If you are a car guy and you are into your JDM cars, you will no doubt remember the famous Initial D anime series which focused on the world of illegal Japanese street racing. The first time I laid my eyes on Warren Rodger's 1993 FD3S RX-7, I had to pinch myself as I could swear I was looking at Keisuke’s RX7 from Initial D. Everything from the colour to the Mazdaspeed bodykit looks exactly like it and I couldn’t help but stare as it was as if I was seeing a Yellow Ghost!
Warren Rodger first saw this mint piece of JDM history sitting in a garage at a friends house two years ago. Before his eyes stood a rarely seen JDM lovers dream and he knew right there and then that he had to have it. He made an offer and after what seemed like forever to Warren, he finally purchased the car. He was now a proud owner of the iconic Mazda FD3S RX-7, but it didn’t take long for the urge for more power to kick in which quite literally sparked the fire for things to come.
Warren stayed stock for a while but minor problems with the 13B motor a year later encouraged him and his father to rip out the motor and build it into the fire breathing monster you see before you, but this was no easy task. He stumbled upon the rx7club.com forum which helped him gain a lot of the necessary info he would need to put his plan into action and so Warren and his father set about removing the engine for its rebuild.
The motor was taken to Dorne at Rotary Turbo Tech in Boksburg who was the man of choice for the rebuild. The motor was then bridgeported, dowelled and had the oil system modified as the original oil metering pump could not supply enough oil to the newly bridgeported motor. Due to the oil metering pump being removed, the car now uses 250ml of Two-stroke oil in each tank of fuel to make sure it keeps the motor lubricated at all times. Brand new gaskets and seals were fitted to make sure this series 6 motor would be healthy for years to come.
While the motor was being rebuilt, Warren and his father resprayed the engine bay and did a few other minor cosmetic touches to the car including, spraying the wing blade, the front lip on the bumper and the grills in the fenders a high gloss black which really accentuates the aggressive lines of the Mazdaspeed bodykit. Next up was the overall stance of the car.
The RX-7 doesn’t have coilovers so Warren ingenuously modified the struts to lower the car closer to the tarmac. At the same time the SSR wheels were split and the barrels were anodized bronze at Astro Anodising in Sebenza. Warren then got paint matched from the barrels to spray the faces of the wheels from Neeresh from Nancefield Paints.
Before the motor could go back in, Dorne sourced a Twin Plate Clutch so that there would be no problems putting down the power Warren had in mind. Warren and his father then set about refitting the freshly built 13B back into the car which was quite the struggle I was told but like true petrolheads, they enjoyed every moment of it.
To cope with the fuelling side of things, Warren fitted a set of 850cc injectors. He then sourced and wired in a Microtech fuel management system as it is a more tuneable management for the rotary motor. The car got tuned by Kobus at BME Tuning and made just shy of 400hp at 1 bar boost on pump fuel with some NF mixed in for good measure. Even though it's running a GT35 turbo, rotaries are notoriously known to need huge turbos to perform as they should but the car is very strong and has a nice power band considering the size of the turbo and the amount of boost. The car ran a respectable 13.2 seconds on the 1/4 mile at ODI Raceway first time out and a speed of 226km/h on the 1km. Warren told me that with a bit more seat time, the car can easily dip into the 12’s.
In the looks department Warren also modified the front bumper to accommodate a Speedhunters Takata tow strap. The side skirts were moulded in to give the car a cleaner look but Warren wanted to keep things subtle being that it is the only FD3S RX-7 in South Africa kitted with the Mazdaspeed bodykit. The bonnet is a custom fiberglass item and really suites the overall look of the car. The exhaust is a full 90mm system with the 130mm jap box to finish things off. The car is running on SSR GT3 3 piece split wheels wrapped in Goodyear 225/40/18 tyres in the front and some super wide 265/40/18 Bridgestone Potenza semi slicks on the back to keep things in check. Behind the stunning SSR’s all you can see are the huge 4 Pot Rotora calipers mated to cross drilled discs.
Interior wise the FD3S comes standard with pretty much everything you’d need but Warren changed the cluster to an imported Mazdaspeed cluster to carry on with the Mazdaspeed theme throughout the car. The steering wheel was then changed to a Nardi steering wheel along with an Isotta gear knob. A few necessary gauges have been fitted to make sure things like boost, fuel pressure and the air fuel ratio can be monitored at all times. A decent sound system has been fitted but with the glorious sound of that 13B motor, it hardly gets used.
Driving next to this car is an absolute car guys dream. As it screams past you the wastegates open and that 90mm exhaust starts beating at your ears like a monkey on a drum. You can’t help but smile and to put the cherry on the cake, as Warren lets off the loud pedal the car shoots huge flames which are really a sight to behold. On idle the car has its distinctive rotary brap-brap-brap-brap sound and has set off many car alarms, but that still doesn’t stop Warren from starting the car in the early morning to rattle his neighbour’s windows.
Warren would like to thank his Father Jimmy for all his hard work on the car and for helping him get it to where it is today. Thank you to the guys from the RE Club SA for all the advice and information. Thanks to Dorne for building such a strong motor and supplying the clutch, Neeresh for all the paint, Gianno for all your help and knowledge and lastly to Greg for selling him such an amazing car!