“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”– Albert Einstein. We check out Ghalib’s modified RX-7 FC.
Feature from Fast Car magazine. Words: Slim Jules. Photos: Original Persona
There are two kinds of modifiers in this world, the ones who pay others to build cars, or the ones that get stuck in, scrape some knuckles and have a go. “I’ve done pretty much everything on this car apart from the engine porting and mapping. Almost all of the work I carried out myself with the occasional help of some close friends which I’m super thankful for. Owning this car has taught me so much” said Ghalib, the owner of this modified RX-7 FC.
Before I go any further, I’d like to clarify that there’s nothing wrong with the first approach to modifying. There’s many reasons why some people prefer to pay others to do the work on their cars, but there’s definitely a bit more kudos for doing it yourself – even if the end result isn’t always as perfect, and this build is evidence of that. But before we get stuck into that spec list, let’s see where it all started…
“The original Fast & Furious and Need For Speed Underground sparked my curiosity when I was younger, “ explains Ghalib. A familiar story but this was merely the beginning, as his love for Japanese car culture runs deep, “the biggest influence for me has predominantly come from Shakotan car culture in Japan, the legendary Tomoya Suzuki from Sexy Knights, Haruguchi Mitsuru from 326Power and Abo Satsukawa from Abo Moon. I also drew lots of inspiration from Hert, Item B, Bananahands, Derek Bianski, Mike Fitz, JTP, Ilia and Ryan Fahey who are all original FC or FD guys. I’m eternally grateful to all of them because they helped pave the way for me.” Ghalib is clearly a Japanese car culture aficionado and the insanely modified RX-7 FC before us is testament to that.
But you don’t just jump into RX-7 FC ownership, it has to be earned and Ghalib’s entry into the world of drifting is a familiar one as he explains, “my first RWD car was a MK2.5 Mazda MX-5 that I taught myself to drift in. It had all the standard DIY drift car modifications which I carried out myself.” Drifting a low-powered car without a hydraulic handbrake is perhaps the purists form of drifting and certainly one his idols would approve – today’s drifting scene can sometimes be criticized for relying too heavily on power and brake assistance. Refreshingly, Ghalib has stuck to this principle with his modified RX-7 FC build. Yes, it’s been tuned and there’s some trick modifications under the arches, but the essence of the car sticks to his philosophy and it’s a loyal progression to his beliefs and inspirations.
There’s no mistaking this is a drift car from the exterior though. Everything shouts sideways from the BN Sports Aero to the Origin rear arches and the insane Big Country Labs spoiler; there’s nothing subtle about it and that’s just how it should be. Unbelievably the garish purple hue is the most subtle part of the styling and while it looks flawless from our photos, Ghalib isn’t satisfied, “I wish I used a better clear coat. I painted the car myself many years ago and stupidly went with a cheap brand so the overall finish on the paint isn’t as good as I’d have hoped but I guess you live and learn. I won’t make that mistake again.”
Of course, the wheels are iconically Japanese but instead of going down the more popular WORK route, Ghalib has opted for WEDS Kranze Bazreia 18s in staggered widths, “I’m definitely most proud of the wheels. I custom built them with new outer lips and inner barrels, and not many people believed they would fit, but I got them to work perfectly,” Ghalib says with a cheeky smirk. And that smirk is justified with five inches of lip out front and seven out the back.
While the visible chassis upgrade might be impressive, the real work has gone on behind the scenes. There’s a bunch of suspension upgrades employed with the sole intention of getting the FC skidding, including modifications from Parts Shop and Cusco. With the hardware installed, it’s now time to dial it all in, “I need to make it a little bit more drivable and take some camber out all round,” Ghalib muses. But that’s not all he’s got planned. “Over the winter I’m planning on fitting an electrical water pump and considering an electric power steering pump. I’m also planning on changing from an FC upper intake manifold to a newer FD one as well as revising my cooling fan and radiator set-up.” You see, this modified RX-7 FC is still work in progress and Ghalib is evolving with it! It’s trial and terror at its finest.
Tech Spec: Modified RX-7 FC
DMAX bonnet, Ganador wing mirrors with Aerowolf visors, BN Sports Type 1 aero, BN Sports 50mm front arches, Origin 50mm rear arches, 1700mm Big Country Labs spoiler with uprights and hardware, Aerowolf spoiler endplates and canards, Frolikalley hatch wing
KEY’S Racing 330mm suede steering wheel, AEM wideband, GReddy turbo gauge, Apexi Power FC hand commander, VIP table, Bosozoku train handle, Hannya Omamori charm, Garage Moon Power mats
Streetported series 5 13B-T (stock 550cc primary fuel injectors, Bosch 1600cc secondary fuel injectors on modified fuel rail), FSE fuel pressure regulator with braided AN6 fuel lines, Koyo radiator and electric fan, custom front mount intercooler, HKS Super SQV BOV, HKS Twin Power, Warlbro 255 fuel pump and 1.5L swirl pot with DeatschWerks 350iL external fuel pump, HKS cast manifold, Garret GT4082 turbo, HKS external wastegate with screamer, 4-inch downpipe, 3-inch titanium centre section, 4-inch extended slash cut exhaust tips, Apexi AP Engineering Power FC, ACT 6 puck clutch
WEDS Kranze Bazreia 9×18-inch front and 11×18-inch rear wheels, 215/35×18 front and 245/35×18 rear tyres, Cusco Zero-A coilovers with 14K front and 12K rear springs, dimpled and grooved brake discs with uprated pads, solid brake lines, Parts Shop Max Super Angle forged knuckles, Parts Shop Max Rack spacers, extended FC series 4 lower control arms, Uras super tie rods, Cusco front strut brace, Cusco safety 21 dash dodger cage, Rear crash bar with jacking point, welded FC turbo II differential, Parts Shop Max solid differential mounts, Parts Shop Max rear DTSS eliminator bushings, Parts Shop Max trailing arm camber links, polybush kit