If you happen to stumble upon the September 2018 issue of DSPORT Performance + Tech Magazine and by chance flipped to page 72, you would see an article titled “Soul Car” and the below picture:
DSPORT reached out to me earlier this year asking if I’d be interested in having my car featured in their magazine, but the only catch was i’d have to provide my own photos. Luckily for me, we just so happen to have a couple professional photographers on the team, and when David and Khiem caught wind that DSPORT was going to feature my car, they wanted to make sure I didn’t get shafted because of lousy photos, so they offered to fly up to NJ to shoot the car.
If you managed to spend 5-10 minutes reading the article, you’d get a slight glimpse into the history of my car, but for those of you that didn’t, you’re in luck, because i previously mentioned in my introductory article, Introducing RE(not so)super7, that at some point i would go more in depth into some of the more humble beginnings of this car, so this is it. And for those of you that did read the article, stick around as i will provide a little more color (and pictures!) from the past.
In February 2013, after a 6 year hiatus from RX7s, i purchased my 2nd one; a 93 Vintage Red Base model. While only lightly modified on the exterior, it came with a nicely set up street ported 2 rotor and a classic GT35R turbo kit with a Greddy 2 row FMIC.
The goal from the beginning was always to build my dream car, an RE-Amemiya FD, but before i could begin the exterior transformation, i needed to take care of a few small upgrades first. I started first with a few key pieces from RE i knew i would need in the end but could also use up front to add a little flare to the car, including the AD9 Carbon Hood, LED Tail lamps, Carbon Rear Diffuser, and the H11 Sleek Lights. In addition, I wanted to make the car reliable and handle as well as it looked so I also installed a V-Mount intercooler, Ohlins coilovers, Brembo Racing BBK, and a Bride VIOS III bucket seat. Within the 1st ten months of owning the car, it had become a solid platform with which i could begin my next and main phase of the build, the aero.
In January of 2014 i finally pulled the trigger on the “big” RE-Amemiya order which included the N1 02 bumper with the carbon fiber undersweep, the AD-GT2 widebody kit, the GT3 High Mount Wing, and the Carbon front and rear canards. As with all orders from Japan, good things comes to those who wait and by late April, my goodies had finally arrived.
Despite having no prior bodywork experience, i wanted to use this opportunity as a learning experience, so i began fitting the pieces together on the car. To my surprise, with little to no effort, everything lined up perfectly as it should. Although my main reason for choosing to buy authentic parts was because i wanted to support RE-Amemiya, i knew after this experience that buying authentic parts was really the only way to get proper fitting parts. Not only do all the body panels line up, all the necessary hardware required to hold the bodywork in place and allow things like the gas cap to function properly after install is provided.
If i may go off on a slight tangent. I get a lot of PM’s and DM’s from various people asking me about why their parts aren’t fitting properly or why they have gaps in their bodywork where mine doesn’t, so i ask them to send me pictures of their car. Every time after i see the pictures, it’s obvious that the parts they’re using are replicas and there’s really not much i can say to them at that point because if you choose to buy replicas, you’re bound to run into some fitment problems and/or you’ll be missing hardware required to make the bodywork fit. This reason alone should be compelling enough for you to want to save your money to buy authentic parts from Japan, not to mention you’ll be supporting the tuners who support the cars we all love.
And just to prove my point, here are a couple pictures of the initial fitment of the new bodywork which took probably less than an hour to put on and is only held on by a couple of bolts.
By far, the hardest part of the whole install was installing the gas cap skin. After spending a little time studying the instructions that came with the kit, i finally figured out what need to be done, which included trimming the existing gas door and part of the rear quarter panel.
After spending about a month on the car, working on it primarily on the weekends, i finally got all of the bodywork fitted, but my biggest mistake was underestimating how difficult it would be to not just paint the car, but try and color match the aero to the body of the car.
With the Vintage Red being a tricoat paint color and given my inexperience, i was almost guaranteed to fail, and fail miserably i did. Having run out of money and time, i turned to the easiest and cheapest solution available, plastidip. With the option to try a different color, i decided to go with white, which is a color i’ve always wanted to try. Luckily, white was one of the few colors that worked with red wheels, so i got to work.
The end result wasn’t great, but at least the car was one color again. Sixteen months after getting my 2nd FD, i finally had my dream car, albeit a little bit rougher around the edges than i originally imagined, but still what i always wanted, an RE-Amemiya FD. Stick around for part 2 as i recount the continued evolution of REsuper7 in the face of its greatest trial yet.