The story behind the RX7

The RetroFIX RX7 is one of the shop’s most beloved vehicles. It was acquired in September 2006 and has gone through some significant changes since then, but my enthusiasm for the FC3S chassis hasn’t diminished, in fact, my interest for this chassis goes much further back, to my youth.

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My fascination for cars, motorcyles and engines is something I can’t explain. I can’t remember not being totally consumed by the many variations of them; however, one thing I can explain is why I have the FC3S, along with the reason for my attraction to this particular body style.

It goes back to a highschool fling… not your average puppy love type stuff, but a chance encounter that was left hanging, abandoned without closure. I’m talking about a coincidental meeting with a red, Series 5, Turbo II RX7.

The car belonged to the older cousin of a highschool friend. My friend hadn’t started driving and his cousing would bring him home from school. I already had my first vehicle, a brand new, chery red metallic, Chevy s10. It was a 2.2L 5sp truck and after school I’d line it up with the RX7 on the streets of Arlington, Texas, only to get smoked really bad. Tired of loosing races in the truck, I looked at purchasing a base model s4 FC, but passed. I also looked at a MA70 Supra with most of the engine in the hatch and the rest in a box, but also passed. Then, I stumbled into an opportunity to acquire a 1995 Supra Turbo, and instantly, the Turbo II RX7 became a distant object in my rearview mirror.

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All was good in my MKIV world and for a couple of years, I would see the RX7 on and off, and was still extremely fascinated with it, as it was the first turbocharged vehicle I had seen up close.

Another s10(a 4.3L 5sp this time), and many years later, after  cars were out of the picture and motorcycles were in the forefront, I realized that red FC3S had left a giant void somewhere in my automotive sense of being. I thought about it (about 5 minutes) and decided I would buy an FC RX7 to build, lightly tune and daily drive.

Almost immediately after looking on the electronic flea market, I found what seemed like the cleanest, untouched S5 for a great deal, blown engine of course and 16 hrs away. Luckily, it was a Texas car, and had only spent one winter up north. Also, the retired Mazda mechanic that owned it took exceptional care of it, and even supplied an OEM rebuild kit as well as a the dealer service manual!

These are the actual photos from the listing:
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So with an empty car dolly and a cab full of redbull and beefjerky, the non-stop trip was made from Lake Charles, LA to Peoria, IL. A few hours of sleep at a seedy motel and then a drive into the country to pickup the RX7.

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With a quick push from a lawn tractor and we loaded up, headed back into town to have some paperwork notarized and then 16hrs back.

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Wagon’s South! It was an all day drive that continued into the night and then a good sleep was had well into the next day…

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…before the engine started to come out..

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…right in the the apartment parking lot.

And just like that, the car craziness resumed…

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