It’s been over a month now since we released our badass Diamonds & Donuts car video, and we are back today to talk about one of the special fully built imports that we featured in it. If you haven’t watched the video yet, watch it now. It’s a must-see for car enthusiasts. Not to mention, it was filmed by Krispy Media, who are like the Picasso of the car film production game.
The car we are discussing today is the yellow 1993 Mazda RX-7 FD, which can be seen in the Diamonds & Donuts video spitting fire as it cruises South Florida’s I 95 with two other crazy heavily modded imports. We reached out to the owner of the fire breathing Mazda RX-7 FD to tell us his story and more about the mods that went into his build, all of which we are going to share with you here…
Before we get into the story of the fire breathing yellow Mazda RX-7, let’s go over a little history on the RX-7, as it is one of the most iconic sports cars in the JDM realm.
The Mazda RX-7 is a Japanese sports car that was manufactured from 1978 to 2002. This was a time when Japan was producing the world’s best sports cars. Hands down….Think, the original Fast and the Furious which came out in 2001. The vast majority of those sports cars were Japanese. One of which was a 1993 Mazda RX-7 FD, driven by Vin Diesel in that iconic race where he nitro boosted his way to victory.
The Mazda RX-7 was made for racing and drifting. It is lightweight, powerful and perfectly balanced in its weight distribution.
What’s more, it has a formidable presence. Come up to the scene with an RX-7 and not only does it look impressive with its low and wide structure and simple curves, but it sounds scary too. The car produces noises that can only be described as “angry”. The exhaust revs up with a spellbinding rise and falls with a crackle. Put simply, the RX-7 purrs and it roars.
What’s even more interesting about the Mazda RX-7 is this front/mid engine real wheel sports car has a turbocharged rotary engine.
The rotary engine was revolutionary in its time. It offered power and mechanical curiosity. It had to be mounted further back (closer to mid-ship) than a conventional engine in order to provide unparalleled handling.
All in all, the rotary engine was the perfect example of mechanical prowess. It set the foundation for the Mazda 787B, which went on to win the 59th 24 hours of Le Mans!
So, for anyone who has negative things to say about the reliability of a rotatory engine. Simply point out that Mazda won the world’s most intense and toughest endurance race. A race that can only be won with incredibly superior engineering…and, of course, a great driver.
What’s a rotary engine?
We probably don’t need to get into this for our car fanatics out there, but why not…
A rotary engine works in a completely different way than a conventional, normal, piston engine. In a piston engine, the cylinder has four alternating tasks – intake, compression, combustion and exhaust. With a rotary engine, each of these four jobs are done in separate housings. Moreover, there are only three moving parts in a rotary engine, while a piston engine has dozens (or more).
Overall, this means a rotary engine is simpler, smaller and lighter. A lot of people suggest that this makes a car more reliable.
However, there are some disadvantages, which is why the piston engine is so ubiquitous. Rotary engines have low thermal efficiency due to a long combustion chamber and unburnt fuel making its way to the exhaust. Moreover, they sometimes have problems with rotary sealing, which is caused by irregular temperatures in the combustion chamber, as combustion only happens in one part of the engine.
But again, remember, a rotary composition car engine won the 24 hours of Le Mans. So, let’s never underestimate its reliability and capability.
As of now, the only company that still utilizes the rotatory engine is Mazda. This year, in 2020, Mazda is bringing back the iconic rotary engine (which it hasn’t used since 2012 with the RX-8). However, the rotary engine will not act as the main powerplant of the car. It will instead be used as a range extender in one of their new electric vehicles. This is really cool news as we get a bit of the past with the present and the future.
Chris Carreno and his Fully Built Fire Breathing 1993 Mazda RX-7 FD
Now, to the feature of this post, one of the stars of the Diamonds and Donuts Car Film, the fire breathing yellow 1993 Mazda RX-7 FD.
The owner of this fire breathing Mazda RX-7 FD is Chris Carreno. Chris is a true RX-7 FD enthusiast. He told us the RX-7 FD has been running through his veins since 1998. After a year of infatuation with his favorite car, he got his first FD in 1999. It was only a matter of time…
Fast forward 17 years, it was 2016, and Chris got his second Mazda RX-7 FD. This is the one we are looking at today. It is a 1993 Mazda RX-7 FD Touring Edition.
A rough start to a fantastic build
Things weren’t all sunshine and rainbows to start. Within 4 months of purchasing his car, the engine blew! The infamous apex seal had failed him.
At this point, Chris was faced with having to commit to a full rebuild as well as replacing half the engine with new parts. He chose to “bite the bullet” and he got a brand new 13B motor from Mazda.
As soon as he received the motor, he got right to work. Chris was dedicated to building it so it was reliable and so that it had the exact brap he hoped for.
Once he pulled the old engine out, he knew he couldn’t just install the newly built motor in such a beat up engine.
So, this is when the extensive modifications began.
Yellow and Black
Chris chose custom yellow paint with custom pearl. Then, the entire car was dismantled and then painted to perfection.
