Mazda Heritage Collection. Volume II, Part I.
It seems since I mentioned in my last post (of the AC) more or less the only thing I had coming up on the foreseeable horizon was Motorclassica; well that certainly changed. Not in a bad way, I’m still attending Motorclassica this coming weekend, it’s an event which I have only been to once and that was way back in 2013, so I really am looking forward to re-attending. What has changed though is that Motorclassica is no longer the only thing I have in the works for the near future. Obviously you’ve seen the title and opening photo (and probably skipped this and read on) and so yes I did return to see and shoot some more of Mazda’s heritage collection, again I can’t thank John Robinson at Mazda enough for allowing me to do this. On this visit it was a couple of FD Rx7 race cars on display in the spirit of Bathurst 1000; for those abroad, Bathurst is probably the largest annual event in the Australian racing calendar. And following this post on the FD’s below, for Part II of this second delve into Mazda’s collection, I will be spotlight featuring an original unrestored FC Rx7.
Other things which are currently in the works will be a feature on a rare (in this country at least) semi-restored, rotary powered, 1960’s European sedan; something quite modern for and quite way ahead of its time. I also have a merch line coming, so that’s a little exciting. I’ll have Highstyle branded T shirts and stickers and once things are prepped and ready (it certainly won’t be long) I’ll post up more details on that, including purchasing how to and pricing. For now though, I’ll leave this here and let you all get on with reading and looking at my latest shoot from Mazda…
The first of the two race prepped Rx7’s below came first in two Bathurst 12 Hour races, being that I was only 3 years old for its first win in April 1993 and a 4yo., for its second in April ‘94, I of course don’t fully remember the days when cars which were essentially full production cars, albeit modified for safety and some performance improvements battled one another for pole position on the mountain. But that doesn’t mean that the car is any less significant to me than it is to anyone who sat and watched ‘the glory days’ of motor racing in Australia.
Looking at race cars nowadays, they are all essentially stripped out shells bolted over custom set-up chassis’ stuffed with high performance V8’s and the latest in technology and simply, I have zero to little interest. So in comparison, an almost full weight FD Rx7, right down to still having air conditioning, power windows and tape deck by Bose in place, fitted with a six point cage, safety harnesses and a 13B rotary could, as far as street car modification goes today, be just at home on the street as it is as the track, and that’s something I’d be interested in watching.
Above: Diff and gearbox oil temperature gauges are mounted under the rear hatch glass in both cars so they can be checked by the pit crew during stops.
This particular car, which wears the green and yellow BP/ Visco livery over a silver base was piloted to its win in 1993 by Garry Waldon and Alan Jones and by the late Gregg Hansford and Neil Crompton in 1994 whose names still flank the front guards.
The second Rx7 for this post is that of the white Triple M FD SP. Work on the SP version of the FD Rx7 began in January of 1995, the SP model was a homologation special, built in order to make changes to the road car yet for it to still be suitable and accepted for production car racing. The SP model had around 60 odd changes made to it from the standard production model FD. Some of these included the large carbon fibre spoiler and nose, aluminium bonnet, larger wheels in order to fit over the larger brakes and callipers, mild weight reduction from the standard model FD’s.
Other modifications for the street going version, included Recaro seats, a larger fuel tank, and improved intercooler, exhaust and ECU amongst other modifications and improvements. 25 Rx7 FD SP’s were originally built with the unveiling of the new limited model at the Melbourne Motor Show in March 1995. Later an additional 10 SP’s were built to meet demand for a total built of 35.
The MMM FD was piloted to a win at the Eastern Creek 12 Hour in 1995 by John Bowe and Dick Johnson.
Above & Below: It really was doing anything necessary to a production car just to get it on the track, today where inner door trims are replaced with sheet metal, in 1993 factory door trims, vents and the dash were essentially cut out and hacked up where needed to fit around the cage.
Once again, a huge thanks to John Robinson for allowing me to take these photographs, stay tuned for Part II coming soon.