THE CHAM­PI­ONSHIP RX-7

NZ Performance Car - - Meeting Leadfoot -

Tak­ing Rod to his first North Amer­i­can Race and Rally cham­pi­onship wins in 1979 and 1980, the 4WD first-gen­er­a­tion Mazda RX-7 is pow­ered by an MFR 13B PP and MFR-equipped fivespeed. The 13B runs a mod­i­fied 51mm IDA car­bu­ret­tor sit­ting on an MFR cast man­i­fold. A large air­box feeds the carb, and ig­ni­tion was a sim­ple af­fair in the early 1980s, with a dis­trib­u­tor and twin coils. This car was one of the early 4WD con­ver­sions built by the team, which de­vel­oped its own sys­tem, as RWD could not keep up with cars like the Audi Quat­tros. The fire­wall has been re­set, al­low­ing the en­gine to be set back and the Alfa Romeo diff to mount in front, and, like all of Rod’s 4WD builds, it ran a 50/50 drive torque-split. The steer­ing rack is a Stock Car Prod­ucts left-hand-drive one, and the up­rights and half shafts are fac­tory FWD Mazda 626 items. “It was won­der­ful. The bal­ance was great. We were lack­ing a bit of power in those days, but, if it was a wet, slip­pery, or a snow-cov­ered rally, you would get them. This was a fun car,” Rod said.

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