NZ Performance Car - - 4 & Rotary Nationals 2017 -

It’s hard to ar­gue with the fact that Sven’s RX-2 was, by far, the clean­est and most well-pre­sented rotang at the show. With the build run­ning into the early hours of Satur­day morn­ing — loaded onto the trailer at 4am, no less — it is a stun­ning ex­am­ple of a metic­u­lous build. Hav­ing been out of the car scene for a number of years, Sven’s in­ter­est was reignited while in what he de­scribes as “the Mazda cap­i­tal of New Zealand, Hamil­ton”, and the search for a coupe be­gan. “Look­ing at a cou­ple of cars, I was dis­ap­pointed to find so many sacks with no orig­i­nal fea­tures left. I wanted some­thing hon­est with orig­i­nal parts in­tact,” he told us. Dur­ing that search, he got word of a re­cently im­ported left-hook 40,000 mile RX-2 out of the States that was in av­er­age con­di­tion, and he soon snapped it up.

This led to the coupe re­ceiv­ing an FD RX-7 13B pe­riph­eral-port (PP) that’s had the ro­tors switched out for Se­ries 5 nat­u­rally as­pi­rated (NA) ex­am­ples and runs a cus­tom lob­ster-back in­take man­i­fold with an EFI Hard­ware ta­pered throt­tle body, thanks to Steve from SD Per­for­mance. Fuel and ignition weren’t for­got­ten ei­ther, with the PP now be­ing fed by four 650cc in­jec­tors and a Bosch 044 pri­mary pump, while AEM Smart Coils and MSD leads take care of spark — the parts list is so long that we sim­ply can’t fit it all in here.

To en­sure the heart re­mains the star of the bay, it was de-loomed and fin­ished in black with gold pas­si­vate bolts, and, hang­ing off the back, is an FC five-speed, re­built with a short-shifter, Quar­ter­mas­ter 7.25-inch twin-plate, and CNC-cut chro­moly 13-pound flywheel. Next, in­tend­ing to make the car drive like its mod­ern-day equiv­a­lents while main­tain­ing its orig­i­nal ap­pear­ance, Steve got busy adapt­ing a Hilux 5.1:1 LSD to suit, with a cus­tom three-link rear, while FC BC Gold coilovers front and rear; FC knuck­les that mate to RX-2 lower arms; and, of course, the left- to right-hand drive con­ver­sion helped to bring every­thing into the present day. The drive­shaft tun­nel has also been raised to al­low for the eye­wa­ter­ingly low ride height that the coupe sits at full-time. “What I love the most is you hop in, and it looks old school and OG, but, once you start her up and take her for a blast, it han­dles and goes like a cut snake,” Sven said.

The in­te­rior re­mains true to how it left the fac­tory, hav­ing had a full re­trim, while, on the ex­te­rior side of things, the shell was me­dia-blasted, epoxy-primed, cav­ity-waxed, and had the full panel-and-paint treat­ment to en­sure no nas­ties will ap­pear down the track — the deep paint­work is a tweaked ver­sion of the new Mazda Soul Red, laid down by the boys at Chop­per’s Auto Body Shop.

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