Guest Blog: Mark Riccioni>>fd Rx7 Build

Like 99% of car fans, I grew up with motors all around me – my old man loved his cars, often bringing classics back from Italy including a Lamborghini Espada, 1976 Porsche 911 and even began building his own Jaguar E-type until the unfortunate birth of the brother put a stop to things…

Anyways, since 2004 I’ve been a ‘motoring journalist’ over on the UK title Max Power which, when you’re 16 at the time of starting work, it opens your eyes to the entire car industry pretty quickly. I grew up addicted to photoshop, further justified working on such a title before you can even drive let alone own and modify a car. Needless to say as soon as I turned 17 I got my hands on an EJ9 Civic – it went through some serious changes in the two and a half years I owned it. Its first ‘guise’ was a Buddy Club kit, Advan RG wheels, carbon bonnet/spoiler and Polar White bodywork, inspired by the great Top Fuel Civics of Japan. In its final stage, it’d received EK9 facelift bodywork, low-offset SSR Mk3 wheels, BMW paintwork and a LOT of camber. For those interested, there’s a pic here.

Onto the main focus of this article though, my (now previous) RX7. I bought this car aged 20, wanting something faster and more unique than the Civic. It was exactly the opposite – rear wheel drive, turbocharged and not to mention the ol’ rotary reliability people throw into the equation. A 200SX seemed too obvious and the prospect of a Skyline made insurance possible, so 3 weeks after I sold my Civic I bought the following RX7, a 1994 Type R (twin oil coolers) model with 50,000 on the engine and relatively standard.

I used this daily for near 4 months, racking over 10,000 miles in that time (not good at around 19mpg economy). Needless to say fuel bills and servicing killed me, sure the intervals were every 7000 miles but plugs, oil and coolant change coming in at £240 a pop it’s still very much a rich man’s car despite it’s £4000 initial price tag. Fast forward to March 2009 and with a month until the UK ‘show’ season kicking off, I figured I’d need to do something drastic much for my own self satisfaction not to mention working on a mag like Max. With my potatoe-shop virtual skills I came up with an idea I wanted, so the transformation began.

Having met ex-Speedhunter Antonio Alvendia in 2008 we shared similar views on fitment, stance and generally getting a car to sit right. The RX7, despite its age, has awesome bodylines as standard so I wanted to utilise this instead of work against it. My idea was simple, stance it, add a few details to the standard bodywork and job’s a good’un. O start things off, I had Julain @ Rare Rims send me one of the first sets of his low-offset (at the time) Rota Grids, measuring in at 18×9.5in et30 (front) but more importantly 18x10in ET15 on the rear. RX7s aren’t the easiest to get good fitment on, they’re ET35 as standard and the arches don’t leave much room. But before I could even fit the wheels, they needed painting.

I remember seeing Dsalni’s S14 over on the Farm of Minds blog and the black/green combo absolutely killed it. That’s exactly what I wanted, so after flicking through a few colour charts I found a Kia green very similar to that of Takata. A trip down to Croydon-based Xquisite Automotive and the wheels were painted. Rather than just leave it at the wheels, I found an old Benen tow hook I bought from my Civic days, so Takata green that went before being bolted through the bumper.


Essentially, that was ‘stage 1’ of the build. I had a set of Feed-style side steps fitted that literally look 15 minutes to do both sides, and a few days later I had an RE: Amemiya style rear diffusor too.

Main reason behind this was to bring the whole car lower; the front splitter was only a few centimetres off the floor, and seeing as the wheels were as tucked in the arches as possible (without further archwork) the diffusor/side step brought the whole profile of the car to the same height… Well, low-ness.

And that was the RX7 – owned for just over a year, I’d racked up 17,000 miles, performed all the ‘mods’ in around 3 weeks total and generally drove myself into poverty haha. At the start, I mentioned it used to be my RX7, and as that suggests I’m no longer the owner. Like progressing from the Civic to the RX7, I’d grown used to it, wanted something a bit faster and a new project to get my teeth into. So, in December 2009 I took control of the latest project, a 1990 Skyline R32 GT-R.