As for the interior, it was the factory-made black and tan. Chris decided to change it to all black. You can imagine the process of making this change. If you can’t you are about to find out…
Chris told us the interior was the most difficult part of the built. It was extremely tedious chasing down LHD parts for a vehicle that was only produced for 3 years. And these were just 3 simple years, he was dealing with 1993-1995. At this time, the car was designed to be RHD only. So to enter the USA, they had to be converted to LHD, and there are not many LHD parts left in the world that are still in good condition, nevertheless for black interior. Moreover, Chris wasn’t going to settle for anything that wasn’t at least in near-new condition. Everything had to be damn near perfect (as you can see by the end result)…
After many months of countless days of contact searching for parts, he finally pieced it all together. He achieved a near new fully black interior.
It was at this time, as he began to assemble it all back together, and with so many new parts, that he realized, it was time to build an RX-7 that represents the true Rotary Powered RX-7 FD, but unlike any other FD before.
He wanted it to be extremely reliable while also being able to put down mega power, and of course, it needed to look super JDM.
From here, his build continued with the search for the rarest Japanese carbon fiber add-ons. He hunted for these carbon fiber parts for a while.
Now, the car is fitted with RE Amemiya, FEED, Legsport, Mazdaspeed and Carbonantics Custom Carbon Fiber all the way around.
What’s more, it has Front CF Lip, Fender CF Vents, Feed CF Splitters, Legsport CF side Diffusers, RE Amemiya CF Rear Diffuser w Vortex add ons, Mazdaspeed CF Rear Window Visor, Rear CF Mudguards, CF Exhaust bumper guard, KS Auto CF Big Wing and CF Center Console.
He also fitted it with D2 Air Suspension and OZ Futuras 18×9.5 18×10.5 wrapped in Michelin PS3.
Under the hood
Under the hood, there’s a Full Bridgeport 13b rotary engine spinning on a massive 76mm single turbo. The build is saturated with GReddy and HKS High-Performance Upgraded parts.
His car made 420hp @14psi. Even with that, he made “reliability a priority.”
Chris was so confident with his build that he decided to drive it from Orlando to NYC for 2 events – 7’sDayNYC, and Autocon the following day, then Back to Orlando his home base.
Chris said, “7’sDay was Amazing. We met in New Jersey. About 100 real Jdm cars. We drove from Jersey to NYC and cruised times square. Time square filled in every street with JDM cars. We cruised from 7pm till 3am all through Manhattan, times square and Soho. It was surreal to be driving my RX-7 in times square. Then the following day was Autocon. I met so many amazing people as well as admired countless amazing builds. Then my drive back home was so good. All that ran thru my mind were memories of the 3 previous days in NYC.”
He successfully busted the common myth that RX7s are not reliable by making the trip to and from.
His car was featured in a Speedhunters article on their webpage. It was published on July 6, 2019, “Nights of Legends 7’sDayNYC”.
@gold_digger_7, now the name of his car, is known around the USA for her reliability and fire breathing capabilities.
Why the name “gold digger”?
After reading this you can understand why Chris named her @gold_digger_7. Chris said, “She has not been cheap and has pretended to love me all this time ?.”
What pieces is Chris most proud of on his fully built, insanely dope RX-7?
“The piece I’m most proud of is the front bumper. It’s a Legsport and its extinct. Like a dinosaur. That I know of… I’m the only one in the world that still has one. I do not know of any other RX7 with this front bumper. On top of that I had the front lip Carbon Fibered aswell.”
What’s next for Chris and his RX-7 FD?
“Now that I achieved complete rotary reliability I am chasing the biggest 2 step flames.”
We think Chris’ story is inspirational for all the JDM enthusiasts out there. Great things are never easy, but they can be done. Let this be the motivation for the younger generation of import enthusiasts who are looking to start their first build.
Want to see more JDM import car features?
Check out some of the cars we’ve featured in our blog in the past:
- 1995 Spoon NSX, also from the Diamonds and Donuts Car Film by Krispy Media.
- Fully built 1978 Datsun S30 Z – Mods & Background Story.
- Diamonds and Donuts October 2019 Recap, which includes a 1998 Nissan 240SX Kouki S14 SE and more.
- Diamonds and Donuts Toy Drive, which includes a Top Secret Final Evolution 2JZ Supra and a Widebody S2000.
Stay tuned for more car features and recaps, as we reguarly do write ups on cars and car shows (you can follow us on Facebook to stay updated)…
And, if you like classic cars too, then the Boca Concours d’Elegance is the spot to be next weekend (Feb 7-9) – Why you don’t want to miss the 14th Annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance
Diamonds & Donuts Import Night – February 26, 2020
If you love import cars as much as we do, you should definitely make your way to our Diamonds and Donuts Import Night car show on February 26th.
Import Night is located at Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton. It is being hosted by Clean Culture and Superior Street Syndicate, both of whom are very well known for throwing the best import car shows – Superior Street Syndicate in South Florida and Clean Culture all over the nation.
So, with this collaboration, you already know our car show is going to be absolutely bananas. Expect to see the hottest JDM cars that South Florida has to offer and some of the sickest builds ever. The hype is real with this one, it is undoubtedly going to be off the charts. If you appreciate cars like the fire breathing Mazda RX-7 FD featured in this post, you will love Import Night at Diamonds By Raymond Lee this coming February.
Date: February 26th, 2020
Location: Diamonds By Raymond Lee – 2801 N Federal HWY, Boca Raton, FL 33431
Time: 7pm to 11pm