 SE
- Fris Cassasola's 1987 Mazda RX-7
It makes sense that Hert's Twerkstallion sits atop this list, since it has been the center of so many well documented internet exploits and has sort of become the gold standard for FC fans everywhere. The content creator for Hoonigan insists the RX-7 is a beater, one that has now gone from LS V-8 swap back to turbo 13B rotary, but there's something about the FC's style—BN Sports body kit, Work VS-KF wheels, BCL rear wing, J-spec livery—that elevates the coupe to the next level.
One of two FC on this list with a Pandem kit, it should be stressed how good of a job TRA Kyoto did with its widebody setup for this chassis, in this case supplemented with a set of TRA Kyoto 6666 Mesh wheels with gold faces and Hi-Polished lips. The simple and clean Mazda coupe made big waves with its debut in the Toyo Treadpass booth at the 2018 SEMA Show, where it also nabbed our Ultimate Award Best of Show.
Among tuners of rotary-powered Mazda, RE Amemiya are among the most elite from Japan, and at the 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon tuning house founder Isami Amemiya unveiled this mean, green machine, arguably one of the cleanest FC3S the world has ever laid eyes on. However, the Mazda coupe's real draw might be the heart of its unique drivetrain: a three-rotor 20B from a Cosmo mated to an RX-8 six-speed manual transmission.
You knew at least one V-8-swapped FC would end up on this list and Will Tetro's is absolutely a-maz-ing, built for all-out straight-line speed but keeping the creature comforts like AC, power steering and traction control. Sorry purists, but the formula for propelling Will's RX-7 includes a twin-turbo LS V-8, Nissan 350Z gearbox, and an 8.8-inch Ford IRS rear end.
The other TRA Kyoto widebodied FC3S on this roundup started off as a low-key Turbo II project but wound up getting time attacked and ultimately going to the SEMA Show before retirement. Fris Cassasola's RX-7 also makes a jaw-dropping first impression with a removable, chassis-mounted Battle Aero splitter, gargantuan rear wing, Porsche GT3 "Guards Red" paint, and girthy 18-inch Volk Racing TE37V wheels designed with exclusive negative offsets.