When I think back to how my life was at age 22, it’s difficult to imagine having owned at least 30 cars by that point. That’s a lot of vehicles, no matter how you slice it up. Now for argument’s sake, let’s say all 30 of those cars had been Mazda RX-7s, an admittedly oddball sort of sports car, not known for its ease of modification (or even mechanical reliability, for that matter). This mad scenario might seem far-fetched to most of us, but not for Masin Decker. In fact, this young Mazda enthusiast is living the very tale I have just recited, and he’s not done yet. How did it all begin? I caught up with Masin to find out about how he first got into cars, and how that ultimately brought him to his most current build, this immaculate FC3S.
“I got into cars, thanks to my old man,” Masin says. “When I was growing up, we always had Corvettes, including a 1966 that [my dad] has owned for over 30 years! Naturally, I wanted a Vette, but quickly found out at a young age (14) that I couldn’t afford one. I had a friend with an RX-7, and we had heard about people swapping V-8s into them. I thought I could build a ‘mini-Vette,’ but also quickly found out that I couldn’t afford that, either. My dad suggested I just rebuild the rotary in my first car, a 1986 NA FC3S and save my money for the V-8 swap, so that’s what I did.
“After that, the rest was history — I just fell in love with the rotary! Since then, I’ve owned close to 30 RX-7s of all three generations, some modified and some stock. The funny part of the story is, I have finally come full circle and built a 1987 Turbo II with a LS1/T56 for my daily driver. I just wanted to have one for myself and see if I really like it. Still deciding on that!”
Masin’s current FD is an amazingly clean example of what a functional street car should be: its subtle exterior scheme consists of a ’99-spec JDM front end, a set of clean and subtle Feed side sills, and a rear diffuser and spoiler, courtesy of Shine Auto. The white Work Emotion XD9 wheels look right at home with the fresh coat of silver factory paint, completing the overall look of a nice and tasteful OEM-style ride. On the inside, it’s all business as well, with just a set of Defi gauges to hint that something sinister lurks underneath the hood.
In the motor department, Masin’s car is no slouch. Having essentially built the entire car on his own, one would expect the results to be nothing short of awesome — and they aren’t. “I moved to Arizona a year and a half ago for my job,” Masin says. “I work at a shop where we design and manufacture custom furniture like desks, bedroom sets, kitchens and entertainment units. We have a CNC machine that we use to make some of the pieces, and I do all the programming. I do all of my own work on my cars, including engine building, wiring, design, tuning (to an extent) and, most recently, fabrication.”
With a skill set like that, it’s easy to see how such a clean car has come together without much help from outside sources. The factory 13B-REW has been torn apart and rebuilt with all new seals, rotors, a balanced rotating assembly and all the other small bits that needed refreshing. Masin went to work custom-fabricating several pieces, including the exhaust and intercooler piping. Calling in outside help isn’t exactly Masin’s style, but the capable hands of Charlie Ruetsche and Patrick Galloway were enough to put Masin at ease.
The manifold and downpipe these guys have created for Masin are impeccably formed and add a significant boost to the car’s potential. All said and done, Masin’s RX puts down 450 horses on pump gas, which is nothing to scoff at. But if that isn’t enough juice to tickle his fancy, Masin can fill her up with race gas and crank up the boost to 21 psi for a whopping 710 rwhp.
Power figures like these would be silly to try and control with stock suspension, so Masin has gone with respected JDM tuner Kei Office for a set of its coilovers, a completely fresh set of bushings, and adjustable rear toe links and trailing arms. The cornering department is further aided by a set of ultra-sticky Toyo R888 R-compound tires.
As far as seriously hardcore, yet clean and functional, street cars go, there’s not a lot out there that pull it off better than this FD. “It is mostly built for street use,” Masin says. “I’m not a fan of toys that have to be trailered somewhere to be used. I do enjoy partaking in some spirited driving on the highway while another car is next to me doing the same thing, if you know what I mean!” Yes, Masin, we do. A car like this must be incredibly fun to play around with, and it’s great to know that it can still be driven around on a daily basis without too much sacrifice in comfort. Good show, sir.