The FD Mazda RX7 is a pretty unanimous dream car. And the rotary is a fantasy, larger-than-life engine. Both of them represent a peak time when PERFORMANCE & PASSION ruled the automotive world. Nowadays – tech, safety, connectivity, and convenience rule it. And by rule… I mean oppress. (*Cut to clip of Happy Gilmore giving a big thumbs down.) I don’t think anybody realized how good we had it in the early 90s. Or that it would ever change. 

beautiful car

A lot of us want to reconnect with the energy of that era… and we do it through cars.

Cars have a way of taking us back in time. You sit in any decent vehicle of any decade… and you feel the presence of that decade. In a metaphorical way, it’s the closest thing to ‘a time machine’ we’ve got. 

JDM cars

But for car enthusiasts, here’s the dilemma: 

Do we utilize & incorporate all modern innovation & tech that’s available to us these days? Meaning, should we use the advantages that we have… to make our restomods more reliable, useable, powerful and ‘better’ than they ever were originally? Or – do we strive to keep it real & preserve the original ingredients at all costs? I’m about 100% sure that if we could travel back in time to 1960 & drop some LS7 engines on hot-rodders’ front lawns, they would have absolutely zero hesitation to stick those things into their ’55 Chevys before sunrise.

Mazda RX7

But – things were simpler back then…

And we’re more tormented & conflicted in modern times. Because there is something magnetic & historically significant about the hot-rodder era, the muscle-car era, and the rad era. Something that, as car enthusiasts, we should deliberately work to preserve & celebrate. 

Mazda RX7

But that’s a double-edge sword… 

And it comes down to this: How to you define ‘preserving & celebrating’? Is it by keeping everything real & authentic? Or is it by keeping it reliable & on the road… so that people (including yourself) actually get to enjoy it?

You can rebuild a ’55 Chevy with its original 265 V8. But honestly – are you ever gonna drive it outside of town? And likewise – you can build a hot 3-rotor for your Mazda RX7. But let’s be real, how often is it gonna be sitting on jack-stands next to your empty wallet? Bottom line: A car can’t inspire anyone if it never sees the light of day. 

Mazda RX7

Therefore – these days I’m feeling like there needs to be a certain level of flexibility in our builds…

If you’re a rotary guru & your dad/uncle worked for Mazda in the 80s… then it’s your civic-duty to run a rotary dammit lol. The engine NEEDS to be saved. It NEEDS to be enjoyed & celebrated. Because come on – there’e nothing like it! The sounds, the flames, the attitude – it’s unreal. And it won’t be long until a kid at a car show can’t fathom the fact that we used to drive cars like that in the everyday world. We’re borderline there already. So if you’re a rotary guru, or you’ve got the resources to keep rotary engines on the road – you better do it. 

yellow car

But you also have to be realistic & wise…

Because if you don’t have that specialized mechanical know-how. And/or you don’t have the flow of resources to continuously employ someone who does. Then you get in where you fit in… and preserve the energy of the era in the most effective way you can. And that’s by keeping the car on the road! By any means necessary. Put it out there. Wake people up! Pull kids’ eyes off their tablet with something better. Be loud & provocative. And remind people of a world where cars were so much more than an appliance that charged their iPhones.

lowered FD RX7

Mack Williams bought this Mazda RX7 as a half-completed LS-swap project…

When Mack was a kid, his dad drag raced old Chevys (still does). So Mack knows his way around a V8 a lot better then he does a rotary. But when Mack came of age, he was drawn to the imports at the drag strip. He was always a kind of a mutt like that: a mix of old-school displacement & import styling. 


The FD RX7 was Mack’s dream car.

You’re hard-pressed any sports car with a more pure design than the FD RX7. Arguably, the FD is perfection. Like a concept car that made it to production with no compromises. Mack lives in South Louisiana, and circa 2016, he actually had an FD RX7 he was in the process of building… when a flood came through & wiped it out. The car was an LS-swap project. It wasn’t running yet, and therefore it wasn’t insured at the time of the flood. So Mack was just SOL. That stands for shit out of luck.

bagged FD RX7

He ended up with a ’67 Camaro… 

And one day someone came by with this half-swapped RX7, PLUS a bucket of cash, wanting to trade for Mack’s Camaro. Mack figured this was his 2nd-chance at an RX7 dream car – and he best not miss it. By the way – he says if you ever have the chance to buy someone’s half-swapped project car… don’t lol. He’s pretty convinced it was wired by monkeys. Buuuut at this point, Mack’s gone through & massaged just about everything on this car… 

wheel fitment


S3 Magazine



These days, if you’re fortunate enough to acquire an FD RX7… 

It kind of becomes a forever car. The window of opportunity to just go out & get one is closing fast. So it’s worth putting the resources into. Mack has built a solid, STUNNING, well-sorted RX7 that can be driven anywhere with a pretty high level of faith & confidence. And if you’re talking about preserving the energy of an era & inspiring people with the cars of yeaster-year… it really comes down to NOT missing any opportunities to drive it. 

Photos by Sam Igell II

V8 RX7

1993 Mazda RX7

Yellow paint with gold, silver, and green flake

Aluminum L33 5.3 V8 engine 

LS6 heads

Most everything inside the engine is from Brian Tooley Racing 

Suspension: Airlift V2 management

Air bags are from AirTekk, as well as the wheels 

The wheels (from AirTekk) are a multi-piece version of the OEM wheel (18×9.5 +15 & 18×10.5 +22)

RE-Amemiya front carbon fender vent

Legsport rear quarter-panel carbon piece.

Stopmotion taillights

1999 front bumper

ShineAuto front lip, skirts, & duckbill wing

Shaved reflectors, rear wiper, & antenna