An RX-7 Built For The Streets Of Manila
Uncharted Territory

Owning an FD3S Mazda RX-7 is no simple task. With numerous rituals and general maintenance needed to keep the 13B-REW engine in check, an FD3S isn’t exactly the easiest thing to live with when it comes to a project car.

That said, owning an RX-7 in the Philippines – specifically in metro Manila – becomes a tall order. Parts are hard to come by, and if you pair that with a general lack of expertise in rotary engines around town, it’s safe to say that keeping a third-gen RX-7 running here is a sizeable mountain to climb.


Despite these hurdles, you can’t really stop someone from chasing their dreams; and that is exactly what Aurick Go continues to do with his 1999 RX-7.


Trading it for a perfectly decent Subaru Impreza WRX back in 2015, Aurick has slowly turned the FD3S into his dream machine, one capable of taking on both the track and the unforgiving streets of Manila.

Way back in his teenage years, Aurick already had his sights set on owning an FD RX-7. He credits this mainly to the influence of Initial D, as well as an encounter with one at a dealership when he was just four years old.


Being an original 99-spec JDM car, the RX-7 was originally right-hand drive. As it is impossible to register right-hand drive vehicles in the Philippines it needed to be converted to left-hand drive in order for it to be road legal, and thankfully the previous owner already took care of this problem. A USDM donor car was sourced to ensure the cleanest conversion possible, and it’s straight left-hand drive all the way down to the gas latch release and the signal stalks.


Upon picking up the RX-7, Aurick immediately set to work making it his own. A good friend supplied him with a rare set of Mazdaspeed MS02 wheels to give the FD its own distinct look. More recently however, Aurick switched to the set of RAYS Gram Lights 57CRs in Gun Blue II you see here. Despite the MS02’s rarity, the interest of having larger tires with better traction fitted outweighs the novelty.

With the original Vintage Red paint looking tired, Aurick decided to breathe new life into the car by respraying it in BMW Deep Green Metallic. A set of Car Shop Glow LED bumper lights and Ver.4 taillights were then installed to bring the timeless FD right up to date.


On the outside, Aurick’s FD may look tame compared to other RX-7s out there. Pop the hood however and you’ll see that it’s fitted with all the right parts to make rotary ownership in Manila that bit more bearable.


For peace of mind, the 13B-REW was rebuilt with new Goopy 2mm seals and oversized main bolts. With the engine out, it was also logical to have it street ported for good measure. The stock twin-turbo system was then ditched in favor of a custom single turbo setup revolving around a BorgWarner S360, freeing up space in the engine bay and ridding it of the rat’s nest of vacuum lines from the factory twins.


An Adaptronic standalone ECU ensures a healthy 409hp to the rear wheels – more than enough for street and occasional track use. This setup also helped deal with the gremlins of ’90s Mazda electrics. While the photos do show the car running a front-mount intercooler, the setup is currently being revised to provide better cooling for the circuit and during really hot summer days.


Handling improvements come by the way of Öhlins Road & Track DFV coilovers, and Sakebomb Garage took care of the brakes by fitting a Wilwood 4-pot setup at the front and slotted rear rotors for more stopping power.


Despite metro Manila possibly being one of the worst places to own an RX-7, you’ll still see Aurick driving his prized FD3S around town. If you catch the dark green FD at the lights, don’t be shy to say hello!

Jose Altoveros
Instagram: themangjose_
Tumblr: yourneighborhoodcarguy


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I can confirm the steering conversion. Used JDM cars were a big thing in the Philippines until 2005, when they banned importation of 'Surplus' RHD vehicles. Sad thing the special ones would have to rely on used parts too, or import new parts and pay up *cough cough*

That's one clean RX-7, I really like how the owner dedicated his passion for the rotary, and I'm liking the color. Sure do stands out in Manila traffic. Sad thing about the plates tho, all I can do is laugh in frustration. (I'm waiting for my new plates too. Driving a B12 Sentra)

Cheers. I like that you represent the car scene here, it sure is big, just gotta know where to look.


Yeah the plate issue sure has been annoying. I just made a temporary one that's JDM sized so it'll fit in the bumpers.

Appreciate it lots man. Cheers.


Nice build! Happy to see someone not be discouraged and persevere through not having access to good parts nearby.


I didn't realize that steering wheel was quite common on Mazdas during the era, from the RX7 to the MX5 to even more pedestrian cars like the protege. I like the wheel design, simplistic yet sporty.


It certainly feels right at home in the cabin, though it's suffering from a little bit of mold. I have a Nardi Classic waiting to go in once the interior's been all sorted, as you can see the rest of it still needs a bit of work.


I love those tail lights, a firm handshake to the owner. Great car!


Thanks good sir! Took awhile till I managed to bag those tails, had to bring them home from Japan last year. Worth it despite not seeing it 95% of the time.

John Jeremiah Sy

Time to get Kevin Carlos R34 or Elcid de Guzman's cars on this site boss!!! Needs more PH Cars :D


Most def. Those guys deserve the limelight more than I do for sure.


Why no ROTA wheels, pare?


