How can you ever get tired of this stuff? Every year in Japan, the seventh day of July has always meant one thing for the tuning car community: 7’s Day. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve attended this legendary celebration of all things rotary-related at Daikoku PA – but it’s been many! Similar meetings happen up and down the country on 7/7, but this is the one that I’ve always stuck to, for year after year it continues to impress with an amazing turnout.
But as I was driving down to the world famous parking area in Yokohama on Tuesday evening, I started to get a little bit worried. That’s because I hadn’t seen, passed or been overtaken by one single RX-7 on my way from Tokyo, and with the crappy weather we’ve been enduring over this rainy season, I couldn’t be sure anyone would actually bother coming out.
Talk about worrying about nothing though! As it turned out, the reason I hadn’t seen any rotary-powered Mazdas on the Wangan was simple – by 6:30pm a ton of cars had already arrived; many people in attendance obviously either taking the entire day off work or leaving early in order to make it to the mother of all rotary meets.
With ominous-looking rain clouds around, I grabbed my camera and wasted no time making my way through the hundreds of cars that had taken over the majority of the parking area.
The selection was as vast and as varied as we have come to expect from this annual event, which always makes it interesting to see how people modify their cars.
And it’s pretty safe to say that both the FC3S and FD3S generations of the RX-7 are some of the most customisable and tuneable cars to ever come out of Japan; most owners treating their cars as blank canvases to go wild on.
Among the masses were some very cool examples, and one that I spotted straight away was this convertible FC3S. To me, the ultra-clean exterior with its pointy front bumper and Racing Beat version Racing Hart D Spec Superlative wheels with dummy single nuts had a real Bonneville Salt Flats racer feel to it. I’ve always loved this style!
I swear that as the years go by more and more people are getting into the FC3S as a tuning base.
I have a real attraction to this particular chassis too. I love its Porsche 944-ish lines, its pointy front end and the amazing overall potential that the engine and chassis have. But then again, isn’t it the same with all successful sportscars? It’s cool to see that among all the tuned FC3S RX-7s that this meet attracts, there were still close-to-original examples in attendance – a look that’s just as badass in my book.
I’m not sure if it was the weird hazy humidity or the pollution emanating from Kawasaki’s industrial precinct, but with crazy purple and yellow colours in the dusk sky, Daikoku PA was looking even more photogenic than it usually is.Daikoku PA Still Rules
The colourful backdrop provided an ambiance that was so much magical than every other time I’ve been here over the years.
And as always, the rotary faithful really impressed for the way that they were able to throw an informal meeting of this magnitude, but keep things totally under control with no stupidity going on.
As luck would have it the rain subsided pretty quickly, and with a steady stream of cars entering the parking area, the gathering was growing in size by the minute.
Annual meets like 7’s Day provide a great opportunity to catch up with people that I may not have seen for a while, and one of these guys is Kenji-san from Tochigi who has built up this crazy FD3S running an RX-8 front end conversion. Kenji is a big fan of Speedhunters and is always evolving his Mazda – this year adding even wider front fenders to boost its appearance. It’s easily one of the most recognisable modified cars in the country.
It’s not until you are confronted with so many RX-7s in one place that you realise just how much of an impact RE Amemiya has made in the aesthetic tuning of this model.
No matter where I looked, I was greeted by all the different conversions and body additions that the legendary rotary tuner has created, as well as numerous sets of its iconic AW7 wheel.
It’s always so difficult to choose a favourite, but one thing’s for sure – the FD3S is one of the few cars with pop-up headlights that I would convert to fixed units in a heartbeat if I owned one.
Styles come and go, and every year at this event you get to see how owners personalise their cars. This RX-7 had a real Back To The Future vibe with its undercarriage LED treatment.
Let’s not forget one of the most unique and impossibly-cool cars that Mazda created in the early ’90s – the JC Cosmo. Words can’t describe how much I love this model, and I can remember drooling over them as soon as I arrived in Japan in 1993, which was halfway through its new car production period. This 3-rotor 20B-powered version was rocking a few additions like a front lip spoiler, carbon bonnet and a set of mirrors with integrated turn signals. It was quite a coincidence that I came across this car – the only JC Cosmo at the meet – as earlier in the day I was looking to see what they’re fetching on the second hand market, via Car Sensor – a website I turn to when I’m in a ‘I wonder what project car I should pick up next’ kind of mood. And yes, are cheap… If only I had the damn space!
