Rotary Overload At 7’s Day
The Lure Of The Rotary

Are we at a crossroads? Are the younger generation no longer into cars? Are EVs going to kill everything we love and cherish? We certainly live in an interesting time for the automobile; there is change coming and that’s quite obvious, but how will it all impact us – the enthusiasts?

With the news that Volvo will only sell electric and hybrid cars from 2019, and the fact that BMW and Porsche are going electric with a lot of their production in the coming years, you can’t help but rub your chin and wonder what all of this will mean. But you know what? Who cares. EVs have their place in this world, but good old fashioned internal combustion engine vehicles still do too. That’s not going to change for a long time, so why waste time pondering it? What I still do wonder about however, is whether the Mazda rotary will make a come back or not…

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Pacing up and down rows upon rows of RX-7s at Daikoku Parking Area last Friday afternoon, EVs were just about the furtherest thing from my mind. As the sound of modified Wankel engines around me buzzed with their signature rasp, there was much to rejoice. The passion and love that the Japanese show towards these old cars is just amazing to see.

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If the bean counters, managers and engineers at Mazda still aren’t sure if they need to bring a new rotary-powered car to market in the next few years, all they have to do is send their people down to Daikoku during 7’s Day. The answer is clear.

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But enough with the hypothetical thoughts; the reason behind the 7th of July meeting is to celebrate the rotary, and there was so much goodness to feast one’s eyes on that I just need to jump right into it.

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As always, I want to give props to the guys in Japan that continue to support us. It humbles me dearly when people come up to me and tell me how they check out Speedhunters every day (even though the majority in Japan can’t read it!).

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It’s this love that keeps us pushing forward. I’m just sorry I ran out of stickers so quickly this time; come and find us when we check out 8/6 day next month and we’ll make sure we have plenty in reserve.

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The more the RX-7 ages, the more attractive it seems to get, and that goes for all generations of the car. This of course has something to do with the length of time owners are hanging on to their RX-7s, and nothing being on the horizon to steal them away from the character these cars possess.

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I get it, we all do – the lure of the older performance car is stronger than ever. Yes, there are faster and more capable cars out there these days, but it’s all about the experience, not to mention the looks. FCs and FDs are akin to toy dolls for little girls – you can dress them up in such a wide variety of dresses for every occasion or style.

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No two cars are totally alike either it seems. Owners mix and match, and every year at this event I see at least 20 cars I’d happily take home.

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Sprinkled among the large turnout were a few rarities, some Mazdaspeed kitted versions, RZs, and the rarest of them all – the Spirit R.

Earlier Every Year
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As I mentioned in my preview post, I predicted that this year’s meet was going to get pretty wild: not only did 7/7 fall on a Friday, but the weather was looking perfect. I’ve never headed out to Daikoku as early as 3:00pm before, but it was lucky I did.

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Throughout the afternoon the Mazdas kept pouring in.

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There was a continuous stream of cars; the off ramp that runs down into the parking area turned into a cat walk of sorts, an ever-growing crowd of onlookers admiring the spectacle as it unfolded in front of their eyes.

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The sights you are confronted with on a day like this can be simply overwhelming. I met a handful of foreigners at 7’s Day and each had their own story of how they’d come to learn of the meeting and came to Japan to it check out, as well as the interesting ways in which they made their ways to Daikoku.

This is another thing I’d should touch on. Like all parking areas in Japan, Daikoku is located along a highway, which means you can’t just go there from a normal road or expect to get in from behind the Daikoku Futo port side. You have to be on the Wangan, either coming from Yokohama or the opposite direction from Tokyo/Kawasaki, and take the exit off Bay Bridge. People grab taxis (and then get stuck there as there’s no other way to grab one for the return journey), rent cars or get lifts.

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A lot of people come to Japan to check out this iconic meeting spot, and if Mazda rotaries are your thing, there is no better day to visit than July 7.

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Of course, car guys are car guys, and even if they don’t own RX-7s they are still going to come along in their own cars and check out a gathering of this magnitude. This isn’t the cleanest NSX we’ve come across, but the Sorcery wide-body kit commanded attention.

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When I saw this FD3S roll in I got very excited; the time attack look for the road complete with all the raw carbon fiber pieces made it an instant standout.

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I grabbed a few shots with my trusty 70-200mm, but on my return from grabbing a wider lens from my car so I could get some details for a spotlight, it had vanished. It’s too bad, because I’m sure it would’ve had some cool modifications in the engine bay and interior.

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There is always one car at an event like this that restores order. In a colorful sea of mixed and matched body kits, wild widened guards and overfenders, this FD RX-7 from Nagano stood out for its modesty. It’s hard to beat the polished stock look; all you have to do is add a well-chosen set of wheels and get aggressive with the stance and you’ll have a winner on your hands.

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I’m not hating on the RE Amemiya, Fujita Engineering, Tamon Design and Veilside-kitted cars, but simplicity always wins in my book.

Variety is important however; it needs to be there.

