It was truly a leap of faith when Tim Eull purchased his completely stock 1993 Mazda FD3S RX-7 R1 in March 2000. The car was for sale on eBay and he purchased it sight unseen, despite it being located in Mililani, Hawaii – a long way from his Arizona home.

He has worked on the car extensively from when it was purchased, utilizing period-correct modifications and unique touches that make this car a true future collectible. For all internal combustion engines, but especially rotary engines, heat is the enemy. The car is powered by a Mazda Rotary 1.3-liter BREW engine and in its stock form uses twin Hitachi turbos and a series of solenoids to deliver smooth acceleration through the powerband. That cast-iron twin-turbo setup, along with the complexity of the turbo control system, generates a considerable amount of heat in the engine compartment. By the early 2000s, advances with small, single-ball-bearing turbos were delivering comparable performance in a simplified package that ran cooler, so the car’s turbos were switched to the single-ball-bearing version. As it sits, the car generates 460 horsepower at 16.5 psi of boost.

Heat dissipation was the driving force behind the decision to design and fabricate a custom V-mount intercooler and radiator design for the car. A very large core from Garrett was chosen as the centerpiece for the intercooler design, combining it with a large aftermarket Koyo aluminum radiator. According to the owner, the V-mount intercooler and radiator design is by far the best choice for removing heat from high-performance rotaries and helps to keep operating temperatures in the summer months more manageable. That, combined with a Garrett TD61 ball-bearing turbo, went a long way towards the heat-reduction goals.

One of the more unique features of the car is the passenger-side dash, which features the signature of Takaharu Kobayakawa (or “Koby-San” as he more affectionately known in the Mazda rotary community) – the lead engineer for the FD RX-7 development program in Japan. The owner felt that having Koby sign the dash was akin to Carroll Shelby signing Cobras. Koby also inscribed four Japanese symbols below his signature, which translate as “direction,” “spirited,” “alluring” and “excitement.” These symbols were enlarged and posted on the main engineering wall at the Mazda plant in Hiroshima during FD RX-7 development as a constant reminder to the engineering team of the goals for the new RX-7.

For Eull, the best part of owning this car has been meeting other enthusiasts and pioneers of rotary engine development from Japan and around the world, developing friendships that will last a lifetime.

This Mazda was the Best of Show winner from the 2020 Future Collector Car Show, the most recent competition, so although it cannot compete in this year’s show, it will be on display at the event. See it on the Polo Field at WestWorld of Scottsdale during the Future Collector Car Show, held January 22 as part of the 2023 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction. Keep up with FCCS on Instagram at @FutureCollectorCarShow.