Justin Rivera’s 1993 RHD Mazda RX-7 FD3S on Work Meister S1 3P Wheels & Coilover Suspension
Updated: Aug 19, 2022
Justin was prone to owning a Mazda RX-7— as he remembers; it was his dream since the age of 8. Having an uncle who owned a 1989 Mazda RX-7; this lead to Justin being so passionate about this vehicle. The story behind his commitment is unlike any other car enthusiast! Mantling plenty challenges and enduring several headaches— Justin has remained patient and committed to owning his true-love of a vehicle.
Being a United States Navy— Justin was stationed abroad in Japan for roughly three years. Due to strict limitations and restrictions on driving as a United States Navy Seal— it took some special requirements and liscences to be deemed applicable for ownership of a vehicle of any sort. In the Navy, a special rank was required in order to be deemed eligible for certifications to have a ‘SOFA’. Being stationed in Japan for three years; Justin realized he had plenty of time to make his dream come true. Technically speaking, Justin was not approved to move forward with ownership of a vehicle in Japan as a Navy Seal; but he acted according to his dreams and begin to put the process in motion.
Remaining confidential— Justin got in contact with an owner of a small automotive garage who was in possession of various JDM vehicles he was willing to sell. Between bartering and working together to strike a deal— this legendary shop owner assisted Justin in regards to his situation in the Navy and helping him achieve his dream of a true-ownership of a RHD Mazda RX-7. Shop owner assisted Justin in storing the vehicle in a safe and confidential place; where Justin could check-up on the car during his time of being posted in Japan and move forward with the Importing process when it comes time to return to the United States.
Justin luckily had a close friend who recently imported a car from Japan and into the United States who assisted him with the several paperworks. In completion of the paperwork— Justin was finally able to begin the importing process; but that came with another bump in the road. From the location of storage; to his applicable Export Cert at the Yokohama Port— Justin had to figure out a way to have the car moved safely from location, to the Yokohama port. Finding a towing company; of course they were more than happy to help but came with difficulties of language barrier. Thankfully, the shop owner who sold the car to Justin spoke some English; but the tow truck driver knew very minimal. Once the car was equipped on the bed of the towing truck; Justin successfully made way to the Yokohama Port and checked off one part of the tedious process.
Leaving the RX-7 with the shipping company at the Yokohama Dock; Justin planned the car’s journey back to the United States in similar timing his Navy post period was concluded. A few months goes by and Justin receives a notification that his Mazda RX-7 has arrived in North Carolina. From there; Justin’s next move was to begin towing from North Carolina, back home to Florida. The first attempt to bring it back home did not go smoothly as the car didn’t seem to start given months it was sitting. The RX-7 required some maintenance and care but was stationed several hours from Justin’s home. Justin finally found a way and a tow truck driver who was able to strap the RX-7 onto the bed, without a start. Finally… the car is on route to its home— the fun and games are about to begin!
Arriving on Justin’s birthday first thing in the morning, Justin spent majority of his birthday diagnosing the issues and providing maintenance for his RX-7. Ultimately— what better timing for your dream car to finally arrive at home? Diagnosing and changing out the spark plugs; Justin was then set off to the DMV the next day to work in means of having his RHD RX-7 legal in the United States. Another difficulty came into play, but thankfully at this point— the vehicle was safe, at home and drivable, so much of the stress has already been concluded. Justin’s original ownership was provided in Japanese in which case, a translation and a notarization was required. Completing this process, Justin then sent his finalized papers to Tallahassee to be approved— and upon his approval; he was sure to give a celebration in excitement. Justin’s Mazda RHD RX-7 was finally approved and legal to drive in the United States— that’s where the process of modifications begins!
It was Justin’s original vision to keep the car as it was— primarily stock body; but he also wanted to implement some Japanese Style that the Mazda RX-7 is known for and all of its aftermarket parts. For those unfamiliar with the RX-7; it’s a Japanese Sports Car Manufactured by Mazda between 1978 and 2002. What Justin has modified on his RX-7 and of course this generation’s styling from factory— it’s safe to say this vehicle altogether is ahead of it’s time. In the United States— car enthusiasts simply dream of owning a Right-Hand Drive (RHD) vehicle; but it doesn’t come with many advantages— only the JDM prestige. The RX-7 arrived at Justin’s with Work Emotion CR II Kiwami wheels— but he started off the endless modifications by switching those out for more aggressive three-piece wheels; such as Work Meister S1s. To follow the color scheme Justin had intended; he’s chosen Password:JDM Gold Aluminum Lug Nuts V2 20 PC (12x1.5, Extended Open End) to compliment his Work Meister S1 three-piece wheels.
At this point, Justin then knew he was in over his head as the need to continue modifications was simply a must after swapping the set of wheels. Moving forward, Justin began changing out body and aero pieces. Changing the original C-West Front Bumper; Justin decided to go with a S14 Kouki Front Bumper. In more extreme measures of body and aero— Justin began sinking in with a 3-piece front splitter, side skirts, an S15 Kouki rear diffuser, his spoiler/wing and Ganador Super Mirror side mirrors to top it all off. Justin’s RX-7 began coming together as a complete stance and street car with the utmost street style. Continuing modifications— he’s come together with an array of parts to better enhance his dream come true of ownership of a RHD RX-7.
On the interior of the RX-7; we have a set of Bride LowMax Bucket Seats with Black Takata Straps to compliment. Following that true JDM style— we have a rare 59th/100 NightRunners International Vertex x NRI Collaboration Steering Wheel. As it appears, if Justin is going to do something— he’s going to make sure he does it right. Adding in some GooichiMotors flare; a 1/1 customized Burnt Titanium Weighed Shift Knob. Paying attention to the finer details; Justin has topped off his interior with Defi-Link Meter Advanced A1 series gauges alongside a complimentary set of Nippon Seiki gauges.
Justin keeps it simple— yet on the hard side. Running with a static suspension— Justin has chosen a set of Swift Spring Coilovers. Unfortunately, Justin likes to keep discreet about the specifics regarding how he’s achieved his fitment— but we respect magicians and their trade. On Justin’s RX-7; he’s running a Megan Racing 3” Dual Pipe, Angled Cut, Burnt Blue Universal VIP with Blast Exhaust Muffler Tip.
Statistics Break-down of Justin’s 1993 RHD Mazda RX-7:
Rear Wheel Drive (RWD)
City & Highway 18MPG
—Information brought to you by WheelWell.
Extra Automotive Entertainment of Justin’s 1993 RHD Mazda RX-7:
Watch "Rotary Homies" by HALCYON Photo and Brandon Deuster (Doyster Media), Vaded Mob Co-Founder & Design Lead— Shot on September 6th, 2019 in Miami Beach, Florida.
View a quick read from Shavi Wijegunaratne on the Blog from Mazda Fitment; “Rotary Homies”.