Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is pretty well known for it’s take on “The road less traveled”, that is, doing things just a wee bit differently than most. When I asked they guys at Gorilla RE, a local tuning shop near New Orleans that caters to rotaries, if they knew of any cool cars, Jonathan Bruce, owner of Gorilla RE said he knew just the person. About half an hour later, this great white beauty was thrust upon my rotary lovin’ eyes.

Great Caesar's ghost, this FD almost woke the dead.

Seeing a proper 13B-REW always sends a tear down my cheek

Despite the torrential downpour, we rolled up our pants and kept shooting

Now I know what you’re thinking. How is what looks to be a bone stock looking RX-7 taking the road less traveled? I’ll tell you right now in this day and age, the current trend for these rotary powered cars is to chuck the 13B and shoehorn a domestic V8 to make good reliable power. While that’s fine and dandy and ultimately not my decision to make, I somehow get the feeling that the rotary engines get a bad rap from today’s enthusiasts. After reading a few car forums, it’s pretty safe to say most people get discouraged about rotaries and even more don’t yet fully understand it’s simplicity. We’ll save the piston versus rotary debate for another time, but being a rotary fanatic myself, it always makes me smile to see an FD3S with it’s Wankel Wonder still sitting where it belongs, behind the front struts of the engine bay where it nestles low and as close to the center of the car as it was intended for that perfect 50/50 weight distribution. Sticking with the rotary, to me, makes that road scary, but also gratifying.

I asked Jack to turn on his headlights. Not for Danh, but I'm deathly afraid of zombies

Reverse Oreo.

Jack, the owner of this meticulously clean 1994 example, is no stranger to the FD world. He’s owned multiple copies with this one being his last and greatest. He’s also a stickler for details, so as I checked out his 7, I kept staring at all of the small details that one might not notice, the black powdercoated StopTech BBK’s that match the powdercoated Volk SE37A’s (don’t see too many of these anymore), the matte black Mazdaspeed front spoiler and rear diffuser, and the rare Mazdaspeed seats rewrapped in black leather. These black accents contrast extremely well with the much sought after original white paint only found in the last two years of the FD’s production.

I wish more people would rock Volk SE37A's on Falken RT-615's. Oh wait, Jack does.

The PowerFC also has a readout for weather. On the commander it read, "UR FKD"

So sexy, this car makes itself wet.

But it’s not just the subtleties on the outside that make this RX stand out. Once Jack popped open the hood, it all became clear. Not only was this FD3S super duper clean and pristine, it was a workhorse as well. No part under the hood was left alone, not even the bolts that hold the fenders, everything was replaced with something better or shinier, but always for something that performs. It’s a good thing it wasn’t sunny outside, or our photographer Danh would have been blinded by all of the polished parts (it’s okay, he’s asian, so he has natural sunshades -i.e. slanty eyes)

So much polish! (not polish, like the sausage)

Papa Smurf would say, "Mother Smurfin' Badass"

No weed in these pipes, I already checked. :/

It's all in the details. These hex bolts were everywhere in the bay.

Wait, sunny weather? Um, no. One thing you can always count on in Louisiana is the constant afternoon showers and today was no different. Much like Thien’s CRX photoshoot, it was destined to rain yet again on our outing at the Metairie Cemetery according to our weather apps on our phones. I had texted Jack the night before asking if he was okay with the rain. I had expected about an 80% chance that he would tell me no solely based on the fact that since the car rolled off the assembly line in Hiroshima Japan, this particular car has only seen rain a handful of times, and with it absolutely pouring outside, I was sure he would turn me down, which was totally fine. To my surprise Jack told me he was game, and to the cemetery we went.

Jonathan and I apologized more than once to Mr. Henigan for stepping on his grave

Rain, rain, go away, please come back some .... who am I kidding, it rained everyday

Shooting in absolute downpour has it’s advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, we had the entire place to ourselves and didn’t have to worry about other cars being in the shot, and in the other, it was freaking pouring. Luckily, most all of our gear is weatherproof. I said “most”. While me and Jonathan held up the strobes, Danh was clicking away, trying to get the best shot possible while wiping away the rain from his glasses every 5 seconds. After a few shots, we lost both flashes to the rain as they both fired their last flashes before shorting out. We were completely drenched from head to toe, and even Danny and Newton couldn’t escape the rain as we were also trying to shoot video during the rain. I did take a few moments to check out the cemetery however. Pretty creepy, but now I understand why the graves are above ground- it rains every freakin’ day!

