Breaking The Rules: A Slammed-Out 7
Seventh heaven

Taking a platform designed for one purpose and modifying it to conform with another is a sure fire way to make an impact in the modified car world. Here at Speedhunters we thrive on fresh thinking and unconventional approaches to car building, whether it be a Volkswagen Golf dealt a rear-wheel drive conversion and 1000-plus horsepower of twin turbo Chevy V8 (it’s coming – I joke you not!), or – as in this particular instance – a svelte, black series seven Mazda RX-7, simply built for show over go.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-24

I’m sure the idea of taking a bonafide sports car and installing the sort of modifications that are largely known to exacerbate rather than enhance, will be lost on many readers, but for Steve Palmer and his RX-7 – the subject of an impromptu Paddy McGrath photo shoot at the recent UK Players Show – this build was never about conforming to the accepted norm. It was about taking the car he dreamed about owning long before he could even drive, and putting his own creative spin on it.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-5

As a modifying base, the final (for now at least) incarnation of Mazda’s revered rotary-powered platform is ripe for it. It’s an early ’90s design, granted, but this is a car that still enjoys a huge amount of aftermarket support, so personalisation is an easy proposition more than two decades after the fact.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-3

When it came to the specific direction of the build however, the route wasn’t so clear-cut. Essentially Steve was torn between two approaches: track-spec, so caged-up and wearing an RE Amemiya bodykit and functional lightweight rims – or smoothed over and fitted with the widest, deepest-dished wheels he could get his hands on. He chose the latter.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-15

The only aspect of the FD where Steve didn’t need to second guess himself was in the overhaul of the interior…

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-25

… which makes perfect sense considering Steve’s an auto trimmer by trade, and right from the project’s inception had planned to use the RX-7 to demonstrate the talents of his company Edge Automotive Interiors.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-21

To achieve the clean look he was after, Steve smoothed over the front bumper and fitted Concept 7 front guards. Although he’s adamant that the wheels would have squeezed under the factory fenders with some subtle – or perhaps not-so-subtle – refashioning, an extra 25mm width each side with the FEED-inspired fibreglass replacements are a perfect fit.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-9

The look continues to the rear, with massaged guards, a smooth boot lid and an extremely subtle yet very cool, Concept 7 duck tail lip spoiler which perfectly complements the Mazda’s organic curves. That low-slung stance? It’s a static set-up, courtesy of HSD DualTech twin-tube coilovers with 14-way damper adjustment.

Squeeze and tuck
Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-23

It’s quite easy to overlook the subtle enhancements that Steve has made to RX-7’s body, but you can put that down to the impact collectively being made by the wide wheel and stretched tyre combination.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-20

The oh-so-tough polished Work Rezax II rims measure up at 18×10.5-inch with a +15 offset on the front end and 18×12-inch +/-0 offset at the rear, shod with 225/40 and 265/35 Falken FK452 rubber respectively.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-7

There’s a lot of room under FD3S rear guards, but even though they’ve had a good pull, they can barely contain the zero offset Works. Actually, they don’t contain them at all, which is understandable considering they were originally set up for wheels that sat inwards 20mm from the current set up. According to Steve, there’s still a little more give in the steel arches yet, but with bigger plans being brewed for the rear end, the aggressive fitment will suffice in the meantime.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-17

Working with his favourite materials and a needle and thread, Steve has done an amazing  job in transforming the RX-7’s cockpit from the sea of black plastic that once consumed it.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-19

A pair of Recaro Pole Position racing seats were on Steve’s must-have list, but in lending his craft to the cause they’ve taken on a whole new look. Black Alcantara now features on the cushions, with high-grade leather (dyed in his company’s official blue hue) wrapping around the front side of the frames.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-14

The splash of colour extends to the Nardi Torino Deep Corn steering wheel, the shifter and handbrake, and a few other pieces around the interior. To be honest, I’m not normally a fan of this sort of thing, but I actually really like what Steve’s done here.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-18

I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen anything like this before, but the retro-styled Asda clock that shares space with a Smiths boost meter in a custom gauge pod is a quirky and original addition to the space. From this angle you also get a good look at the dashboard, which Steve also dealt the full Alcantara treatment.