WTF? Yep, that was pretty much everyone’s reaction to this lifted Mitsubishi Delica. I’m not quite sure what to make of this thing, but it was bizarrely interesting and I thought I’d share a pic for entertainment’s sake. Plus it was riding on RAYS Volk Racing TE37s!
Prefer your rotary metal of the more vintage variety? Fear not, because Japan never disappoints in this department, as this SA22C RX-7 – and the one hiding behind it – prove.
Old school Mazdas were extremely outnumbered at this meet though, something I find quite interesting. I would really love to see more of these naturally aspirated classics in Japan, but these days you’re more likely to find first-gen RX-7s, RX-2s and RX-3s in other places around the world. Australia is the first that pops into my head, but after my overseas excursion last month, Malaysia too.Full House
FDs as far as the eye can see! But seriously, what an epic backdrop Daikoku PA always is with that organized mess of roads circling above it.
When the rain stopped, bonnets were popped and owners showed off what they had done to their little Wankels.
And when that happened crowds soon started gravitating towards the more heavily-tuned machinery.
What surprised me this time around was the impressive turnout of foreigners that had ventured to Japan to check out the annual celebration. I met rotor-heads from as far away as Germany, Australia and the US.
By around 8:00pm the meet began spilling over into the truck parking section of the PA, and as usual the resident police officers that work out of the Highway Patrol station at Daikoku began to take an interest in what was happening.
It wasn’t long before the first warning over the pubic address system was given, encouraging people to start thinking about leaving and freeing up the parking spaces for those that wanted to use the food and rest stop for its intended purpose.
And as always, that first warning was completely ignored by every single person there. Patience is definitely one of the Japanese police’s virtues, and I’m pretty sure that if it was any other country the approach would be a little more forceful.
It was about this same time that I heard a very familiar noise buzzing around the parking area – Koseki-san’s 4-rotor Scoot FD3S had rocked in, followed by a few other Scoot customers. It’s been over 10 years since I first shot and featured this RX-7 for a few magazines, and it’s impressive just how current it still manages to look. The sound from the naturally aspirated 26B is to die for!
I’ll just put this right here and let the F&F references flow…
It would have been another hour before anyone bothered to leave, and like every year the next port of call was Umihotaru PA, right in the middle of Tokyo Bay.On To Umihotaru PA
Fast forward 20 minutes and ¥800 later, and most cars had made, or were in the process of making their way over to the covered carpark location.
There were a few more cars that were not present at Daikoku here too; maybe those belonging to people that had to leave work a bit later.
The party continued, and on top of the Mazda-oriented selection, there were a few other curious additions – like this itasha-themed Honda Accord. Itasha is a style I have never have understood, but like a lot of the things I come across in Japan it’s something I’m glad exists.
Spot the • • • 7 number plates – a must-have addition to complete the otaku treatment on any RX-7, or Lotus 7 for that matter. In fact, while we were in rotary heaven at Daikoku and Umihotaru, the Caterham crew were having their own little get together, beginning at T-Site in Daikanyama and then moving to Tatsumi PA. It’s just another example of how much car culture related stuff is happening in Japan at any one time.
Abflug’s FD kit is one of the most extreme out there for the Mazda chassis, and much like the Tamon Design kit that the Scoot car is fitted with, even the doors get modified.
The spotless SA22C that I had previously drooled over at Daikoku also pulled up shortly after I arrived, joined by another vintage rotary I had totally missed earlier…
This track-spec Savanna RX-3. I have to say, the owner of this car was pretty brave driving around in the wet conditions on semi-slick rubber. It reminded me of the time I finished off my track tyres on the street and was literally drifting everywhere. For me, the old school coupe was the perfect last addition to the night’s celebration – a superb looking machine, hinting back at the Works cars of yesteryear that used to battle it out in endurance races at Fuji.
I think I met about five females who brought their RX-7s to the meet too – this girl being the last arrival in a clean FC3S sitting on a rather well-matched set of RS Watanabes.
For another year, the rotary celebrations end here. As ever it was a very cool way to spend an evening – these rotary boys and girls once again giving us the perfect example of how it should be done. I do wonder if this time next year we will still be wondering whether Mazda will continue on with the rotary, or if we will be looking forward to an all-new future model. What do you guys think?
Dino Dalle Carbonare
Awesome selection of shots Dino. Really highlights how many different styles of 7 are kicking around in Japan and being a long time fan of RE Amemiya, I'm especially stoked to see so many rocking their kits.
Love the coverage and hoping for some spotlights on street FD's soon
Twitch_6 Canada's car culture can be just as cool as Japan, I have lived in both and made the best of where I stay. Take the initiative and change the car culture where you are instead of being sad about living in a great country.