Imported from Japan in November, it’s a bit silly really. Ex-drag car running 700bhp, OS 3-plate clutch, Nismo 2-way diffs, OS gearset, N1 pistons, 720cc injectors, Bosch 044 pumps etc. It scares me every single time I (try) and drive it.

Expect to see a similar sort of build to the RX7 very soon!

-Mark Riccioni



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nice write up MArk . LOVED UR CIVIC . u really need to teach ricy kids how its done. also liked ur FD . really liked it without the spoiler .not many fd owners dare to sport that sexy shaved ass. but i get why u went with the wing and diffuser. RE + more low never goes wrong :)

hope to see more of ur future builds.

~loneracer SK


i didnt even realise youd got rid of the REX iloved that car!!

your bloody mental with the r32!!! need to see some more of it tho!!

and i folllowed you civic build in max powe rit was he only reason i ever brought that mag! your civic and the yellow 240sx!!!


How does a 20 year old afford an RX7? You must have rich parents.


I love that style and color of the wheels of the MX7


You have awesome car choice!! Very jealous!


dam. can we get the photo of the skid larger?


Rob said:

How does a 20 year old afford an RX7? You must have rich parents.

February 4, 2010 5:44 PM [flag as inappropriate]

or a gooood job, or a heavy debt...haha.

i could buy one too, if i didnt have a nice mortgage!

friggin love the FD, its awesome.

I too want to see more of this GTR. i have considered the 32'gtr for my next project...seen em real cheap here in aus lately...


pics are not working


lol. that fd is sick. But that last picture of the r32 is amazing. I know you're a guest blogger, but can we somehow get that last picture in desktop size?


@Rob, did you miss the part where Mark mentioned he'd been working for Max Power magazine since he was 16!?

Looking good Mark! Thats 2 OP cars on here now (y)



2nd last pic of the FD and the R32 GTR in Desktops Please!

The FD is tuff with the Satin Black paint and Green wheels.


2nd to last and last photos as desktops PRETTY PLEASE SPEEDHUNTERS


No, I didn't miss that. But 16 yr olds working photoshop do not make much. Ask me how I know. Also, why did you paint the wheels AFTER the tires were mounted?????


Very nice RX7. Ive always wanted one. How did get into working for max power at 16?


I stopped reading after the first few words.

99% of car nuts growing up with engines all around them?

thats wayyy exaggerated. Me, and pretty much ALL of my high school friends are into cars and we can barely afford S14's and Z32's. And we LOVE cars. pretty much just sites like this and cardomain and mortormavens is what keeps us motivated. NOT because we have enough money to be surrounded by engines (though i wish) or because our parents have enough money to bring back home diffrent cars every week,



Sorry Mark, I don't agree with your choice of wheels.

I'm sure you've heard MANY times people bashing other people about how shitty Rota's are....

Well I'm not here to tell you're entitled to buy whatever you want.....but when someone posts stuff like: "I didn't have enough money to buy the real deal" (TE37 Takata green) I bought Rota's instead....and copy (or try to copy) the color of the close as possible....those people are faking the funk....and they're LAME !

You own an FD and owned many other tuned car in the past but can't afford the real deal?.....

Then you hear people complaining that the JDM scene is going down and Chinese sh!t sell more, while they're copying other's companies' idea....

Think about it for a second.


Wow, awesome! Thanks for this Mike/Speedhunters, really appreciate it! And thanks for all the comments.

To answer a few questions, how do you afford the FD?

I'l 21 now, basically i took a loan out to buy/insure my first Civic (pictured above) which i kept until i was 19. I was quite lucky in that, when i'd finished with the Civic i managed to sell it for decent money.

So the Civic actually paid for the RX7 (i paid £4200 for the RX7 in 2008), by then i'd paid of my loan so as much as insurance was killer, i had no loan to pay so insurance instalments instead haha.

I'm lucky with the job - anyone will tell you journalism does not pay well! But you meet a lot of awesome people, i couldn't have built ANY of my cars without the help from a lot of people, Xquisite Automotive especially.

How did i get into Max? Basically i used to be massively into my virtual 'chops', and when they lost their designer they needed someone to do virtuals each month. I did these freelance while i was still at school before going in for work experience, doing a journalism scholarship and then 5 years later... still here.

