Passion. This is what it’s all about. No matter how hot, wet or sticky the 7th of July gets in Yokohama, you know that RX-7 owners will converge on Daikoku PA.
This year’s celebration of all things Mazda rotary did not disappoint, because much like every other year I’ve been coming to this self-evolving meet, the atmosphere was that little bit different. It’s hard to put a finger on what that was this year; perhaps the cars themselves, which always seems to be improving; or maybe it was just the beautiful setting sun light that projected over everyone’s favourite Parking Area on the Wangan.
The recipe for this gathering has remained much the same for at least the last decade; you start at Daikoku PA as early as you can, and then once the police arrive and spoil things for everyone, you move to Umihotaru PA on the Aqua-Line.
So knowing that the police will intervene, but not knowing what time that will exactly happen, I always try to make it down to Yokohama as early as I can.
Maybe it was the way the light was hitting it, or the fact that it looked like it had just rolled out of a Mazda dealership in 1996, but this A-Spec FD3S RX-7 was so gloriously good that I had to return to it a couple of times. And to think that I wasn’t really sold on that front bumper when this limited edition model was first unveiled.
I probably sound like a broken record as I say this every single year, but it’s really cool to see how much the overall quality of the cars that attend this meet keep improving. With people reluctant to sell on their beloved rotaries, they continue to refine, restore and really look after them, and it’s something you notice every time. This year, many of the cars wouldn’t have looked out of place at a car show, with a few known examples even having even received fresh paint jobs ahead of 7/7.
This Sexy Knights FC3S RX-7 serves as a perfect example. It may be almost 30 years old, but its sporting all the right JDM aero requirements to help keep it current. Yes, I do mean the overfenders!
The car had an aggressively ported engine, which later on in the night when the owner fired it up, sounded and smelled more like a two-stroke than a rotary. The FC wasn’t even road registered, so the Sexy Knights crew had brought it out to Daikoku PA on the back of a transporter.The Never-ending Selection
There’s so much you can do with the exterior of an FD3S that its looks are only limited by the imagination of an owner. Some ideas can be pretty wild and will transform the car completely.
And on the subject of FD exterior treatments, has there ever been another car that’s had so many different widening kits designed for it? I can’t think of one…
But personally, I prefer the track look, and if I owned one of these cars, I’d likely want to invest most of my money into the forced-fed blender under the bonnet.
Kei Miura may not have been at Daikoku in person, but he was certainly there in spirit. This is actually the first time I’ve come across one of his FD3S kits out in the wild, and I have to say that the resulting conversion has a ton of presence.
And the 18-inch SSR Formula Mesh wheels it was riding on completed the look damn well.
The only thing I wish the 7’s Day did better is involve more vintage rides like this RX-3. I for one would have love to seen more older rotaries there, but the reality is this gathering is more for the younger generation, which is a bit of a pity.
Not to worry though, as there was so many more amazing cars scattered around the PA.
Yes, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – this is indeed a Fortune RX-7. It’s a kit that Yokomaku-san at VeilSide continues to produce, this being one of his latest conversions. With all the Time Machine posts I’ve dedicated to VeilSide over the last month, I found quite interesting that I would stumble across one of these rarities out in the wild. Oh, and there were a few more there too!
The 7’s Day meet is such an important one for RX-7 owners that many people take the afternoon off work, and in some instances make long drives in from the surrounding prefectures just to ensure they get there in time and secure a nice spot.Passion Unites
It’s always a great opportunity to catch up people you know, and at the same time make new acquaintances. Thanks to my recognisable white glasses, many people came over to say hello, and it was great to meet Speedhunters readers from the US, Australia, Spain, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ireland and Portugal.
It’s pretty incredible if you think about it: this is a simple gathering at a truck stop, yet it brings so many people together.
It wasn’t long before the sun set and the day turned into night, and the whole feel of the meet changed. Cars kept arriving and available parking spots were running low, forcing some to spill over into the truck and bus areas.
The itasha crews were out in full force too; it doesn’t really matter what car meet it is in Japan, you know there will be at least one person that’s plastered their car with female anime characters, or in this case what appeared to be a race queen.
My complaining of the lack of vintage stuff was probably overheard by someone, and before I knew it a few more SA22Cs had arrived to take part in the festivities.
We even had a surprise visit by a Scoot-built, naturally aspirated 4-rotor FD3S, but that car ended up leaving pretty much as soon as it arrived; the owner wanted to secure a decent spot at the next meeting venue, Umihotaru PA.
It was a good call too, because it didn’t take long for these guys to show up. One of the police officers even jumped out of the car to walk around the meeting and tell people face-to-face to leave; he even got all angry at a girl for sitting on a camping chair next to her car, which most people found hilarious. Japan at its best – fighting crime one rotary owner at a time!
Not wanting to hear anymore annoying police announcements over their megaphone, I jumped into my car and headed for the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line.
To see how the next part of the night played out, be sure to check out the second post I have coming on 7’s Day 2016…
Dino Dalle Carbonare