Wagons hold a special place in our hearts, especially those that have been transformed to do the unexpected. Intended to be family haulers and grocery getters, we've seen our fair share that have been turned into time attack cars (Volvo 245 DL race wagon), drift cars (1JZ-swapped Toyota Mark II) and even drag cars (Bisimoto's 1991 Honda Civic wagon). Admittedly, however, when we first saw Hiroshi Tajima's RX7 two years ago at Wekfest Japan 2018, we were torn between loving and loathing it, because someone had just turned an iconic Mazda sports car into a wagon
Rare Type RZ RX-7 at the Wekfest Japan Car Show, but not in its prettiest form
Sitting amongst the other FD3S RX-7s from rotary-specialist Miyoshi Paddock Racing, was a 2000 Type RZ model (limited edition with red Recaro seats, Bilstein suspension and BBS wheels; only 175 were made for the 2000 model year) - putrid green with red chrome decals. Not doing anything for us in the color scheme department, its rear made us stop in our tracks. The factory hatch that flows so well with the curves of the third-generation RX-7 had been replaced by something that looked more like a fighter jet canopy. Perplexed? You bet we were!
So what's up with that TRUST hatch conversion?
Scratching our heads, we recalled something from deep down in our memory banks from surfing RX-7 forums years (if not decades ago). This was, in fact, not a one-off piece, but a very rare TRUST Gracer Aero rear gate. When we reached out to TRUST to see if there was more information, they unfortunately couldn't help us out too much as it has been discontinued for years. What we do know is that there were not many pieces manufactured and GReddy USA actually sold its last one in late 2018.
Although TRUST couldn't provide any details, owner Hiroshi was very knowledgeable. He informs us that the rear gate was produced in 1997 and is made of lightweight polycarbonate. A lot of thought went into the design to make it functional; it also has conductive strips, so the defroster system still works like OEM. Hiroshi tells us his hatch was given to Miyoshi Paddock Racing directly from a TRUST representative in Japan to dispel any myths that this might be a replica or custom piece.
After learning all the details about the rear hatch, we wanted to know more about why Hiroshi chose it, because quite honestly, it was still pretty weird. He explained to us that he hated following trends and doing what others have done. He regularly visits art museums to relax and gain inspiration from the pieces he studies. When inspiration strikes, he goes for it and in this case, he was inspired to create a modernized RX-7 wagon.
The rest includes a good mix of RE Amemiya and Rocket Bunny aero, plus iconic TRUST livery
Hiroshi eventually tells us that getting the RX-7 to a point where he was truly happy with was a struggle. The biggest headache was to make his Type RZ visually balanced as the wagon glass was always too dominating. There were struggles with different aero parts, wheels, and especially the color, but with perseverance, he was able to pull everything together, hence the combination of RE Amemiya and Rocket bunny parts, plus air ride suspension and Work Meister M1 mesh wheels the FD wears now.
Ahead of the 2019 Wekfest Japan show, we were able to get some sneak peaks of Hiroshi's revised vision. The ugly green and chrome decals were gone and in its place was the classic livery inspired by the TRUST 1991 Porsche 962C that raced in the World Sports Prototype Championship, which of course, he received permission to use and looks goddamn glorious. Additionally, many of the interior parts were swapped out for GReddy and TRUST goods with more on the way including an upgraded turbo kit for its esteemed 13B-REW rotary powerplant.
So while we learned that Hiroshi might not be the only wagon-converted FD3S RX-7 in the world, we have to see he's executed it the best way imaginable, brought up to date using parts from trusted brands like RE Amemiya, Rocket Bunny and Work Wheels, but paying homage to some of the original roots of TRUST Japan.
Hate the wagon conversion but love the Rocket Bunny styling? Take a look back at one of our favorite FD3S Mazda RX-7 features of all-time by Gooichi Motors.
Still interested in wild looking RX-7s? Here's a look back at an RE Amemiya RX-7 from New York with a unique Porsche front-end conversion.
Missed the last print issue of Super Street? Check out the online feature of Phil's Sohn's custom and all-black FD RX-7.