Rob - we painted the wheels with the tyres fitted just for time really. Plus the wheels were brand new, so they only needed scotching before pain. Also, the stretch meant we could paint the entire lip anyways.

RacerrRex - Where's the money element coming from? My old man owned several nice cars, prior to me even being born. He doesn't work in a garage, never has. He just likes cars - he's got loads of books on supercars from the 70s/80s/90s, he didn't own them. When you're 7-8 years old looking through books like that it's pretty inspiring, way before the days of speedhunters/motormavens which inspire people today.

My cars have been built on a budget, you've just got to be wise. In fact, you can build a replica of that RX7 now for EASILY £3500 all in, so that's what about $5500 by todays rates.

FD3s you can pick up for £2000-£2500

Wheels, obviously reps they're around £600-700 even cheaper if you find used.

Coilovers, again you can get used Cusco's for £300

Diffusor £150, side skirts, £80

So before you make judgements about rich parents, or it being EASY for people to make 'cool cars' actually think about it. I work my arse off every day to afford the cars i run. Don't just assume because someones got something nice and they're young it's been handed on a plate.

Anyways, rant over! Cheers for the positive comments peeps - if Mike wants i'll forward over wallpapers on the burnout/flame shots.


Please Desktop as the Last !!!!!!!


Desktop as teh last one !!!


Can we have Desktop as the last please ?


Absolutely savage car Mark! Their's always gonna be haters, but like you explained, you can build something unique on a budget..

I remember seeing pics of this with this with the F6 lot at Players (i think..?) and it just looked rude.

Do you have a blog link? I wouldnt mind following the progress of that R32..


great cars ! more pics of the r32 pleas


More info on the R32 PLEASE! Other than that, great article and cool cars!


Thanks guys!

If you want to see the R32's build head over to - there's a dyno video and a few other bits on there too of it :)

Ironically on the hater front, i've bought some Volk TE37 G2s for it. Here's how it currently sits:


There's nothing quite as funny as JDM bummer Rota rage, seriously get out more, it's a set of wheels, not a lifestyle choice...


What a stunning example of a FD.

Can't get enough of that color combination.

Wanna do the same to my HCR32.


Picture links are broken and or missing


Wallpaper request of the R32 ;)


The RX-7 Looks great and you worked hard for it, but the Rota's, the Feed "STYLE" side skirts, and RE Amemiya "STYLE" diffuser, make me sad :( The companies that are innovating designs are the ones suffering...

The Skyline is awesome, and has a nice list of parts on it already!


desktop of the burnout pic and the R32 please!


awesome set of cars you've owned. love the fd and can't wait to see whats in store for the skyline


is that a jamaican flag above the right tail light? if it is big up urself


lol @ rota bashers. theres nothing wrong with them.

AND. Rota grids are much better looking that TE37s.


"Rota Grids".... Dude. And you work in the industry?... Dude.


wha's with the hating on MArk , Lol at the rota bashers too. like i to support the real jdm shit oo but wtf, their wheels that look good for cheap, u dont have to go and write a paragraph justifying your hatred.

and as for that of the 99% , maybe is a little too much but does any now the real percent of kids that grow around motors etc.??? its just part of the write up , not an affirmed fact. so u dont have to get all despiteful about it, instead feel cool you came out of that 1 percent. i grew around art and all the things not car related, and still got bit by the bug. stop the hating . mark just explained he had too wwork hard like all of us.

cars keep us poor while storing those paychecks


*Insert generic derogatory Rota hate comment here* blah, blah, blah!!!

The car looks EPIC! And, more importantly, it got used!!! He's literally living the dream!

Who cares what it says in the centre caps of the wheels - they look AMAZING and they're fitted correctly.


Well done on the Speedhunters feature and the quality pics/write-up.


Ps. @ Alex, Rota is made in the Philippines too. Get the facts straight!!! Hahaha!!!


MTR - 'Rota Grids and you work in the industry' - zactly... you seen what a mag writer gets paid these days! haha, kidding.

DomZ - it is a Jamaican flag, although i'm a long-haired white boy so maybe i should take it off... i'd hate to be 'faking the Jamaican funk' :)

Last message i wanna hear on the wheels - try and appreciate the car for what it is, how simple the mods are and how well you can make the FD3S look - proper testament to a shape spawned in 1992.