Perfect execution
Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-8

It’s another small, yet very well executed detail, in a build where I think it’s very safe to say that less is definitely more. In saying that though, chances are it isn’t going to remain that way for too much longer.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-2

Steve has some bigger plans for the RX-7, and in keeping with the modifications he’s made to date, they’ll continue to be focused on style rather than speed. The ideas might still be bouncing around in his head, but don’t be surprised if it turns up at a future Players Show featuring a suspension system, new wheels, more interior trim work, and maybe even an exterior colour change.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-11

There’s not a whole lot in store for the engine bay, nor the twin sequential turbocharger-equipped 13B twin-rotor motor that dwells within it – except a few hard pipes and quick tidy up perhaps.

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-6

With more than 280hp on tap in factory form though, it’s hardly lacking in the performance department. Most importantly, it’s fast enough for Steve, and that’s the main thing, right?

Mazda RX7 Players PMcG-28

Whether you think Steve took the right track with this build or not, I don’t think there’s any questioning the fact that he’s been successful in making an impact – and more so, with a surprisingly small number of modifications. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this slick 7.

Brad Lord

Edge Automotive 1996 Mazda RX-7

Factory 13B twin turbo

Factory five-speed manual, rear-wheel drive

HSD DualTech adjustable coilovers, factory four-wheel discs

Work Rezax II 18×10.5-inch ET15, Falken FK452 225/40R18 (front), Work Rezax II 18×12-inch ET0, Falken FK452 265/35R18 (rear).

Concept 7 front guards, smoothed front bumper, Concept 7 duck tail spoiler, smoothed boot lid, pulled rear arches

Recaro Pole Position seats trimmed in blue leather and black alcantara, dashboard trimmed in blue leather and black alcantara, Smiths 52mm boost gauge, Asda clock in custom gauge pod,  Nardi Torino 330mm Deep Corn steering wheel trimmed in blue leather, gear knob, handbrake and gaiters trimmed in blue leather

More Players Show 2013 stories on Speedhunters
More Mazda stories on Speedhunters



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I didn't like the interior when I saw it from the outside, but once I saw the photos of the inside, it blended together very well.


I hate that interior but I think its just the color, the execution was great and its good to see someone doing something show oriented with an FD that doesn't involve a stupid veilside kit


I followed this in and thought it was something special, and then saw it in the hanger! Looked awesome in the flesh, but that paintwork needs a mop! ;)


Dat Ass... Needs to hit the gym and start wearing clothes that fit it. At least the interior looks go... Nope. Well the engine bay looks ni... Nope. Well the exterior looks really goo... Nope. Why is this a feature car? Haggard engine bay, haggard paint, piss-poor execution of wheel fitment, gaudy and loud interior, completely neutered performance and handling (which is what makes it a sports car in the first place). Yeah, flawless execution of how not to build an RX-7.


Haha stock engine "Speedhunters" more like hardpark hunters. What a joke


Please stop featuring stanced bullshit like this.  The name of the website is Speedhunters, so post cars that are built for speed and handling.  This is just a ruined RX-7.


another form over function


FunctionFirst Its called Hipster status my friend. Form over function..


terrible fitment.... terrible. And this is coming from a person who actually likes fittedcars.


Awesome! Thanks for the feature guys really appreciate it. Paddy did an amazing job on the photos as well!


Steve EDGE It's a great car. Credit to you Sir!

FAISSAL from "France"

NICE FD!! very clean...


Jochem Steve EDGE Thanks man, its getting there! Still plenty more to do!


Steve EDGE Jochem I would like to see how it looks when it's finished

turbo beams ae86

rice.  hate it.  if i wanted see this i would go Illest,com,,,,, or something


Wow :D you must have spent some time on that Trim, looks sick. I'm not a big fan of the Stance look but the clean look pulls it off well.


reno808 FunctionFirst  maybe not a hater more a Dick, put some pics of your car up so we can rip it to bits.........