The gauge matches well with the OEM cluster

I still believe the FD3S is the sexiest chassis to ever come out of Japan.

After Danh snapped off the last few shots under the covers of a nearby parking garage (not something we normally do, but hey, it was raining ok), I got butt ass naked and changed into some dry clothes, and while doing so, asked Jack why he loved FD’s so much. Trying not to look at me and lose his lunch, he simply said that RX-7’s aren’t for everyone, but for those who own and drive them, they “get it”.

"IT'S GON' RAIN!" -Ollie

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Maybe Robert Frost had a 20B powered RX-7? Nah, his old ass probably only had a two rotor 13B.

I'm still scared of zombies.

Jack Coxe’s Official Mod List:

1994 Mazda Rx-7 with Popular Equipment Package with approximately 112,500-miles on body and 45,000-miles on motor.
Built/modified by myself and GorillaRE.com

Engine:
RP/rx7.com street port, 3mm apex seals, balanced rotating assembly
Unorthodox anodized full pulley set (main, w/p, alt)
Mazdaspeed engine mounts
Garfinkle oil pan brace
Intake:
Ground Zero / Excessive lower intake manifold (with Gorilla RE extra injector bung plugs)
Gorilla RE upper/lower intake manifold port matching
Gorilla RE ported throttle body
Double-throttle – AWS – wax rod removed
All unused Upper Intake nipples removed/plugged
Jet Hot cerama-chrome coating upper/lower intake manifolds
Turbo Blown LIM heat shield blanket
Sport Tuner throttle body polishing with nickel plated linkage
Turbo:
A-spec 500R with long runner manifold (Gorilla RE prepared: smoothed compressor inlet, rough casting – welds – flanges – protruding bolts ground smooth)
Tial 44mm waste gate
Gorilla RE 1-3/4 inch waste gate dump tube
Tial 50mm blow off valve
Blitz sbc-id boost controller
Earls -4 & -6AN super stock hose & fittings for water, W/G & BOV lines
ATP -3AN stainless steel oil feed line
Earls -10AN Perform-O-Flex stainless steel oil return line with swivel seal fittings
K&N air filter with Gorilla RE 45 degree aluminum inlet pipe & 45 degree blue silicone coupler
Sport Tuner high-temp black ceramic coating exhaust manifold & turbine housing
Sport Tuner cerama-chrome compressor housing
DEI black fire sleeved oil, coolant, & wastegate lines
Thero-tec heat sleeve a/c lines & misc. wires
Thermo-tec adhesive backed heat shielding on fire wall, ABS shield and inner fender
Intercooler:
Crooked Willow stock mount IC (Spearco 13×17-in. core with carbon fiber duct)
Gorilla RE polished aluminum piping
Greddy throttle body elbow
Hose Techniques blue silicone couplers with Breeze clamps
Exhaust:
Gorilla RE 4-inch stainless steel downpipe
RP/rx7.com – Greddy 3-3/4 inch race exhaust
DEI titanium wrapped downpipe
DEI fiberglass wrapped mid & rear muffler sections
Thermo-tec muffler shield on mid-muffler
Fuel System:
Injector Dynamics 725cc primary / 2000cc secondary injectors
KG fuel rails with Sport Tuner cerama-chrome coating
SX Performance fuel pressure regulator with -3AN stainless steel boost line
Apexi BNR33 pump
Chuck Westbrook fuel pump wiring mod (direct power to relay, 10-ga. power wire from fuel pump relay to pump, extra ground at pump)
Earls -6AN feed/return Perform-O-Flex hose with swivel seal fittings (routed using Earls hose separators mounted on OEM feed/return brackets undercar)
Hyperion surge tank cover
Kinsler ANO-BRL 10-micron in-line fuel filter
Ignition:
HKS Twin Power amplifier
Turbo II leading coil
Magnacore 10mm wires
Gorilla RE remote coil mount bracket (in place of removed power steering pump)
NGK R7420-9 & 10 spark plugs
Engine Management:
Apexi Power FC with commander
FC datalogit
Dudeman fast acting air intake temperature sensor relocated to intercooler outlet pipe
Gorilla RE tuning
Race Logic traction control
OEM map sensor with -4AN super stock hose and fittings
Cooling:
Koyo radiator
Mazmart remedy water pump
Evans coolant
FC thermo switch