I didn't stick Volk stickers on 'em, they are what they are. For me the car was about a look i wanted. Which is what modifying your car is all about. what YOU want, nobody else :)


Nice write up Mark. Two Okishima Program features in one week on Speedhunters? Need to get my finger out and make it three!

You got a little hater dirt on your shoulder though, just brush that off.


How can you write for that stupid chav magazine? That stupid chavved up shitbox in the top right corner of the fourth pic explains exactly what Max Power is about.

And if you bring chavs into the JDM scene I will actually kill you.


Stop buying ROTAs!!!

And feed style? Really? WTF. This is not speedhunters marerial. This guy is ricer. Sorry that's all I've got to say.

BTW Max Power is the worst mag I've ever laid my eyes on.


Hmm, replicas allover the car just ruin RX7. Fake wheels painted Takata green, fake RE diffusor, fake sideskirts. No real engine mods. And with all the rota lovers: if you do some research on the quality of their wheels, you'll find some disturbing posts about warpage.

Anyone can afford an RX7 at any age, either through loans, shitty job, or inheritance. It's what you do with your can and the parts that you put is what counts. Save your money for the real deal please.

And you work at a car magazine shop? STOP THE COPY and start focusing on the real tuners out there.


I wonder how many of you would change your comments if he said those were real Volks, or a real RE diffuser. I'm almost positive more than HALF of you could not tell the difference, because more than HALF of you rely on information off of google to sound like you know what you are talking about. Everyone on the internet tries to act like they know so much about what they are talking about out of fear of being ridiculed by someone they have never seen, sitting behind a computer screen miles away in secrecy.

So many people on here think they know it all, yet only a few have any real Automotive knowledge on here.

So many of you FUCKING FAGGOTS think you just know everything.

Does having 3-5k dollar rims on your car get you laid any more often? Probably not, but I'm sure there is some jackass out there that will disagree.

This site gets more and more filled with COCKSUCKER POSTERS everyday, simply looking to start arguments and now people are even arguing and calling out the blog posters.

Ok...go ahead now. Moderate my post of all the dirty words.


"Who cares what it says in the centre caps of the wheels"

It's not bashing on the brand per se, it's that Chinese companies ripping off engineered JDM and USDM products with a low degree of quality threatens to reduce the whole industry. Companies pay big bucks on R & D, and if Chinese (or other) companies continue to knock off their products, said companies discontinue making quality products or go out of business all together. Then where will we be?


I just ate some Tescos own-brand bacon crisps.

Damn i think i'm killing Walkers :(


Tough crowd huh Mark? :>

It's worth noting that used RX7s in the UK are a lot more affordable than in North America. To buy anyway.


I just can't believe someone who works for MAX power has such good taste in cars/styling!


Nice looking car. Prefer it without the wing though. Question: Is it normal to get your wheels painted AFTER the tires have been mounted? I've never seen it done like that before.


Please make the photos work!

i wana read this post really bad!


Whoever said that this guy has good taste is a moron.

Having $3K + wheels will probably not get me laid. But i know that if this kid is building a track car, real wheels will probably save his life instead of crashing into the wall. Having a REAL and FUNCTIONAL diffuser/wing will actually create REAL downforce, instead of just looks. I would rather save up, no matter how long, for that one REAL set of wheels instead of buying couple FAKE parts. That's what real tuners do. Obviously this kid doesn't know how.

Buying a 700 BHP skyline again does not raise your status. You merely purchased another person's hard work. Again, if you spent the time and money into your OWN parts, you can customize the way you want it to be. For me, it's Built > Bought.

The magazine that this kid works for is alright, but with having knowledge in the automotive business and polluting your car with shitty parts does not make sense.

Please SpeedHunters, have some more sensibility and do some real coverage than posting these random ricers. Fakers should be executed.


Rod - haha tell me about it! The joys of keyboard warriors eh? I wonder how many of the Rota/fake bashers have parted with their own cash on anything more than 'genuine' stickers for their cars?

This post/my cars is about my car style and how i want my car to look. Not everybody in this world builds pure race cars and tracks them every week - some people want a car that looks well, goes well and isn't a generic out-the-box motor.

