RCO #006 – Shoe String Budget RX-7
Being a fan of RX7’s since my early teen years, I fell in love with my first one at age 13. My Grandfather’s Step son had a beautiful Red 90’s RX7 Turbo II, shod in meshed wheels, and some other goodies to young to remember. But he gave me a ride in it around the neighborhood and I instantly fell in love. With a un-removable grin, I remember telling my mom to take pictures of me with the car, so I could remember that day. (I’m still trying to unearth those old photos) Years after I was fascinated with the car, and started learning about Rotary Engines and what made them different. Matter of fact during that time I started writing about them in my High School Class projects, giving my classmates information back in the 90’s about the difference and why those who own such machines love them differently.
Well fast forward to today, and still have yet to own one. As time passed, I was told that they were unreliable, cost to much, and just unattainable if you have a small budget. Well here’s proof of a RX-7 I fell in love with at last years World Time Attack Challenge 2016. Driven and owned by Matt Cole of MC Towing Australia, this red little beast was one of the oldest chassis competing that day and drew attention from all over. Fascinated with the details, the aero and everything else, it’s hard to believe that he found it sitting around, and it was all he could afford at the time. From there his shoe string budget is why I find this car interesting.
Upfront you’ll find a Mazda 20b cosmo, mild ported, clearanced, and dowled. Turbo is Borg Warner S369 with 60mm wastegate welded into 1.10 rear housing. Cooling this all down is a large v mount radiator, intercooler, and 2 oil coolers, but still sporting a standard water pump. Adjustable boost approx 16psi base, and 22 psi on a button placed on the steering wheel. It’s a poor mans traction control, but it get’s the job done. All you gotta do is get it straight and hit the button! For the brains, this car uses a Microtech LT16C with a X6 box, and a Microtech dash with full data-logging. He has stated Microtech has been there for him from the start and their products have proven to be faultless. The trans is a TTI sequential 6 speed mated to a Tilton twin plate clutch and billet flywheel. Suspension duties consist of BC dual canister front coilovers with 18kg springs and the rear is adjustable GAZ shocks with separate 12kg springs converted to tri-link with an adjustable watts link. The Wheels are trued and tried 4 Enkei RPF1’s in 18×10.5 shodded in Yokohama A050 R Specs 295/30/18 front, and 295/35/18 rear. It also has a complete FC RX7 subframe with electric power steering, and everything is built by Matt in his small 2 car garage including the roll cage, exhaust, manifolds and all fabrication. The Aero was completely designed by him, using a combination of fiberglass, aluminum, and Alupanel. When asked how he came about his aero choices and purpose, he relied on good ol fashion seat time and testing, just going to the track, and changing things as they go. To top it off for creature comforts, Sparco seats and a steering wheel that’s it. Although he has stated friends come around once in awhile to give a hand when swapping out the engine or what not, but 99 percent of the time it’s all him.
For Matt racing and building cars has been his passion since he was a teenager. Matter of fact this RX7 wasn’t built for Time Attack originally but morphed into it’s current form. He takes it out about 2 times a month, by just slightly changing shocks and tune to suit each category, the car can be seen at super sprints, hill climbs, rally-sprint in which he was leading the series, and has even attended drag events. He’s stated he would love to come to the US and compete here in North America, but it’s all about the budget, and that is and will always be factor. Since last year his plans on putting the car on a diet, fine tune the aero, and increase power is all yet to be seen on October 13-14 at WTAC 2017. -Rommel Estrada #wtac2017