Don't wanna walk into that conversation, pare. Hahaha! Seriously though I may consider switching to them if their new Flow Forged line produces wheels lighter than my current set. IF.


I am beyond flattered to be on this page. Been reading regularly for almost a decade now, never thought i'd ever build something worthy of being here. Thank you everyone.


Great story man! You inspire me, and I'm only 14!


Wow. Props for keeping the Rotary! Must be quite hard keeping it with little to no support/parts around?
How has it been so far? You inspire me to get a Rotary lol.

Also, knowing first hand how hot it can be over there, try some make some simple ducting for your coolers. If you can block off the areas in the front bar openings besides the cooler itself, you'll improve efficiency :) Make the air flow through the fins instead of around the coolers.
Adjusting your number plate to clear the opening makes a bit more difference than you might think too.


Thanks man. Yeah it has its own set of challenges to keep the car running in our tropical climate. Right now we're actually in the middle of working on a custom V-mount arrangement that will expose all cooling fins to fresh air. And yes we've realized how much airflow and ducting can make a difference with these cars especially on track so we'll factor that into my next arrangement for the IC and rad.


Wish the photographer submitted more pics of the engine bay. Wanted to check if the firewall was converted as well...


I'm not too sure how the firewall's been converted, but the ABS module and brake booster positions have also been swapped to left-hand orientation if that's what you're wondering.


Yea both abs and brake booster could be swapped over to the left while still using the rhd firewall. I haven't seen any "cagayan" plate cars with legit lhd firewall swaps, at least when I was still there.

Jay Swaffield

No air filter ? Very nice RX7


Sadly I can't find any that would fit. The turbo actually melted an HKS Mushroom and a normal cone filter just wouldn't fit. My next arrangement for the motor will definitely have a filter though. Thanks!


wow nice car. hope to see it playing at clark speedway, one day.


I don't think I've ever seen a FD that I didn't like and I haven't started yet. Very tasteful, I love it, and glad that he kept the rotary.

Side note: I wonder if Aurick's parents are James Bond fans...


I rarely get that Goldfinger reference around these parts hahaha


Probably me but FD without round rear light seems strange.

Tom Westmacott

Looks gorgeous in that green, the metallic colour really brings out the FD's shape. Makes my black example look boring!

The wheel/tyre dimensions are spot-on too, the whole thing is in the best of taste - reminds me of some of the great Californian builds. 409hp playing less than 1300 kgs must be pretty rapid, too!


Thanks man. While the wheel/tire sizing looks pretty boring compared to all the nicely fitting specs you'll see on the net, it's very functional and easy to live with. The staggered wheel spec also improves turn-in from what i can tell, i've driven another similar FD with a squared setup and it's just not the same.


Is that 2-stroke oil??


Yeah. We use Ester-based 2-stroke oil for pre-mixing since the factory oil pump has been deleted.


*Oil metering pump, the standard oil pump's still there.


Finally! Kudos to Sir Aurick Go for making it here in SH. I saw this RX7 on car shows and meets around the metro and it is considered a celebrity.


As a proud pinoy (diba?), I rarely seen these posts on Speedhunters taken in the Pearl of the Orient Seas and this it the latest one.....I've been carspotting, diecast collecting, videogame racing(mostly Gran Turismo and of course Need For Speed)and recently, visiting a couple of auto shows since 2016....and somehow seeing a post taking place here makes me feel enthusiastic even recently Traffic is mostly common along EDSA and some other main thoroughfares across the Metro because of constructions of infrastructures such as the Metro Manila Skyway connects from the North Luzon Expressway to the exisisting one from Makati to Alabang, Muntinlupa and towards the South(Via the South Luzon Expressway), the Harbor link of the NLEX which most Semi-trucks need to get to the pier in the Port area(As well as the connector which parallels the Skyway and some other new urban railway lines which is currently expanding......I don't wanna go too far with these issues but it's best to see this the owner of that iconic rotary machine.....I will politely ask you to say Saludo po ako sa inyo, Sir (I salute to you, Sir)....


"di kasya orig na plaka." fucking legend lol


Hahaha di naman talaga kasya eh, I left that little easter egg for the odd MMDA officer to catch. I have the original plates handy just in case.


Congrats on getting your dream car, and keeping it! The build looks driven.


Thank you. I take pride in keeping the car on the streets more than I do making it pretty.


Beautiful. Sometimes the kouki FD look is hard to beat.


Agreed. I think i’ll keep it like that for awhile. There’s a FEED as well as an RE Amemiya FD rolling around town too so I reckon staying stock kouki would keep mine different haha.


loved that Iori Suzuki Sticker dope. also seen a pair of yellow and white rx7 around valenzuela.


I take it you’re from Bulacan if you know of Iori and seen the FD’s in Valenzuela. This build won’t be possible without Iori, I owe him lots.


Awesome build man! I feel great just by seeing an actual FD roaming in the metro even if I don't owe one, you will definitely not see this everyday and I've been an Initial D fan since it came out. Never seen any famous rare (initial d) jap cars around the metro and i would probably make kumpare of the owner if I see one haha!

Cheers sir Aurick, hope to see your FD on the streets, i'll probably chase you down until I get a picture of that RX-7 haha!