Ken - you even reading what you're writing? Who said anything about building a track car? Why will real wheels save my life? Isn't that what rollcages and chassis prep do? Please, enlighten me for being such a 'moron' you teenage, keyboard-bashing kid.

You would rather save up and get real, yes? Soooo, can you tell me that you do this in every aspect of life? do you always buy genuine Coca Cola instead of the cheaper alternative?

'That's what real tuners do' pardon my ignorance, but why does a large percentage of 'real tuners' persist on using ROTA wheels in Time Attack? That's a motorsport, right? In fact, why do tuners use K Sport, Apex, D2... SURELY DIS WILL ALL KILL THEM!!11

I purchased another persons hard work - are you saying that EVERY modified car should be stripped to stock before sale then? Surely, as such a 'big player' in rare parts and clearly far more intelligent than me, it's better to buy a car with the 'genuine' parts from Cusco, HKS, Apexi and so forth so you know, i'm not 'killing' the industry.

I'll say it once again, this is a STREET car built for my look, and my use. I didn't build it for INTERNET JDM POINTS!!!!!1111111 i built it for me. Now i love my JDM parts, and i love supporting the authentic tuners but i hate to break it to some of you guys... but replicas do actually exist in the world, not just in automotive but everywhere. Clearly the fact i've bought genuine SSR wheels, EK9 bodywork, Recaro seats and Volk TE37 wheels must mean i am destroying all these tuners.

End of the day, what does keyboard-bashing on the internet solve? Nothing - if you're that precious about it, do something! Don't sit on your arse judging other people who are actually out there building cars... stop borrowing your mum's Wagon, save up like the REAL enthusiasts and build your own Crazy JDM non-replica passion machine while working full time 7 days a week...


Okay dude Id say you should consider used parts. They will cost as much as new copycat parts.


"Buying a 700 BHP skyline again does not raise your status. You merely purchased another person's hard work. Again, if you spent the time and money into your OWN parts, you can customize the way you want it to be. For me, it's Built > Bought."

What is wrong with starting from an already modifed car, you might as well be ripping on him for buying a GTR instead of dropping a RB26 and AWD system into a GT-S. Mark isn't claiming to have build the car, and judging from what I've seen of him, he is not going to leave the car as is.


Envy and jealousy are very close in meaning. Envy denotes a longing to possess something awarded to or achieved by another: to feel envy when a friend inherits a fortune. Jealousy, on the other hand, denotes a feeling of resentment that another has gained something that one more rightfully deserves: to feel jealousy when a coworker receives a promotion. Jealousy also refers to anguish caused by fear of unfaithfulness. 4. resent. Envy, begrudge, covet refer to one's attitude toward the possessions or attainments of others. To envy is to feel resentful and unhappy because someone else possesses, or has achieved, what one wishes oneself to possess, or to have achieved: to envy the wealthy, a woman's beauty, an honest man's reputation. To begrudge is to be unwilling that another should have the possessions, honors, or credit that person deserves.

I wonder what Ken drives. Why don't you hit up Speedhunters with a guest blog. Oh that's right; you can't. Some people talk the talk, whilst others walk the walk.

I really don't get this. If you like cars, then why bitch? If people spent more time in the garage and less time on the internet hiding behind their keyboard's, then maybe the whole car culture scene could be even better. Half the people that bitch and moan have never built anything that would snap necks on the street and I for one would not be happy slagging off someone elses car on the internet. It's pointless. Fruitless. It's very negative. I bet you people that do this kind of internet bitching get the calculator out at the end of a date and split the bill down the middle. And forgo the tip. All because you're chasing the real deal JDM parts Yo! Hahahaha! Life is about living and having fun. It's crystal clear that Mark has had a lot of fun in his cars and THAT is what it's ALL about. If you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong.


....RX-7's always seem to draw this kind of of the seXXXiest cars ever made (IMO) the stance/fitment, man!! I<3Haters!!


Hahaha. If the rx7 was built for the track def replica bs is not gonna cut it. but if its a clean street car. thats built to look good. then nothing wrong with rep'.

Think theres alot of dumb-asses building cars using authentic (Race Car) parts and never putting the parts to use just to be part of a stance hellaflush scene. (Which I and many others disagree with highly) but at the end of the day to each its own and as long as the owner is happy and the car suits the purpose they built it for I can respect it too.

