Straight Outta ’89: RX-7 Meets Pickup

Each time you head to a Cars & Coffee event in Southern California, you’re bound to come across a few unusual machines that you won’t see anywhere else. And during last weekend’s visit to the new C&C event at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, I found two especially interesting vehicles that I thought you guys might enjoy seeing in their own individual spotlights.

The first is a 1989 Mazda B-Series pickup truck that was originally built by famed rotary tuner Racing Beat as a special project for Mazda USA back in the late ’80s.

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Dubbed California Haulin’, the custom pickup was created to reignite interest in Mazda’s minitruck line, and it features a number of changes to both the styling and the powertrain.

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The body is laden in custom fiberglass work, including a unique front fascia with fog lights up front. And then there’s the radical ’80s paint and graphics, including the classy script on the flanks.

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The bed has also been heavily customized, and not just for looks either. In fact, the whole thing was designed to have a matching Kawasaki Jet Ski sitting cleanly and securely in the cargo area.

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But things get really interesting when you look under the hood, because that’s where you’ll find a turbocharged 13B rotary engine borrowed directly from an FC3S RX-7 Turbo II, mated to a heavy-duty automatic transmission.

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There’s also a fully-functional hood scoop which feeds cold air directly to the engine’s top-mounted intercooler.

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The RX-7 engine is complimented by a set of 16-inch color-matched factory wheels, also from an FC3S Turbo II.

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The cab of the truck features custom leather upholstery, audio equipment that was state-of-the-art in the late ’80s, and of course unique Racing Beat branding.

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It’s part pickup truck, part rotary sportscar and in my mind a perfect throwback to a bygone era of custom vehicle building. What’s not to like?

Stay tuned for my next spotlight from Cars & Coffee Orange County!

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media
mike@speedhunters.com

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48 comments

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1

Sweet Jet Ski!

2

Or it would be just another ute in Australia.

3

Cant forget about the original - Mazda REPU

4

80s-90s Truck graphics that look like the paper coffee cups needs to make a comeback. I've been saying this for years now. This is rad.

5

This should be featured on Jay Leno's Garage! Would be interesting to see his thoughts on it.

6

i think Mad Mike should consider this for his next build.

7

i think Mad Mike should consider this for his next build.

8

This colour scheme is so on point.

9

This colour scheme is so on point.

10

I remember this truck from magazines in the '80s.  What a blast of nostalgia..

11

This thing's radiating a major "Saved By The Bell" vibe, and I'm pointing the finger at the paint. 


Talk about 90s As Fuck!

Seriously though, It's good to see a pickup so light a 13B can toss it about with authority.

12

bitchin!

13

bitchin!

14

Worse engine for a pickup

15

Worse engine for a pickup

16

loslogo Maybe I should take you for a ride?

17

Austn White That's what I was thinking.

18

Mike Garrett, you're getting good at this.

19

960 Not in 1989 mate. 6 years ago this had 3200 miles on it, now it just turned 11k, The turbo truck uses a stadium truck/desert 4 speed torque converter that makes this thing mental. Complete RX7 TII wiring and instruments, Connolly leather, and the ski has never been in the water.

20

For those of you who don't like having a jet ski in your bed...

21

@RB RX7 As I can't jump to plane and walk up to ask for ride, could you take it to "smoking tyre" guys for canyon driving (one take) ?

22

@RB RX7 As I can't jump to plane and walk up to ask for ride, could you take it to "smoking tyre" guys for canyon driving (one take) ?

23

only thing i dislike is the automatic transmission
a fc3s t2 guy myself

24

only thing i dislike is the automatic transmission
a fc3s t2 guy myself

25

Mood.

26

Mood.

29

You say that as though it's a bad thing. Imagine the Kelly's you could pull at The Max!

30

i love it....bag it on some tri-stars and i'd take it home today

31

i love it....bag it on some tri-stars and i'd take it home today

32

DaveT No, I didn't. I was a teenager in the early 90s, so I have some good memories of that time.

Except the music. I've always been a Hair Metal guy myself, so I never liked the grunge and alternative that was popular at the time.

33

DaveT No, I didn't. I was a teenager in the early 90s, so I have some good memories of that time.

Except the music. I've always been a Hair Metal guy myself, so I never liked the grunge and alternative that was popular at the time.

34

Ice Age DaveT Ah sometimes it's hard to get tone from text.
I'm slightly younger so I wasn't a teen yet in the 90s but I watched a lot of Saved By The Bell.
Then again when I was in College and it seemed to be on one channel all the time!

35

Ice Age DaveT Ah sometimes it's hard to get tone from text.
I'm slightly younger so I wasn't a teen yet in the 90s but I watched a lot of Saved By The Bell.
Then again when I was in College and it seemed to be on one channel all the time!

36

Speedhunters just like our pick ups in South Africa

37

Speedhunters just like our pick ups in South Africa

38

Peter_Kelly lol!

39

@RB RX7 :)

40

johnbezt Word!

41

lovin it

42

When I wake up in the morning
And the alarm gives out a warning
I don't think I'll ever make it on time
By the time I grab my books,
And I give myself a look,
I'm at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by
It's alright ''cause I'm saved by the bell
If the teacher pops a test,
I know I'm in a mess,
And my dog ate all my homework last night,
Riding low in my chair,
She won't know that I'm there,
If I can hand it in tomorrow, it'll be all right!
It's alright, ''cause I'm saved by the bell"

43

BigTmoneyD Lord...you did not...

44

cool! looks like an old early 90's hot wheels car I might have had.

45

i miss seeing trucks like these.  my favorite one though was a toyota 4runner and hilux, the 4runner had an offroad setup while the hilux also had a matching jetski on the bed.  forgot the names, but iirc they were a collaboration between toyota and yamaha.

46

This is the best/worst thing I have ever seen. I need it, Jet Ski included.

47

HLB hahaha yep right there with ya.  Showed my girlfriend who is all about the 80's.  She's a fan!

48

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