I'm not normally into flashy interior treatment, but damn that's slick


@Grizzly My car isn't up for a feature on Speedhunters, and if it ever is you can expect it won't be for lack of execution.


Jochem Steve EDGE Me too honestly. It'll probably be an amazing ride once the same amount of expertise and passion that's displayed in the interior finds its way to the rest of the car.


@Grizzly reno808 FunctionFirst Go on my instagram. rip it to bits


I think the interior looks pretty great! I feel like it would probably match better with a white body, but it looks fine for now. Also, considering how clean the lines of the RX7 are, I feel as if the wheels are a bit much. Equally large/wide wheels in silver instead of chrome and of a simpler, cleaner looking style would work better, methinks.


Smaller, skinnier tires and needs more low.


My opinion counts guys, let me rag on your style of tuning because I'm against it! Listen to what I have to say!

Nice 7, the wheels compliment the body lines. I dont think i'll ever get over these, this is the jam.


Great article, Im not usually a fan of interior modification as it tends to go so horribly wrong. 
In this case it does go quite well!
 Would be quite a revolution to up market our 90s cars with alcantra dashes and such if done to a subtle factory style spec.


Killed it with the lighting


Purple Heart RX7 had waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better fitment
Which brings me to the 1 thing that grinds my gears about the new layout: 
Is speedhunters going to bring back the archives?!!
Also your search bar is invisible >_< ??
Other than that you guys are great and the content is Still amazing!


FunctionFirst "..completely neutered performance and handling (which is what makes it a sports car in the first place)."  You are 100% right.  People who are into this shit are not automotive enthusiasts.  They are trend followers. The difference between liking stance, and actually liking cars and motorsport, is like the difference between liking radio pop, and Mozart and Beethoven.  It's so sad.


Well done.  I definitely want to wrap my dash in alcantara as well.  Keep the 7's alive!!


gorgeous colors


reno808 FunctionFirst DWQuattro This is an argument that has practically being going on since the dawn of time. It's not a complicated issue as it simply boils down to different people liking different things. Why people become so offended that other people like different things is one of life's mysteries. 
Don't get me wrong, you don't have to like it but if you call yourself a true automotive enthusiast, you will be able to appreciate it.


Steve EDGE Thanks for your time Steve, keep us updated with how the build progresses.


Another all show, no go.


DWQuattro FunctionFirst There's a million variations on being an 'automotive enthusiast', sure that term shows just how broad things can be? Also creating the perfect radio pop can be as much of a talent as conducting an orchestra!


PaddyMcGrath reno808 FunctionFirst DWQuattro That being said why not post something that is more unique. instead of a slammed rx 7 with stretched tires and colorful leather. I am not hating on the "build". i am just tired of seeing the same ole thing. Its everywhere. 
You guys are my favorite site/blog for a reason, and have made a impact and change my views on a few things. Keep it up.


reno808 This is it, we post such a variety of content that there's bound to be stuff you don't like that someone else might love and vice versa. We know this and understand it more than anyone else. 
Where else can you find F1 coverage alongside drifting? Or a home-built tube chassised Lancia with a 2JZ alongside a military themed S14 from Japan? For Speedhunters to be Speedhunters, we need to show EVERYTHING. If we're not challenging your views on a regular basis, then we have failed IMO.


Beautiful. I'm a huge rotary fan and I myself own a series 7 RX7. Love it ! keep them coming.


What a shame


I should get a leather wrapped license plate...


Pretty average! That's coming from the owner of a black FD!


Love that interior!


Steve EDGE that is one cool FD, congrats


I'm quite amused that the people leaving negative comments think their say will have an impact.  As usual, the mainstream crowd thinks how they do things is the only and right way to build a car.  Modification is about personal taste, you can't get it wrong if you do what you like. 
That's the biggest problem with the car community, especially online.  Learn to respect someone else's style, & stop self-appointing yourself the modification police. Don't like it? Don't build your car like he did.


Hello dear
I'm looking for this size 19" front section width 9.5"
Rear 19" section width 12 "
Do you have it or have somebody in mind can help me find it ?