Sometimes in life, things are easy. However, as we all know, oftentimes this isn't the case, especially when it comes to modified automobiles. There's always that dream car, the halo you long for and would do almost anything to possess. For some it's a Ferarri, others a Lambo. For Eric Xue, his dream car had always been the Dodge Viper. With its burly V-10 and unmistakable looks, it's certainly a great machine, but eventually Eric came to his senses and realized it wasn't the most realistic car for him. With a similar roof line, extremely potent turbocharged powerplant and a much lower entry price, he ended up with his mind set on a Japanese sporting classic: the FD3S Mazda RX-7. Although we would never call an FD "settling" for second best - considering the Viper costs around double (even in less than ideal shape) - we think Eric made a wise choice.
After searching long and hard for the right candidate, Eric stumbled across a low-mileage Montego Blue beauty in Colorado and had it shipped to his home in Northern California, sight unseen. Some might see this as a pretty ballsy move, but it looks like Eric was on to something. By using a trustworthy escrow company, he landed himself a killer deal on this immaculate one-owner FD. The finder's fee and shipping cost are a small price to pay for getting into the driver seat of the car you really want. As soon as Eric received the car from the shipping company, he tried to convince himself that he would keep it stock. Yeah right, who wants a stock RX-7? Eric admits that he's not trying to make any sort of collector car here, nor is he a rotary purist by any means. "To be honest, I'm not really a rotary purist or fanatic or anything like that, I just have the car because I like it," he says with a laugh.
Within two days of owning the car, Eric bought himself an after-cat exhaust and had started his laundry list of parts for the rest of the car. After going through several phases, what he ended up with is a very nice, clean-looking street car. A carbon hood, courtesy of Feed, along with its carbon-Kevlar side skirts and a Type-II front bumper flow nicely and set the carbon composite theme for a very unique piece; the Re-Amemiya carbon-Kevlar rear diffuser has been custom-made just for Eric - you won't likely find another one like it floating around. The unmistakable green weave looks right at home on the Montego Blue paint, which despite its name, looks green more often than not. Shine Auto Kevlar bumper protectors give the front end a little spice of that lovely composite weave, and the front-mount intercooler hints as to what lies in wait under the hood.
Eric has kept things simple here, relying on tried-and-true rotary tuners for his performance upgrade needs. A M2 carbon-fiber intake feeds fresh air into the 13B, exhaust gases are expelled through M2 downpipe and midpipe and then finally through an Efini Y-pipe and A'PEXi after-cat exhaust. Cooling is handled by a Fluidyne racing radiator, and charge temperatures are kept within a proper range by the aforementioned RX-7 Fashion front-mount intercooler. An A'PEXi PowerFC manages the vitals from inside the cabin - Eric likes to know what's going on with his baby.
The interior of Eric's FD is subtle, keeping true to form. A pair of Bride VIOS III Low Max seats keep him and his passengers securely in place throughout the twisty Nor Cal highways, while he controls the RWD coupe with a black and red stitched Nardi Deep Corn suede steering wheel. A Pioneer head unit and A'PEXi PowerFC complete the interior upgrades, no crazy rollcages or harness bars here. Just a truly 100 percent street-driven car. A set of TEIN Flex coilovers keep the 7's stance proper and tight, while looking killer on powdercoated AME Tracer wheels. Sized at 18 inches all the way around, the fronts measure 9 inches wide and +25mm offset, wearing 215/40R18 Federal tires; the rear sizing is 18x10 + 25mm paired with 245/35R18 rubber.
Eric loves his 7, but no build is without issues. "I would like to note that while this car has been Financially Draining (the true meaning of FD)," he says, "for me, the experience I have gained doing my own work is invaluable." Words to live by, and we hope he keeps it up as the car continues to change and progress.