@chopss Twitch_6 btw do u know of any stores in toronto where they sell rotary after market parts or maybe the rocket bunny kit?
@chopss, that was tongue in cheek lol. I love Canada more than I can express!!
Where did you live in Canada? Southern Ontario, Southern Quebec, and the Lower Mainland around Vancouver are night and day different than the sticks where I live.
Where I'm from, people shame you for driving instead of walking. I don't fully disagree with them, but at the same time, it's tough to start up fuel burning, tire squealing car culture in environment where the internal combustion engine is seen as the devil.
The most "car culture" we get around here is scraping motorcyclists from Alberta off the highways (corners, they're a tricky thing!)
I live in BC, so don't know anything about where to buy stuff in T.O., sorry.
I liked 1308 plate more than • • • 7
You did a great job with these photos Dino. That header image is so cool! Damn I wish I went to this now!!!
Flew back to Australia at 8:30pm the day before. Wish I could have seen this!!!
Great job on the pics Dino. You were lucky to miss the rain it was pretty solid most of the week prior!
N I think that pretty much takes care of all the missing rotary features on sh. Damn these are really sweet photos... I need to go to Japan during a meet like this.
As a previous FB owner, I miss the vintage stuff too. Is it just less common than the FC, FD and RX-8?
dlaurence01 Yup, there are plenty of cars, but they don't really shop up to this event
d_rav Thanks man! Glad you approve
saikay Yeah and it continued right up until last night as well! Truly lucky! Don't miss it next year!
Taryn Croucher I was waiting for you guys!!
@Matiz Well spotted
Brett Allen I'll try to dig some out...or rotary swaps...
'pubic address system'. Clearly you meant 'public' haha
Twitch_6 The grass is always greener....
Granted Japan rocks, but there are awesome and diverse car cultures all around too
@speedhunters_dino Where are these events? I have no way to get to Japan now, but will these events be covered on Speedhunters?
Great coverage and awesome to see all those RX7's/rotors on the road over there still!!
That Delica looks like it would be very unstable on some of those loopy freeway bends that surround Daikoku!
The white FD with blue underglow LED's looks so much like StevePOV's RX7. He's a YouTuber and I saw a video of him modifying his RX7 just like that.
Great story! This is one of the reason why I love Japan. The cars, the passion and the car culture is overwhelming. I'm a huge fan of RE engines and the FD3S. Thank you for making this story Sir. speedhunters_dino ! I can feel the vibes you had during the event.
LukeitsMarty speedhunters_dino Glad you liked it. It's a very special event with a very special sort of atmosphere, has to be checked out at least once
cooki_monsta I hope so lol
dlaurence01 A lot show up at kyusha meets like the one I covered in April in Sagamiko
Well done Dino!! i think i love Japan more. btw how this event organized? is there any anouncement or how? and will you cover FD Japan tomorow?
i hope for a new rx-7 with good emission values, so that we can drive it here in europe again! we only had FD's until 1995. 1996 models didn't pass the emission law here! same goes for the Supra and GTO TwinTurbo...
SAD STORY D:
Gianluca FairladyZ It will be hard! Maybe if they run it on hydrogen like on previous concepts lol
JoshuaDantz Well everyone know it will happen, so they all go. I'm sure social media is that's used to set it all up. I'll be at Fuji but Larry is doing FD as he's the FD official guy. I'll be taking care of Offset Kings
Great snaps as always!
Just curious, what camera/ setup were you using? I couldn't help but notice that there wasn't much shutter blurring in the background, but your ISO doesn't seem too crazy either. MK3 or is anyone using the A7R with you guys yet?
Great pictures as always! Love that FD3S with RX-8 front end!
"This thing will go through a brick wall!"
This year no 7 meeting at Tsukuba?
Dear Speedhunters and Electronic Arts Inc.
I thought this was a family friendly enthusiast blog, not a place chronicling and promoting the moral decay of our great society. I would like to formally lodge a complaint against "Dale Carbonara" for filling my son's mind with disgusting ideas. I caught him leering at your obscene pictures of overtly modified future classic automobiles and general motorized hackery. I quote Dale (one of your supposed "journalists") as saying;
"one of the few cars with pop-up headlights that I would convert to fixed units"
This is never acceptable... Ever. Unless you do something about this I will be forced to cancel my subscription to your meager publication. Please see that his diplomatic status is revoked and he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in accordance with "Tipper Gore's interweb decency act of 1993" or at the very least forced to do a featurette on the black convertible FC. My eyeballs require more of that car.