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But then you see an immaculate RE Amemiya special like this and you begin to question the opinion you just expressed… As I mentioned earlier, I honestly think I’d need about 20 of these things to satisfy the craving properly.

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You can always expect to see some of the older RX-7s like the SA22C at this meet, but never in great numbers. This one arrived early but I didn’t see any others until the sun had well and truly set.

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One for the Miata guys!

The Party Just Got Started
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As the afternoon began transitioning to evening, the entire car section the parking area was totally filled. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it fill up so quickly, and I’ve been checking out these gatherings for well over 10 years now.

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The atmosphere was palpable; it was as if everyone had finally arrived and the party was really about to start.

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I always look forward to heading up to the second floor viewpoint of the main Daikoku PA building and peering down at the assembly of cars. I don’t think you could can get a view like this anywhere else in the world, and it’s always a reminder of why I love Japanese car culture so much.

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There’s so much automotive variety to be found at Daikoku PA on a Friday evening, as these three images show. Do you guys remember the Spirit Rei Silvia from a couple of years ago? In my mind it’s still the best looking S13 ever.

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These are the longest days of the year in Japan right now, but because the government refuses to embrace daylight savings time it gets dark before 7:00pm.

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By this point the police had already started circulating and it wasn’t long before they got on the loudspeakers and let everyone know it was time to get out and alleviate the gridlock that had been created.

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But that’s just the message everyone was waiting to hear; the party was always going to move to Umihotaru PA, which is exactly where I’ll meet you from with the second part of my coverage from this year’s 7’s Day. Stay tuned for that!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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56 comments

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1

Great article, thanks for great pics too Dino!

Author2
Dino Dalle Carbonare

No problem man!

3

I think you'll find that 86 day falls on the 6/8. Don't cave to the imperialist Americans! :-)
What's that funny looking mazda in the pic above the jacked itasha van? Great article, I'm looking forward to the second installment.

4

wait, sorry, you mean the red one (on my monitor that pic is to the left) That's an Autozam AZ-1

5

That's the one! Thanks. Shouldn't it be wearing kei car plates though?

6

If the engine or body dimensions are made bigger than Kei-class then legally the plate should be changed to reflect the size upgrade.

7

RX7 FB by the looks of it, with rear louvres. As much as I love an unmolested FD and the FC is growing on my every day, I'm surprised there wasn't more FB's and SA22's there, are they really that rare in Japan as well as here?

Currently putting the rebuilt engine back into my 85 then she'll be show ready... really hoping she makes an appearance on here one day!

Author8
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Would that make it 68 day? The Japanese put the month first so that's what we use. That's an SA22 RX7

9

I click on u guys every day dino, here in Detroit. So happy u guys do what u do. Don't ever think we don't appreciate u. Mazda design nailed 1,2 and 3 gen. I'll take factory look every time..

Author10
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks for chiming in! High fives all round and thanks for the support!!

11

The white FD with the hood up, 4th pic down maybe, what body kit is that?!? It's very Porsche esque....

12

Pretty sure it's an RE-Amemiya Super Greddy 7 front end

Author13
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes that's the one

14

It´s a kit made by RE-Amemiya! :)

15

Thank you for this awesome article, Dino! It´s just exactly, what I love to read on Speedhunters.com! Japanese car culture is just the best worldwide and I can´t wait for the 2nd part!

BTW: I also always say: simple is key. The white FD you mentioned is just perfect in my eyes.

Author16
Dino Dalle Carbonare

The Japanese continue to lead the way! I really with the led the way with actual new affordable performance cars, but unfortunately we are seeing more of this sort of thing coming from the Euro & US camps. They need to have some sense shaken into them!

17

What body kit it on the white FD with the hood up, maybe the 4th picture down?!? It looks very Porsche like...

18

1) awesome! I love the variety of the kits made for the rx7. I wonder if mazda knew they made probably the best looking car to come out of japan.
2) that nsx looks driven!
3) underglow lights need to make a serious comeback.

Author19
Dino Dalle Carbonare

1)That and a design that just refuses to age! Let's not forget the FD3S was released in October 1991 in Japan, that's 26 years ago!! That blows my mind!
2)Tip of the had to the owner for abusing it and not washing it.
3)Morohoshi would hug you!

20

I would be as bold to say the FD is one of the best-looking cars of all-time, period. Not only out of Japan, but anywhere. As Dino pointed out, it is almost unbelievable that it debuted in 1991.

They still turn my head anytime I see one in the wild, and this is one of the few cars that I believe looks better with the pop-up headlights, especially with the '99 spec bumper lights.

The FD is a rarity in that it also looks good from every angle, not an awkward perspective to be found. Most definitely a bucket list garage occupant for me.

Author21
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Gotta have the pop ups!

22
Patrick Peebles

Did you run into Lino from Austin? I believe he was walking around with Ron.

Author23
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes I met a guy from Austin. We had a little chat, he's the guy that arrived there by Taxi! And doubt he was talking to Ron, as he was and still in in Thailand right now lol

24
Patrick Peebles

Ha, that's awesome.