I cant believe all these people who are hated on by so much of the car scene for (wasting money buying parts that dont help the car perform) are hating on a guy for building a clean car that does not perform.

replicas are a part of capitalism and im confident the strong will survive. and unless all of you have houses full of premium non-generic goods please STFU.

BTW He never faked the funk. or lied about the build

and he has built a pretty BA civic using true shit.

anybody thats seen the true underside of shop cars will know most of them are pretty pos's that dont run worth a dam.

this car looks good, so Big ups to you mark.


All you guys bitching about genuine vs. reps is hilarious lol. You build a car for the purpose your going to use it for - why the fuck anyone would spend ~3k on a set of Volks for a street car is beyond me!

As for reps killing the automotive industry, please. Customers of companies like Volk etc arent gonna be tempted away by cheaper reps, and those who buy the reps would never have entertained spending the kind of cash genuine parts cost anyway. Chill out!

The ones i feel sorry for are you guys decking your cars out in genuine, expensive, race parts; cages, wheels, suspension components and never going anywhere near a track with them!!


Also noticed, none of the 'haters' cared to include in their posts what THEY drive, what parts they have, what they use their cars for lol. Keyboard warriors.

Mark - im not really a fan of max power but loving your cars mate, keep it up!


To Mark - Mark nice FD. I drive an 83 FB Rx7 and a 97 basic bolt on Prelude as a daily driver. Someday I'll work my way up into the FD rank when I get some more cash.

Ignore the haters who probably drive primered EGs.

I promise you man, if you wouldn't have said anything about the wheels being painted or if you went the ricer route and had Volk stickers on your wheels, none of these Idiots would be crying about fake wheels, simply because I'm sure so many of them couldn't tell the difference.

This blog post has been the equivalent of someone biting into a shit sandwich, enjoying it, finding out it is shit, and then complaining.

What a lot of these people don't know is that MANY of the HIGH END JDM WHEELS are made in the SAME factories as their low cost alternative counterparts and rebranded. Not all, but many. And yes I know rota is made in the Philippines.

It is this type of "MY WHEELS ARE SO JDM" hate that is killing the scene. I see it in the TRASH magazines like Super Street and Import Tuner (both from the same garbage publisher) who PROMOTE this ideology, yet will have dozens of ads for knock off and low cost wheels. Oh the Irony. I see it on the internet forums where too many a forum maven cannot pull his head out of his ass long enough to realize that no one gives a fucking shit that he has TE37's as compared to the 18 year old kid who just saved enough to get Rota Grids. What the fuck justifies 75% of the people on here to buy a set of wheels that cost +500.00 plus PER RIM?

I forgot everyone that posts on here is a race car driver.

Nice car tho Mark. Trust me, I'm sure all the haters would rock it, if given the chance.


I love RX-7's in general and this one is great. It's unique and that is awesome. Brap Brap Brap.



Green against black is a good combo although personally I would have gone for pink.


This car is lethal!! You don't know what the exact paint code is for that color of green?


dude mark, eff these kids bashing you man. I think rota grids are some of the most bang-for-your-buck sexy wheels out there and i plan on getting some for my s13. You may not be super rich, but its style, not money that makes a clean looking car. At least you have style, and a black rx-7 on green grids it just pure sex. Congrats, and enjoy that r32, it happens to be my favorite car of all time. these kids only dream of owning cars like this.


R32 Desktop Please!


Awesome write up, I see this car all over the net, Hellaflush forums, here, Max of course. Hope you keep the original modding coming, hope to see this next car at some shows this year ;)

Had to expect some haters on the Rotas, think the phrase was said on here lately 'If they aint hatin', you aint doin' it right'


Desktop please from the intro pic!. Oh and im such a big fan of Rx7`s... but i think ur Skyline will be looking good though.



haha, yet to meet the liner! need to see it before you crash it. lol at the haters, tis fun winding them up, good work riccionions!



Quite a few drag GTR's posted here recently eh? Here's one more - a street car owned by Mark Riccioni from the UK. You might remember Mark's guest blog on his previous FD RX7 project. His latest project is this R32 Skyline GTR with a single