THE CHAMPIONSHIP RX-7
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.