25

I'm interested in that red FD in the second pic... looks quite special!

Author26
Dino Dalle Carbonare

AFFLUX ver.V, a $14,000 full conversion by Fujita Engineering.

http://www.fujita-eng.com/fd3s/index.html

27

Am I the only one that thinks FC > FD?
Hoping for more FC in part 2 :)

Author28
Dino Dalle Carbonare

No you aren't. I personally love the FC. You need to have both in a perfect world lol

29

this post made my day, mazda is been calling me while sleeping hahaha can't wait for the second part of this post .^ ^

30

might as well call it FD day...

Author31
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Ok ok more FCs on the second post from Umihotaru!

32

Been taking the FD to sevenstock here in the states for about 5 years but 7s day in Japan still looks amazing. Next year, don't know how but I will be there. Great coverage Dino!

Author33
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'll see you there!

34

All these radical looking FD's!

...and yet that red FC is my favorite as far as looks goes lol

35

Positing that Mazda will reintroduce the Wankel in a new unannounced sports car is pure fantasy. No matter the level that enthusiasts go to to show their admiration of the platform will suffice to change that course. Plain and simple its because of one thing: emissions. Lets face it as cool and power packed a great Wankel build can be, its atrocious on fuel economy. This is the bottom line going forward for ALL manufacturers that play in the volume sales car business. While I admire the yearn to have a modern version of a new Wankel power plant, it just won't happen as we knew it. Now potentially we could see a new Wankel engine as a range extender for a plug-in hybrid, but the days of a Wankel powered sports car are over. We should admire the builds that still honor this platform, but should really drop the pie-in-the-sky farce that it'll come back and be a little more grounded in reality.

36

The combustion shape is the biggest problem, a spark plug can't ignite an oblong space as well as in a narrower cylindrical/spherical space. There were rumors of a new ignition system being tested with the Wankel, but if it works there it should work even better with a piston engine.

Author37
Dino Dalle Carbonare

The 16B or whatever they've developed and have been running on mules has exactly hit those walls. Wankels are dirty and thirsty things and it will take some amazing engineering to get them to pass modern day standards. But it's fun to dream right..

38

THANKS DINO!! YOU'RE THE BEST!
Keep up the updates on the 7'S

Author39
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Will do!!

40

Hi Dino
have you ever gone to a celica meeting ?
i love the 6th gen celica, but no one owns it. You can check to your report book, on every single meetings you went, no one has a 6th gen.
Do you think you can find some ?
I also wonder why no one seems to leve them. It is not the most powerful car, neither the beautiful, but still, a classic. And the GT4 is one of a hell car IMO.
Challenge accepted ?

Great article by the way, always a pleasure to read you.

Author41
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Hey I'm always up for a challenge. I'll try spy some out for you!

42

That's me in the Cosmo in the last shot. Great pic!

Author43
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Badass car Sam! Love the JC

44

That must've been.... quite a buzz.

"the government refuses to embrace daylight savings time " Good!

Author45
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Good? How is getting waken up by the sun before 4 am good?

46

So many good looking FD3, but that Veilside Fortune is still my favorite. Such a beautiful kit.

Author47
Dino Dalle Carbonare

These kits in my opinion just look their best when extra special care was taken in paint-prep. If not it's FRP orange peel hell

48

Dino, Thank you so much for all the great articles and pictures from 7s Day. I was able to finally make it to Daikoku with my '92 FD. I got there around 6 and had to park by the trucks, but eventually was able to ge a spot. As an avid Rotary lover I parked my car and just started walking around looking at all the cars. It was awesome.

Author49
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah it was really full by then! Sounds like you enjoyed it! Did you check out Umihotaru?

50

No I didn't get the chance to make it to Umihotaru. Wish I had. I wish I would've got to Daikoku earlier. Not sure what time you left but I was driving a gold '92 FD. Pretty much all stock except the wheels. If you were there around 6 or after you probably saw it. I was one of the very few Y Plate cars there.

51
Dominik Hofmann

Great article Dino!!! I got goosebumps looking at some of those pictures ^^ I think you really captured the athmosphere good there. Can't wait for Part 2 :D

Author52
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks, glad the atmosphere came across a bit at least :)

53

Not too keen on 17" te37v's but that red FC is so good.

54
MPistol HVBullets

the ONE Miata you share is an absolute smash! hope to see a feature

55

Of all the things i really miss about Japan, daikoku is the one I miss the most. I don't even need a meet this great to be happy, a standard spring friday evening will do for me. The sounds the colors the atmosphere were simply overwhelming, god, I need to be back.

56

Great work as always Dino. Reading Speedhunters (almost!) everyday, really appreciate the passion behind the articles. Can't say I wasn't thinking about the machinery I see on here when I was in Japan last week...
By the way, I actually saw this beautiful Spirit R near Kayabacho station on July 8th, just sitting in a parking lot. Maybe it was at the meet on the day before?

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