Ricky Tang's 1998 RX-7
The RE Amemiya brand is synonymous with rotary tuning. Originally started in Japan, the brand has become a global icon in the Mazda tuning world, turning out stylish bodykits and winning numerous championships with their motorsports program. In recent years, RE Amemiya’s widebody designs have become more and more sought after, despite the hefty price tag and poor Yen-to-dollar currency conversion. However, for those who are dedicated to the brand, the price they pay for the parts is no obstacle.
Ricky Tang’s 1998 FD RX7 is a rolling piece of art, styled after RE’s JGTC racecar. Throughout the entirety of the build, Tang knew his car had to have high quality parts installed on it. As Tang began planning out the build, he knew the entire build would center around an authentic RE-Amemiya GT widebody kit. After many phone calls, an authentic kit was imported from Japan, complete with wider fenders, front and rear bumpers, wider side skirts, carbon fiber hood, carbon fiber wing, and carbon fiber taillight covers. The body kit took several months in transit before finally arriving, during which Tang amassed other parts to compliment the bodywork. C-West headlights would replace the OEM units up front and Craftsquare mirrors replace the OEM door units. Before the car went into the body shop, Tang requested for the shop to widen both the front fenders and rear quarter panels as wide as possible before painting the car in the Ferrari Fly yellow. When Tang picked up the car from the body shop and saw the color in the sun, he knew he had made the right choices.
While in the body shop, Tang had ordered a custom set of Work VS-KF wheels in massive 19x9.5” and 19x13” sizing. Wrapping the tires, Michelin Pilotsports in 265/30/19 and 315/25/19 sizing were stretched over the wheels. Bolting the wheels and tires on for the first time was a huge sigh of relief for Tang, knowing that the fitment had been perfect. Up front, the wheels narrowly cleared the Grex Alcon 6-piston big brakes, and the rear fitment still sit narrowly inside the bodywork without rubbing.
Tang knew he needed to give his car as much ‘roar’ as possible under the hood to match the sinister looks outside. Luckily, Tang was just a short drive away from rotary specialist Pineapple Racing in Portland Oregon. A full stage-3 build was ordered from Pineapple which included a peripheral port job, drysump oiling, and 2mm ceramic apex seals. Outside the motor, a Garrett GT35R ball bearing turbocharger was chosen to provide the boost. Custom piping and core units were used for both the intercooler and radiator, which were fabricated into a V-mount for maximum exposure to fresh air. Braided Aeroquip lines were used throughout the engine bay, and an HKS Blowoff valve keeps the intake surges from hitting the turbocharger. Power is transferred to the ground via an HKS twin-place clutch.
In the trunk, an ATL Fuel Cell with a custom dual-outlet quick refueling outlet replace the stock unit. Fuel is pulled from the tank by a Paxton 1,000-hp rated pump, which goes through the Paxton external fuel filter to the Paxton fuel pressure regulator under the hood before feeding the RC 1600cc injectors. An Apex Power FC manages all the fuel ratios, while an Apex AVC-R boost controller manages the wastegate. Tang knows that the last thing he wanted to deal with was rebuilding a motor due to lack of fuel, and this setup should prevent that from happening.
Inside the car, Tang built the interior to be easily manageable for the driver while racing on the track. Sparco race buckets replace both the OEM units, while Takata 4-point harnesses keep both the driver and passenger strapped down. A Cusco 4-point cage will keep both occupants safe in the event of a major malfunction. For controls, Tang found a rare RE Amemiya edition WorksBell steering unit which he paired to a WorksBell Rapfix quick release hub., while a rare Trust shift knob is paired to a C’s short shifter to select gears. All the electronics for the engine are mounted in the center console, making it easily accessible for monitoring all engine activity.
Under the corners, Tang went with Tein’s fully-electronic EDFC package on a set of Flex coilovers. This allows him to adjust both dampening and rebound from the cockpit without any special tools. While the roll cage adds to the chassis stiffness, a Cusco rear strut bar and a custom triangulated front strut brace were added to further keep the car stable and predictable in the corners.
Overall, Ricky Tang’s FD3S RX7 has a mixture of ‘show’ looks and ‘go’ power. The car has taken home numerous trophies at car shows, but Tang isn’t afraid to test the more than 500 horsepower that sit under the hood. While some may not be a fan of the loud exterior styling of the car, the commitment to use parts from reknown rotary brands has made it a build that won’t easily be forgotten.
- RE-Amemiya 2002 GT wide body kit
- RE-Amemiya carbon fiber hood
- RE-Amemiya carbon fiber wing
- RE-Amemiya carbon fiber taillight cover
- extra wide fender F/R extra wide on the rear
- Craftsquare Carbon fiber mirror
- C-West Headlights
- Do-Luck Floor Support Bar
- Pineapple racing fully build stage 3 13b rotary engine
Include: Peripheral port, Drysump, Ceramic 2mm Apex seals
- Garret GT35R turbocharger
- Custom V-mount intercooler & radiator
- Greddy pulley kit
- HKS blows off
- Custom Aeroquip hose and fittings
- Custom exhaust
- HKS Clutch Max Twin Plate
- RC 1600cc injectors
- Paxton 1000hp fuel pump
- Paxton Fuel filter
- Paxton Fuel pressure regulator
- ATL Fuel Cell
- ATL Dual "Red Head" dry breaks (fill & Vent)
- Apex power-fc
- Apex avcr boost controller
- Works VF-KF burning black (bkb)
- Front 19 *9.5
- Rear 19 * 13
- Grex alcon 6 piston BBK
- Tein Flex with EDFC
- Custom Front Strut tower bar
- Cusco Rear strut tower bar
- Cusco 4 point roll cage
- Takata 4 point harness
- C's short shifter / Trust shift knob
- Re Amemiya Works Bells Rapfix II steering wheel
- Sparco Seats