PROJECTS IN WAIT­ING

NZ Performance Car - - Meeting Leadfoot -

Not all sheds on the prop­erty are de­voted to cars — one is known as the ‘farm shed’ and is filled with all the ma­chin­ery re­quired to main­tain the prop­erty, but what caught our eye in there was a pair of RX7s tucked away in the back cor­ner, un­der a cover and look­ing for love. The first was Rod’s 1988–1989 Sports Car Club of Amer­ica (SCCA) North Amer­i­can Rally Cham­pi­onship–win­ning FC RX-7. Tube framed and pow­ered by a 13B turbo, it was one of many 4WD RX-7s built by Millen’s team.

Sit­ting next to it is a Mazda that, on pa­per, does not ex­ist. It’s the re­sult of a se­cret pro­ject that never ac­tu­ally hap­pened, a Group B pro­to­type 13B 4WD RX-7 built by Mazda and sent to Rod for test­ing, as his team was al­ready run­ning a very-well-sorted 4WD RX-7 pack­age. The ma­jor dif­fer­ence be­tween this RX-7 and Rod’s be­spoke builds was that the front diff sits un­der the en­gine, which thus sits higher and more for­ward, caus­ing han­dling-bal­ance is­sues. The 13B was also in­jected, with a sim­i­lar sys­tem as that found on the Se­ries 3 RX-7 and HB Cosmo. With the pro­ject aban­doned by Mazda, this is the only one in ex­is­tence that we are aware of. Both of the cars will be re­built to their for­mer glory some­time in the fu­ture.

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