With prices of even the most unsalvageable RX-3 soaring beyond the grasp of buyers, where else are we to turn? Ben Tait’s answer was “an absolute dunger” 323 that was road legal at the time of purchase, “but shouldn’t have been …”.
His plan involved ripping out the unwanted 1.3-litre piston motor and fourspeed bin-filler — which he tells us didn’t even survive the drive home before shitting itself — and later shoehorning in a naturally aspirated 13B six-port with a mild-large bridgeport and Series 1 RX-7 five-speed behind it.
At this stage of the build, Ben is converting to a limited-slip differential (LSD) by way of a B1600 housing with later-model LSD head, notching the rear chassis, and chopping up the floorpan to suit. Ben says that he’s going to the effort in order to get it as ‘legally’ low as possible. While looking at all of this, he’s taken care of a serious number of previously unknown rust issues — 40 hours in total to save the whale tail.
And while we’re a safe haven for 323s, parts have been sourced from up country, across the ditch, and as far away as Japan, making it Ben’s biggest build to date. “Setting big goals and finishing it is a must in my eyes,” he says. “So far, I’ve absolutely slogged my guts out to get this bucket of bolts to where it is now, and I’m not giving up on it.”