Chuck Hammermilk D.D.S.
And the Oscar goes too.......
There's an 8's day too right?
FUBAR! I swear I was just talking about tango n cash n this week!!!
Someone correct me if in wrong...I think your talking about the hyper rev meet at Tsukuba. This is just their annual 7-7 meet
It was posts like this from the PA that brought me here in the first place!
Tracks to drift? first check out CSCS, they run a drift series in ontario, the DMCC or formula D canada is mostly in quebec. but cayuga, shannonville and Mosport DDT all have drift events throughout the season.
as for places that sell rotary parts, well we are in the age of the internet, why not try online and get them shipped? if your looking for a rotary shop, i know there are one or two that specialise in the GTA (try a google search or maybe go on the CASC forums and ask around)
the automotive scene in toronto is strong, you just have to get out there and get involved. Everyone loves volunteers!
"It wasn't long before the first warning over the PUBIC address system was given..."
Tsk tsk... got a little excited there Dino?
UNDERGLOW LIGHTS NEED TO MAKE A COMEBACK. Somebody do it, or I will. And you don't want me to trust me I have an '02 legacy s.
Love Live Itasha spotted!!!!!!
@speedhunters_dino, and your just too bloody good at showing just how green that grass is;)
It was a joke!! I know we have a scene here lol. It's just not on the scale as other places, and as a light hearted Canadian, I like to poke fun at it from time to time. Doesn't mean I don't respect it.
Eg. That blue V8 swapped S13 from Vancouver you guys featured a little while ago. Beautiful car!
Speaking of car culture in Canada, I know of a Hillclimb event in Kelowna, a few hours from where I live. I attended a couple years back, but haven't been able to make it since. It takes place once a year, May Long Weekend.
It's called the Knox Mountain Hillclimb, and I believe it is the longest consecutive running Hillclimb event in North America (don't quote me on that). After reading the results of the event this year, it seems that while they are making a slight recovery, the event is struggling to keep going. I think a SH feature could help attract some more people
Random Onboard pass from Google.
C'mon SH, DO EEEET!!!
looks like admin dino spotted the itasha again....hopefully I wanna see more in here....especially some fictional anime theme livery in Need For Speed 2015
Awesome coverage Dino!
My dream as a rotary fanatics is to attend this meet one year. That being said, you should come to my event here in USA, 'DGRR'.
My god!! Awesome article as always. Now I need a FC3S in my life!!
EythanAldrich I wanna see a redneck Itasha in the states....think about a '74 El Camino with a giant Daphne and Velma from ScoobyDoo, underglow courtesy of a stolen Coors neon sign, 20-degree rake, on staggered slot mags with stretched M/T slicks.
I've never really been a fan of abflug kitted RX-7's, but they actually don't look that bad to me now, and the Veilside RX-7 looks even better every time I see it
Japanese car culture.... Every time im mindblown... Every time!!
Anybody know the kit on the last green 1st gen in the garage?
FYI its also boonie bash this weekend at shannonville, hope your making it out.
Could we have a report on the F&F tokyo drift veilside bodykit rx7 one day ? By following the owner maybe and see how it is everyday with this car, how people react. You can buy one of these but it is pretty rare on the street.
Hey Dino great post man!. I was wondering whats the tunning scene like for the rx8 nowadays , are tuners still working with the renesis both early and late model engine? New parts are still being made? Just wanted to know how the car is holding up in Japan after production stopped. Thanks
@speedhunters_dino I will take a look for that, thanks.
Fantastic post Dino! The RE Amemiya kits are my favourites for sure. I know Mike already visited their smaller shop, but could you please do a post on their larger garage in Chiba someday?
D1RGE LMAO XDD
speedhunters_dino cooki_monsta You also misspelled 'Veilside' in the tags at the bottom. Just a heads up.
Dude,what's up with that title shot?!! That's probably my favorite SH picture ever!
YT20 Same here.
so thats why i cant find a rx7.....
don3vor I was genuinely surprised by the amount of RX8's I saw on the road last time I was there.....not many "tuned" or modified versions, but quite a lot of stock one still getting around.
Spaghetti don3vor cool thanks for the reply
The Glory of FD3S maybe??
One day I wish to be a visitor from overseas at this event as well. Please don't ever forget to attend and update us on this event Dino!
the car was very good
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Japan's car culture is too cool to be true lol. The cars, the locations, the scenery, the roads!! It's straight out of a fantasy world.
Meanwhile back in Canada, in the middle of butt fuck nowhere...