Thermo-flex radiator hoses
Earls -4 & -6AN super stock hose & fittings
Sport Tuner cerama-chrome water pump & thermostat housings
OEM polished coolant filler cap
Oil System:
Crooked Willow dual oil cooler kit using Mocal 19-row coolers, Mocal thermostat, Aeroquip -10AN lines & fittings, carbon fiber ducts
RE-Speed oil filter pedestal adapter with -10AN outlet & gauge ports (passages ported by Gorilla RE)
Gorilla RE bell-mouth modified pick-up tube
Gorilla RE aluminum OMP oil supply block off plate
Earls -3AN hose/fittings for premix supply to Gorilla RE modified OEM oil metering pump
Afgmoto1978 black pre-mix tank in place of OEM vacuum canister
RE-Speed filler neck
Valvoline 10W-30 VR-1 motor oil
Idemitsu Racing rotary synthetic pre-mix
Jaz 1-pint breather can on Gorilla RE bracket with -4AN super stock hose & fittings to oil filler neck & rear iron’s unused oil drain
Instrumentation:
SPA oil pressure/temperature gauge
SPA water temperature/fuel pressure gauge
PLX egt gauge using Temp Rip sensors in turbo manifold
Innovative XD-19 wide band gauge and sensor with Gorilla RE aluminum heat sink
Defi D-gauge mechanical boost gauge
Electrical:
Odyssey PC925 battery in passenger side rear bin with Jegs aluminum battery tray mounted to Gorilla RE bracket that uses existing rear seat belt mounting points
Gorilla RE bracket for OEM battery fuse box
Phoenix Gold 200-A circuit breaker at battery
Phoenix Gold 1/0 positive & negative battery cables (both routed battery to starter, positive from starter to main fuse box)
Phoenix God 4-gauge ground cables at numerous points
OEM engine harness (unused wiring removed, re-wrapped with split loom, fusing tape, electrical tape, exposed portions wrapped with Thermo-Tec heat shield tape)
Sport Tuner 140-Amp alternator, cerma-chrome coated, blue painted stator
Wheels/Tires:
Volk SE37A 18×9.5 (F+45 /R+45 with 5mm spacer) powder coated black
Falken RT-615 265-35-18 F/R tires
Muteki black lug nuts
Suspension:
Aragosta 15-way adjustable dampers with 10.3/7.8-kg F/R springs
Suspension Techniques F/R sway bars
Improved Racing adjustable sway bar end links
Widefoot front sway bar mounts
RP/rx7.com trailing arms
M2 toe links
Cusco front strut tower brace
Drivetrain:
Atomic Rex manual steering rack
Exeddy D-core twin disk carbon clutch
RP/rx7.com stainless steel clutch line
Mazdaspeed short-throw shifter
Pettit 80-durometer differential mounts
NEO 75W90 synthetic gear oil in transmission & differential
Brakes:
Stop Tech front big brake kit with piston sized to match 99-spec rear & slotted rotors
99-spec OEM rear calipers with Precision 2-pc slotted rotors
Mazda 929 master cylinder
N-Tech front rotor backing plates
Stainless steel lines (Stop Tech front / rx7.com rear)
Motul RB-600 Brake fluid
Rotary 13B1 anodized blue rotor shaped brake/clutch fluid reservoir cap
Exterior:
Original Chaste White Paint
Shine replica Mazdaspeed front lip
Shine replica RE-A street diffuser
Front lip and diffuser sanded then coated with Dupli-color truck bed liner
OEM mud guards
Smoked front turn lamp housings
LED tail lights, marker lights, turn signals, reverse lights, license plate lights
20% rear / 50% side window tint
PIAA platinum series super white headlight bulbs
Interior:
Original 1994 unless otherwise mentioned
Mazdaspeed Type F seats recovered in BMW black leather
Momo Super Anatomic shift knob
Momo Monte Carlo 350mm steering wheel
Flyrx7 3-gauge 52mm center speaker gauge pod
Saab 3-gauge 52mm din panel
RE-Amemiya Steering column gauge pod
Redline.com black leather shift & parking brake boots
TNT rear hatch carpet
LED dome and cargo lights
Misc:
Himni Racing stainless steel hardware throughout engine bay
Black powder coated brackets, hard water & brake lines throughout engine bay
Aba stainless steel hose clamps for air filter & wastegate lines

Be sure to check out Gorilla RE!
–David–
David@maydaygarage.com

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